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Published Sept. 15, 2020 by Bloomsbury USA (Limited Issue, Author Signed Hardcover Edition).

ISBN:
978-1-63557-671-9
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4 stars (17 reviews)

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

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 …

7 editions

Un intrigant labyrinthe

4 stars

Lu en cinq jours. Difficile exercice que de le résumer, et il n'est pas certain que cela serve à grand chose. Piranesi vit et explore La Maison Éternelle, peuplées de Statues gigantesques et d'Oiseaux. Le livre est captivant sur son début, où il en dit peu sur le pourquoi et montre cette Maison.

J'ai reçu cette lecture à un moment où j'avais besoin d'évasion, de plonger un peu en moi. La Maison Éternelle a constitué tout à la fois un échappatoire, un lieu de méditation et de refuge. Une réalité à expérimenter plutôt qu'une énigme à déchiffrer.

Well Worth Waiting For

5 stars

I've been excited by Susanna Clarke's writing since I first picked up Jonathan Strange, and when I first heard this book was coming out, I was suddenly aware that I hadn't heard about her in a long while! Some Googling revealed that she'd been suffering from severe health issues for years now, and this book was the result of more years of hardship than I could fathom. I preordered it immediately, and read it the moment it arrived.

Wow. So different, so quiet, and so, so good.

I've read plenty of reviews that disparage the book (usually because they felt the plot was thin or easily deduced, or because the narration was too simple or unrelatable), but I enjoyed the hell out of it. I was surprised when reveals came, I was drawn into the narration and worldbuilding, and I found the narrator endearing, if a bit alien in perspective. …

Unfolding into the (Un)known

5 stars

I didn't know what to expect coming into this and I firmly recommend trying to go in with as little knowledge as you possibly can. The unfolding that occurs throughout the narrative was the payoff, the end just another event along a wave of experience.

A library book that has inevitably made it to my own collection, amongst the shelf of favorites that are destined to be reread over and over again.

Splendid tale, in a symbolic setting which is strikingly and evocatively minimal.

4 stars

Content warning Minor spoiler, which reveals a mid-book event which is very different in setting than the consistency of the opening chapters might suggest.

Piranesi by Susanna Clarke

5 stars

This is one of those books that's unlike any other. It's surreal and dreamy and the sheer "what the heck's going on?" factor compelled me to read it all in one day.

A novel like this - light on plot, with an extremely limited cast of characters, told in an epistolary style - really sinks or swims on the narrative voice. Luckily the titular Piranesi is fun to read, and comes across as practical and clever, curious and sweet. His ignorance is charming rather than frustrating, and of course his naivete is all part of the mystery.

Highly recommended to anyone who loves an atmospheric and/or experimental story.

Reality plus a little magic

4 stars

I really enjoyed the book, the smaller world that the protagonist lives in is very simple and is intriguing, but not somewhere I feel I need to return to. The larger universe though is interesting, with its reality plus a little magic vibe. I enjoyed the unravelling mystery and it compelled me to read it much faster than I've read books of similar size. The first few chapters describing the House reminded me of the descriptions of The Sleeper Service in Iain M Banks' book Excession. To the point where I thought the book was going to go in a sci-fi direction.

reviewed Piranesi

slow to start, but it does get very good

5 stars

I found this book a bit slow for the first 50–60 pages, which are spent mostly describing the World without much of any sort of Plot happening. It only really begins to pick up around Part 3, when the mystery inherent to the setting starts to unravel, all through the eyes of a narrator not so much unreliable as naïve and lacking in knowledge, which makes him unable to understand things which are clear to the reader. It's the sort of book where it's worth reading (or at least skimming) the first few parts again to see what you missed the first read through.

A beautiful book that quiets and comforts my mind

5 stars

If we were born in another world what form would the shadows cast upon the walls of our cave take? What mythologies and art would inform our identity? What are the limits that malicious people have to do harm through warping and confining our realities? How does the society around me shape the person I am at any given time?

Piranesi explores these questions in a labyrinth of an endless house full of statues that is flooded by the sea. The answers are in the faces of our neighbors and in the hushing pose of the faun.

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