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Piranesi, by Susanna Clarke

4 reviews

merin_aran's review

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adventurous dark emotional mysterious reflective medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0

Many words spring to mind after reading this book! It is so incredibly unique and unlike anything I’ve read before. It’s truly breath-taking, beautiful, fantastical, eloquent, thought-provoking, rich and surreal...the list could go on, but none seem to really sum up my thoughts or do justice to this incredible book. It was so gripping; I devoured the book in a day because I so desperately wanted to see how the puzzle and mystery unfolded. In this sense it felt fast paced, but it was also slow and meditative; I felt so calm and at peace walking the halls with Piranesi. The mind-bending ideas and themes presented has given me so much food for thought and I adore the numerous allegories and questions that it has left me still pondering about. This truly is a masterpiece and deserves all the praise it gets. I will end this review with my favourite extract, a truly revelationary moment for me: 
“I realised that the search for the Knowledge has encouraged us to think of the House as if it were a sort of riddle to be unravelled, a text to be interpreted, and that if ever we discover the Knowledge, then it will be as if the Value has been wrested from the House and all that remains will be mere scenery....The House is valuable because it is the House. It is enough in and of Itself. It is not the means to an end.” 

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meganrtole's review

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inspiring mysterious reflective medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes

5.0

Wow, this was one of my favorite reads of all time. I jumped into Piranesi without really looking into the plot and I'm glad I did. I think not knowing anything about how things would unfold really helped add to the mystery as it plays out. I had tears in my eyes for the last few chapters. I am not typically a huge fan of fantasy, but this one felt like the exception to the rule. The slight nods to C.S. Lewis' work were great and really helped to set the scene for what was being foreshadowed. 

I always like my English and literature classes best when I was in school, and this is the first book I've read in a long time that had me looking for symbolism and analyzing each chapter once I had finished. This felt like a modern classic in every sense.

 
SpoilerThe addition of a dark academia element really helped knock this one out of the park for me. I've been very into the genre, having read The Secret History, If We Were Villains, and The Maidens, it gave such a wonderful spin to an already delightful and whimsical fantasy. I know I saw a few reviews that felt things seemed a bit unresolved at the end, but I think it added to the melancholic aspect of Piranesi's three selves.
 

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inkyblue's review

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mysterious reflective medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? It's complicated
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

4.0


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pat's review

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adventurous dark mysterious fast-paced

4.5

As per my usual style, I didn’t even read the blurb of this book before diving in, so I had no idea what to expect. My only presumption was it would be set in a time of myths and gods, based on the cover. That was a fair way off the mark.

But it was wonderfully, intriguingly odd. I might not be entirely satisfied with the ending, but that might be because I want to hear more of what happens next. However, I suspect it also finishes at the right point.

Also: I’d love to see a TV adaption of this - perhaps an episode per chapter.

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