Reviews tagging Gaslighting

Piranesi, by Susanna Clarke

63 reviews

serenfletcher_reads's review against another edition

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adventurous funny hopeful mysterious reflective tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0

I've never read a book like Piranesi before and I hope I never do again because nothing will compare to the pure joy I felt whilst reading it. It'  best to go in without knowing anything about the plot of the themes (of course check the trigger warnings if necessary). I cannot reccomend this novel enough! It reignited my love of reading completely and for that I'll always be grateful.

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nickel_'s review

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adventurous challenging mysterious slow-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

4.75


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j4cq's review against another edition

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adventurous dark hopeful mysterious reflective tense fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? N/A
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0

OH NY GODDD I LOVED THIS BOOK. OTS JUST LIKE WHATTGGTGWHATTTT

WHATTTT

the less you know about this book going into it the better

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k_aro's review

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adventurous hopeful mysterious reflective relaxing slow-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? No

5.0

Honestly, on some level I feel a little guilty giving this so languidly a 5-star review; it's not really the kind of book that exists for stars or whatever, but I still feel like it'd be a loss to not talk about it as such.

What an incredible book! I love slow explorations of a space, and this felt so widely built (even though there's still so much left unsaid and basically left up to interpretation) that it felt fulfilling even if not all the answers were stated. I guess it kind of reminds me of that encyclopedia full of stuff that doesn't exist that's supposed to replicate the feeling of looking through an encyclopedia as a kid for the first time.

The tension is also nicely built, and it doesn't really concern itself with three-way twists and distracting flashes, just a really nice story that follows through in its soft magic systems on what it talks about.

I also enjoyed the occasional flashes of second-person narration; that said, I'm kind of just in love with second-person narration as a device, so I'm super biased in this regard (the other 5* review I have up is for a largely second-person narrated memoir!)

SpoilerWhile I'm a little unsatisfied by the unspecificity of why Ketterley did what he did, I think to some level that's not "the point" (so to speak)—he's so obsessed with something that is functionally dead that rationality is truly, on some level, false.

Anyway, I'd also like to take a little bit to talk about the lovely meditation on death and obsessions with death, not just in regards to dead people but to dead ideas, concepts, language, etc. So much of our life is living, breathing, that when something dies it inevitably takes up space; but as Ketterley demonstrates, this obsession with death is actually something quite grotesque, demanding answers out of something that has already departed this world.

Of course, that's neither here nor there; Arne-Sayles is also pretty interesting in his own right, though I'm not really sure I like how his gayness is positioned as just part of him being transgressive, but I also think I like it? I don't know, I guess it kind of evokes questions about the transgressiveness of being queer in general, or maybe transgressiveness as a whole (maybe even hearkening back to that one Carmen Maria Machado essay about being queer and fat). He's definitely an interesting character!

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jednakniekinga's review

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mysterious 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? It's complicated

4.5


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ok7a's review

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dark mysterious medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? N/A
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

5.0


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aelunny's review against another edition

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

3.5

This was a fun trip into another world! If you ever wake up in the morning feeling like you could've just been created and had all your memories implanted, this would be an interesting story.

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nataliebeech's review

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adventurous mysterious fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? It's complicated
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

4.5

I loved this book! An incredible feat of imagination, and for me felt like an allegory for trauma and how we process it. Funny, otherworldly and sweet all at the same time. My only criticism was how Piranesi seems to piece together some things about his situation so fast and others sooo slow without it being clear why, which at times felt a bit convenient, but honestly it doesn’t really matter in a book that’s so enjoyable to read.

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korinnagarcia's review

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challenging dark mysterious medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • 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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allyhoo811's review

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dark hopeful mysterious reflective fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

4.0

I'll make my comments about Piranesi brief, because I believe it is best to go into this one knowing as little as possible. Piranesi had the potential to be a 5 star read for me; it was a combination of everything I love (getting thrown into the middle of the story, a puzzle box feel, dark academia, allusions to classic myth). Unfortunately, I had to drop it down a star because, for me, the journey for this one was better than the destination. The ending just fell a bit flat. I didn't really feel an emotional connection and was left wanting something different (not sure what exactly, but not what we got).

I still would definitely recommend giving this one a read!

P. S. You don't need to keep track of all the dates, locations, etc. to understand the story -- don't waste your time with that.

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