adult Books Fantasy

Piranesi by Susanna Clarke – Review

Genre: Fantasy
Published: September 2020
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Pages: 245
My Rating: 🦋🦋🦋🦋/5

“The Beauty of the House is immeasurable; its Kindness infinite.”

Susanna Clarke, Piranesi

Piranesi lives alone in the House. We do not know when he arrived or for how long he has lived there.It is a labyrinth with never ending corridors, infinite halls and so much explore. Where there is an abundance of statues and an ocean contained within its walls. The Other, Piranesi’s only friend and only other person alive that he is aware of, comes to visit every Tuesday and Friday. Suddenly, writing starts to appear on pavements within the house. Someone else is in the house, but is this person a friend or dangerous like The Other says? And what do they want?

“It is my belief that the World (or, if you will, the House, since the two are for all practical purposes identical) wishes an Inhabitant for Itself to be a witness to its Beauty and the recipient of its Mercies.”

Piranesi is one of those books I started reading, not knowing what to expect. Even the blurb can be a bit confusing at first, but once you get into it you won’t want to put it down. Written in the form of journal entries, it starts off slowly, helping to set the scene and allowing the reader to form images in their minds of The House.

Something I could relate to was the fact that Piranesi is content with being alone most of the time, but he does enjoy it when his friend The Other comes to visit for a short period of time a couple of times a week. I feel like this may resonate with most introverts. Piranesi is content in the House, it provides what he needs to survive. He is able to fish for food and burn dried seaweed for warmth.

Piranesi is patient and more than willing to help his friend and assist with his requests. He also doesn’t need much to make him happy and is always grateful when his friend brings him small gifts. One thing you will notice about Piranesi is his trusting and almost childlike nature. His friend The Other is not as likable, he is condescending and clearly uses Piranesi for his own gain.

I did have some questions at the end, but it leaves you wanting more. I don’t feel that it took anything away from the book itself. I also have a feeling that this is what Clarke wanted to achieve. The book isn’t long and could probably be finished in one sitting. It has a slow build initially and then all of a sudden everything starts coming together. This was such an amazing and unique reading experience. The story is completely captivating. Filled with magic and wonder, I would recommend this book not just to lovers of fantasy, but to anyone and everyone.

Disclaimer: I was sent this free copy for review by Jonathan Ball Publishers. This does not influence my review or rating in any way. All views and opinions expressed are my own.

Check out what these bloggers thought about Piranesi:

Piranesi (2020) – Susanna Clarke – for the love of MEG

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