Piranesi by Susanna Clarke | Reviewed by Michelle


Piransesi | Susanna Clarke | Bloomsbury | Pub: 9/15/20 

“Perhaps that is what it is like being with other people. Perhaps even people you like and admire immensely can make you see the World in ways you would rather not.”

I ordered this book from Book of the Month (BOTM) a few months ago. The synopsis was intriguing, and it was listed as a Fantasy, a genre which I started loving early in 2020.

I am not sure I would call it Fantasy, more like Fantasy and Gothic Horror combined (in my opinion). It is fantasy in that it takes place in a different world, but it is Horror to me in just the events that take place throughout and the ending. Also, you if you pick up this book, you will be confused for about 65%/70% of it.

The story throws you right into the madness of hallways and thoughts that make ZERO sense. Oh, the story is also written in a type of journal format and our main character created his own calendar… so, yes, confusing.

You follow Piranesi as he wanders the halls and visits the dead and fishes and eats and takes notes for The Other. The Other is the only other person who lives in The House, as far as Piranesi knows.

Basically, the story takes place of about 4-5 months of time and it slowly shows you Piranesi remembering things about his past and being quite terrified. I really don’t know how else to explain this book. It was weird and trippy but also so interesting and kind of magical.

Originally, I was going to give this book 3 stars but I rather enjoyed it once it started to come together and decided on 4 stars. Would I recommend this one to others? Yes, if they enjoy weird books that are super cryptic and kind of philosophical. Will I sell this book? No, I will keep it. I think I may reread it at some point, see if I missed things this first go around.

Synopsis (Credit: Goodreads)

Piranesi's house is no ordinary building: its rooms are infinite, its corridors endless, its walls are lined with thousands upon thousands of statues, each one different from all the others. Within the labyrinth of halls an ocean is imprisoned; waves thunder up staircases, rooms are flooded in an instant. But Piranesi is not afraid; he understands the tides as he understands the pattern of the labyrinth itself. He lives to explore the house.

There is one other person in the house—a man called The Other, who visits Piranesi twice a week and asks for help with research into A Great and Secret Knowledge. But as Piranesi explores, evidence emerges of another person, and a terrible truth begins to unravel, revealing a world beyond the one Piranesi has always known.

For readers of Neil Gaiman's The Ocean at the End of the Lane and fans of Madeline Miller's CircePiranesi introduces an astonishing new world, an infinite labyrinth, full of startling images and surreal beauty, haunted by the tides and the clouds.

From the New York Times bestselling author of Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, an intoxicating, hypnotic new novel set in a dreamlike alternative reality.

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