Piranesi

Piranesi

Book - 2020
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"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 Piranesi has always known. For readers of Neil Gaiman's The Ocean at the End of the Lane and fans of Madeline Miller's Circe, Piranesi introduces an astonishing new world, an infinite labyrinth, full of startling images and surreal beauty, haunted by the tides and the clouds"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : Bloomsbury Publishing, 2020
ISBN: 9781635575637
163557563X
Branch Call Number: F CLA
Characteristics: 245 pages ; 22 cm

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l
LinChi
Jun 05, 2021

Finished June 3 2021
Really good! Usually I don't like fantasy books very much but this one was written beautifully and keeps you guessing at what's happening. The world is so whimsical and sadly beautiful to think about - being one of two people left on the world, living in an endless house with rooms that flood with the ocean and birds that roost among the statues. I was on the edge of my seat the entire time.

e
eswahl
Jun 04, 2021

A wonderful fable of other worlds. Just beautiful.

s
Schlermie
May 28, 2021

I'm not sure if I just finished reading a novel or woke from a fever dream after eating a bad pizza*. Piranesi is that bizarre and brilliant. This might be the strangest book I've ever read, and sadly, it came to an end much too quickly. Arguably, it’s brevity probably helps it leave on a high note rather than beating the story to death.

Piranesi is told in the form of journal entries, documenting the events and findings in an infinitely expansive and surreal estate. Each journal entry notes a location and time, which inclined me to try to mentally map the events relative to each other in location and time, but I soon found that level of detail is not at all critical to the story. The journal date annotations were amusing though. They’re never “May 1, 2021” or “Stardate 98931”. That would be too simple. Journal dates generally take the form of “Entry for the first day of the fifth month in the year the albatross came to the south-western halls”. What!?

We follow Piranesi’s journal entries as he wanders in solitude, cataloging his findings and trying to make sense of his odd situation and surroundings while under directives from The Other. His story is admirable for his drive to explore the beauty and wonder in his world while staying mentally engaged, optimistic and appreciative in spite of his isolation.

I would recommend this to anyone who needs a distant vacation from reality, or anyone tired of reading fiction that’s just another variant on one of the many common archetypes. This is something entirely new and different. It's an E-ticket ride for your imagination and a pleasure to read.

* Sorry Pizza. You know I love you.

k
kenzlynn27
May 17, 2021

I was very pleasantly surprised by this book. I'm not very into high fantasy, which is what I thought this was from the first 15 pages or so, but then as it became more based in reality I was more engrossed in the story. LOVE how short it is, such a delightful quick little novel, I finished it in a weekend.

s
styellow
Apr 24, 2021

A story well told, beautifully written, sad and heartwarming all at once. The story asks the question of what happened to the magic that once was in the world. The story is told from the view point of someone who does not seem to remember his past which provided tons of mystery to the story telling. So many questions right out of the gate. Piranesi is the kind of story that sticks with you, leaves you thinking. I have not read anything quite like it but if you like Erin Morgensern's books you will most likely like this book too.

l
lyderz
Apr 15, 2021

For some reason I wasn’t expecting to like this book very much but I ended up loving it. I won’t say much because I think you should go into it as clueless as possible but here are a few vague reasons why I enjoyed it: it was intriguing right from the start, the setting was dark and whimsical, the main character was very lovable, and it was both melancholy and heartwarming.

ReadingAdviser_Dylan Apr 13, 2021

A completely unique and engrossing puzzlebox of a novel. The beginning of this book is pretty disorienting but as some of the pieces start to fit it becomes impossible to put down. I don't think I've ever read anything quite like this before.

j
JLMason
Mar 25, 2021

Piranesi harkens back to a time when humans were connected to the landscape and vigilant of the forces of nature. It creates a sense of "other worldliness", wonder, and reverence. This way-of-being has been lost in our modern world, but the potential to reconnect remains.

p
PrairieSouls
Mar 01, 2021

A Masterpiece. A little Jewel of a Novel. Clarke has created a strange and alluring world where battles strength of will and cleverness and cruelty. Truly imaginative story.

l
llewol
Feb 15, 2021

This was a terrific book!

I loved the fact that, for me, it was completely original. I've never read anything quite like it. It has a bit of a David Mitchell quality in terms of the inventiveness and the creation of a world unlike our own. Clarke is meticulous in maintaining the consistency of her universe. Even though everything is not explained, there are no "cheats" - everything feels cohesive and well considered, right to the end

It may be a bit daunting at first - you do have to accept an original universe and get to know it through the protagonists eyes. But, I soon found myself completely hooked and ending up reading the entire novel in two sessions. It was that compelling. Plus, the writing is superb. Very concise and beautiful. Given the premise I thought there was going to be lots of needless description, but I don't think there was an unnecessary word in the whole book.

Piranesi is a very engaging character. You have to love and admire him, which means that spending time with him in his world is nothing but a delight. This is important as he is pretty much on every page.

Best of all, the book is satisfying right to the end. So many times a book gets of to a good start with an interesting premise and then falters. Not here, it was terrific right to the last word!

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l
lyderz
Apr 15, 2021

“May your Paths be safe, your Floors unbroken and may the House fill your eyes with Beauty.“ -Susanna Clarke

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