Piranesi by Susanna Clarke

Piranesi’s whole world is the House, which contains the tides that provide food and the statues that provide company.

Fantasy, 250 pages, published in 2020

Piranesi’s whole world is the House, which contains the tides that provide food and the statues that provide company.

Spoiler Free Review:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Content Warning: imprisonment

I did not really know what to expect going into this book, but it still surprised me! I don’t think I’ve ever read a book that is similar to this.

The story is told through journal entries by Piranesi, though he is pretty sure that isn’t his name. He lives in a “house”, which is really just an endless path of rooms with statues in them and tides that run through the lower floor. The house was so interesting and Piranesi’s study of it was also very interesting because he goes about things in a very methodical way.

There is also only one other person in this house, aptly named the “Other”, so there really isn’t much interactions between characters. The first portion of the book is really spent getting to know Piranesi and the house.

The overall plot of this book feels like more of a mystery than anything else. Not only does the reader not understand the house, but neither does Piranesi.

The style of writing in this book was…strange. Sometimes it was quite funny, but there were also random words that were capitalized (consistently).

I definitely think there was some deeper meaning that I didn’t pick up on. At first, I was very confused, but eventually everything made sense. I understood what actually happened, but at the end, I was left feeling kind of bleh because I did not pick up on anything metaphorical or meaningful. I’m a reader that takes things at face value, but if you like diving into themes and interpretations, I think you’d really like this book!

Even though I didn’t get anything deeper from this book, I still enjoyed it! It was just really interesting to explore the house, then see how everything unraveled. I’m not sure at the moment if I’d read anything else by Susanna Clarke in the future.

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