Piranesi Review

Hi everyone I hope you are all having an amazing day and are staying safe. So my host dad’s family recently started a book club and were kind enough to ask me to join. As someone who has always wanted to be a part of one but never had the opportunity to before I immediately said yes and the first book we choose to read was Piranesi by Susanne Clarke. I had never heard about this book before and likely would have never picked it up without this book club and am so glad that I did.

Title: Piranesi

Author: Susanna Clarke

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Release Date: September 15th 2020

Number of Pages: 245

Genre: Adult, Fantasy

Goodreads Synopsis

Piranesi’s house is no ordinary building: it’s rooms are infinite, it’s corridors endless, it’s 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.

I wasn’t sure what to think about this book going in as I didn’t know much about it but was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it. I’m not going to say too much about the plot as I do feel that this is a book to best go into with little knowledge of as I think you will appreciate it that much better that way.

This book is told in journal entries and follows the character of Piranesi. Piranesi lives in what he perceives to be an endless building with rooms filled with statues, an upper floor of clouds and even an ocean and he feels it is his job to explore and record as much of it as he can. Along with The Other, the only other person in the house, who believes that the house holds a powerful knowledge. However, all of this is threatened when it appears that they might not be the only people in the house.

The book starts off a bit slow, the plot doesn’t really start to pick up until about 40 pages in and it’s quite confusing at first and I know this is a lot of people’s biggest criticism of the book. However it didn’t really bother me that much, as a high fantasy reader this is pretty standard for a lot of the books I read. I’m also a big character reader and this part of the book gave us a really good introduction to our character Piranesi. It also does a really good job of setting the scene of the book.

This book is told through journal entries written by Piranesi. I felt this style worked really well for the story as it really helped you to get a feel of who Piranesi is as a character and his arc development throughout the story. Piranesi is a very interesting character, he can be quite contrasting and unreliable at times which fits really well with the mystery aspect of the story. He is a very scholarly character and views himself as a scientist, however on the other hand he comes across as very childlike. He is quite naïve and trusting, and has a child’s wonder and joy at the world around him.

The setting was really unique and Susanna did a good job at making you feel you were in the house and walking through the halls alongside Piranesi. It’s also very captivating and I feel that it’s a character in its own right which I love in books.

I really loved how the mystery of this book is slowly unraveled to you, my only two complaints is that I found the journey of the book to be much more interesting that the actual destination. It’s not a bad ending, I just feel it was lacking a bit more of a punch. I was also expecting it to be a bit more magical than it was.

Overall, I enjoyed it and gave it four stars. It lost a star only because as I said I preferred the journey to the destination and wished it felt a bit more magical than it did.

Have you read this book?? If so, what did you think of it??

7 thoughts on “Piranesi Review

  1. I adored Piranesi! As you say, it’s definitely more about the journey, but that didn’t bother me. I just found it so lovely to spend time in this world, seeing things through Piranesi’s eyes and contemplating how he reacts to his world and situation (which are honestly, a bit horrific, from our point of view) with such wonder and gratitude, focusing on the good over the bad. I learned a lot from him.

    Liked by 1 person

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