Review: Piranesi by Susanna Clarke

Author: Susanna Clarke
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Released: September 15h, 2020
Received: Own (BOTM)
Warnings: Kidnapping, mental health

Susanna Clarke, most famous for her Jonathan Strange & Mr Norell novel, is back with a whole new world. Piranesi is a standalone novel of breathtaking proportions.

Piranesi is not his name, but it is what he goes by in the House. The House is not truly a House, but a labyrinthine setup of rooms. They are full of statues and memories, with the tides and other elements doing as they will.

Piranesi would be alone in this world, if not for The Other. The Other is a man who Piranesi meets with regularly, to research and understand this great House, and the Great and Secret Knowledge it contains. That is, until something happens in this world, in the House, that changes everything.

“The House is valuable because it is the House. It is enough in and of Itself. It is not the means to an end.”

Holy cow. Can I go back in time, please? Just so I can read Piranesi for the first time again. That’s all I want. Seriously though, I adored Piranesi and every moment and emotion that it brought with it.

This was a truly wonderful tale. It’s so beautiful and creative, while also being full of intrigue, mystery, and more than a fair share of danger. This was my first novel I’ve read by Susanna Clarke, but if the rest of her novels are like this, consider me sold on her work!

“Perhaps even people you like and admire immensely can make you see the World in ways you would rather not.”

I was truly enchanted by Piranesi. All of the details, the world, Piranesi himself. Everything. It was a captivating tale, one that left so much room for thought and questions. It was fascinating, seeing how this world connected to the real world – and the very real mystery that Piranesi didn’t know he was a part of.

Clarke’s writing was outstanding, leaving nothing to be desired, except maybe a few hundred more chapters. But that’s probably just me being greedy, as I’m clearly enraptured by this world. I don’t know what the odds are about seeing more stories set here, but I would love nothing more than that.

The way the story unfolded was an absolute treasure. Right away, it’s clear that something is wrong. And over the course of the novel, more and more hints come out, until the truth is staring straight down at Piranesi, and the reader, by proxy. It was brilliantly done. Now I can’t wait to see what Clarke comes up with next (not to mention, I clearly have to check out her other works!).

About Liz (AKA Cat)

I am an avid animal lover, photographer, reader, and much more. While my photography blog is feeling a bit neglected at the moment, the other sites I'm involved in are going strong. ✧I review books, comics, and basically anything else in the literary world over at Quirky Cat's Fat Stacks (of Books). ✧I review comics and books, as well as write content for Word of the Nerd. ✧I review comics for Monkeys Fighting Robots. ✧I write content for Screen Rant and CBR. ✧I write book reviews for The Review Crew.
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