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4.41  ·  Rating details ·  8,379 ratings  ·  2,012 reviews
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
Kindle Edition, 272 pages
Published September 15th 2020 by Bloomsbury Publishing
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Average rating 4.41  · 
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 ·  8,379 ratings  ·  2,012 reviews

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Maggie Stiefvater
Oct 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adult, recommended
Well, I guess it is time to say that Susanna Clarke's slender little PIRANESI is my favorite novel of possibly the last five years.

I could write spoilery essays upon essays about its use of metaphor for ambition, identity, religion.

I'm so delighted.

If my novella "Opal" drove you batty, it might also drive you batty for similar reasons, but personally, it gave me everything I wanted.

I don't want to say too much more because the beauty of this puzzle box is in the opening, but highly recommended
Muhtasin Oyshik
Piranesi by Susanna Clarke
Strange, unique, and enjoyable. To be honest, starting didn't go well for me as I couldn't connect myself to the story or the world. But later it turned into a captivating story. Impressive worldbuilding, engaging characters, and excellent storytelling. It's a definitely unique and enjoyable read.
It does not matter that you do not understand the reason. You are the Beloved Child of the House. Be comforted.

Strange beautiful story.
chai ♡
If you're reading this, you are contractually obligated to read the synopsis because Susanna Clarke's first book since Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell sounds like the perfect gothic, supernatural treat. I'm in! ...more
Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
Sep 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
A brand new, second fantasy novel from the author of Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell - finally!! It's excellent, and VERY different from Jonathan Strange (for one thing, it's less than 250 pages). Review first posted on Fantasy Literature (along with my co-reviewer Bill's excellent review, which I reference a couple of times below):

I have to say I was a smidgen disappointed to get to the end of Piranesi and not have seen a single footnote (I’m quite fond of all of the quasi-scholarly, tongue-in-c
Nilufer Ozmekik
Sep 15, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Is it possible not to suffer from claustrophobia when you’re reading a story make you feel trapped in a palace consists of endless labyrinth of halls and vestibules? Nope, you cannot.

This book is a complex, challenging puzzle you need to solve and it takes so much mental, intellectual energy to get involved into story. The author’s storytelling technique is unique and after waiting for eternity to read her second work, she can honestly surprise us with different genre choices and dazzling writi
“The Beauty of the House is immeasurable; its Kindness infinite.”

First of all, for those who - like me - read the blurb for this book, noted the mention of “the house with the ocean imprisoned in it” and automatically assumed that “Piranesi” has something to do with piranhas (because ocean = fish, right?) — yeah, that’s certainly not what the story is about. Regrettably, there’s not a single piranha in sight.
This is like a dream, slow, strange and intensely atmospheric, unbelievably i
A mindbending, metaphysical, Borgeian capriccio

Piranesi is one intriguing, beautiful puzzle. Opening with an epigraph from The Magician's Nephew the story begins in a huge room lined with marble statues that instantly reminded me of Charn’s Hall of Images. From there, the Narnian easter eggs pile up—fauns, a sinister fellow named Ketterley—but Piranesi is something all its own.

With half-drowned, neverending halls filled with classical statuary, the mysterious setting evokes everything from Olym
Jessica Woodbury
If at all possible, this is the kind of book you should go into knowing as little as possible about it. It can be confusing and even disorienting at first, but it's a book that is very smart about how it is going to teach you what it is, so I recommend letting the book do that rather than any reviews or jacket copy.

So here's my totally non-info-about-the-book review to hopefully give you an idea of whether it will be a good one for you.

First: do not approach this book expecting it to be anythin
Francis Spufford
I'm lucky enough to have read this. It is wonderful, and strange, and not at all like Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell except in being brilliant. I can't really say any more than that. The title is a major visual clue, though...
Sep 17, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
'The Beauty of the House is immeasurable; its Kindness infinite.'


'Piranesi' is the second Susanna Clarke novel I've read, and it's completely different from Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell. Not only is her second novel a lot shorter than her massive debut, Susanna Clarke is also brave enough to write an altogether different book with a new setting, new characters, and an intriguing, mysterious plot. And while it's still beautiful, her writing is completely different, too.

First things first: th
Spencer Orey
Oct 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Pretty much anything I could write about this book would be a spoiler, so I will keep this short and say, if you like strange and magical stories, this one is wonderful. I loved it.

I will also join my voice to the chorus of fans who recommend that you read as little as you can about the book before starting it so that you can fully enjoy the unfolding strangeness.

For writers, this book is a masterclass in point of view. There are incredible disconnects between the information of the world and t
(4.5) When I started Piranesi, I have to admit I wasn't sure about it. The opening chapter is titled 'When the Moon rose in the Third Northern Hall I went to the Ninth Vestibule'. It's written in a particular style, usually found in fantasy or harder SF, which involves a lot of random proper nouns, and I always struggle with that, not least because it immediately gives rise to questions about the logic of how things are named/referred to. (Why is Dog capitalised but bird not; why is it title cas ...more
☘Misericordia☘ ~ The Serendipity Aegis ~  ⚡ϟ⚡ϟ⚡⛈ ✺❂❤❣
The Paradox Book of Paradoxes.

The Beauty of the House is immeasurable; its Kindness infinite. (c)
‘Do the Statues exist because they embody the Ideas and Knowledge that flowed out of the other World into this one?’ (c)
… may your Paths be safe … your Floors unbroken and may the House fill your eyes with Beauty.’ (c)

The opening is the weakest I've ever seen anywhere. At the beginning I was flabbergasted at how bad the setting is. Just imagine: in the middle of nowhere sits an endless hotel h
Ron Charles
In 2004, Susanna Clarke’s debut, “Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell,” burst from a cloud of pixie dust. An 800-page work of historical fantasy about two magicians in 19th-century England, the novel was quickly dubbed “Harry Potter for adults” and could have vanished in the dark woods of Hogwarts knockoffs. But Clarke’s literary ancestor is not really J.K. Rowling, it’s Charles Dickens, and even readers who resisted fantasy fell under her spell. My copy of “Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell” still shimme ...more
Sep 19, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020
I almost DNFed this one, and maybe I should have, but in the end I wanted to be able to fully review this book and I don’t think it’s fair to do that only having read half of it.

This is a book that falls into a category I’ve come to describe as for A Certain Kind of Reader®. Maybe that’s a phrase you’ve heard before, but for me it namely means that most readers will not like it, but a segment of them will LOVE it. If you’re a Bestsellers reader, you probably won’t like this. If you’re a Book Clu
The Beauty of the House is immeasurable; its Kindness infinite.

While reading this book I was pleasantly reminded of philosopher David Lewis's possible worlds theory, the idea that all possible versions of this world exist simultaneously, infinitely. The theory posits that each of these worlds is as concrete and real as ours, and ours is unique simply because we live in it.

Piranesi, the eponymous character, lives in one such world. A world that to readers familiar with Giovanni Battista Piranesi'
Jun 15, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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DNF @25%

I am not an expert when it comes to the author’s work. I haven’t read Susanna’s well acclaimed Jonathan Strange & Mr.Norell novel. I was excited when I saw this book because it has such a good synopsis, it sounded whimsical and the cover gave me Greek God vibes which are my favorite. Unfortunately I DNFed it. I have checked the current ratings and I am only the third person who gave it a 1 star so this is an unpopular opinion for sure. I know ma
Nomadic Reader (Baba Yaga)
Piranesi is fantasy in its purest form. It’s a dreamlike tale stemming from the mind of a visionary author, an author so familiar with genre tropes that she manipulates and subverts them with incredible ease.

If you, like me, have wondered why everyone seems to be at a loss for words when it comes to describing the plot of this book, be aware that you’ll probably have the same reaction after reading it: there is simply no easy way to pitch it, no quick blurb to draw readers in.
It starts off as a
Peter Boyle
Sep 27, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was easily my most anticipated book of the year - Susanna Clarke's debut novel is an all-time favourite of mine. And within a few pages of this follow-up, I remembered what a delight it is to be in the hands of such a uniquely gifted storyteller.

Piranesi lives in a vast house, one that is unlike any other. It is made up of infinite, labyrinthine halls and populated with enormous statues. The lower halls are subject to tides and our hero has learned to be wary of them. He knows that Piranesi
Sep 30, 2019 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: wishlist
I've been waiting this book for so long that now that it has been announced I can hardly believe it. I'm so excited!! I can't thank Susanna Clarke enough for sharing her book with us!!!

My whole mood when the book comes out:

Jan 07, 2020 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Such a long time and such an interesting topic!
Matthew Quann
Totally a different beast from Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, Piranesi was slow to start but quickly became a compelling novel unlike anything I've read this year. You've likely read a synopsis detailing the eponymous lead roaming through a labyrinth of flooded halls be-speckled with strange statues, but there ends up being much more on the go. To say more would spoil what I thought was a pretty unpredictable novel.

Bits and pieces of the mystery at the novel's centre are revealed throughout
Jun 12, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“The Beauty of the House is immeasurable; its Kindness infinite.”

Piranesi is the book that got me back into reading, that reminded me of the beauty of literature and how it is immeasurable, and its kindness and possibilities are infinite. Susanna Clarke’s Piranesi is a short - I read it feverishly in a few hours - but multilayered little novel that wound up being far more emotionally touching than I anticipated.

I read Piranesi and found myself immediately discombobulated, lost and
Tiffany Miss.Fiction
Humanity is not ready.
Sep 08, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, odt
I might be one of the few readers to pick up Piranesi without the benefit of reading Susanna Clarke's epic fantasy debut, Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell , I did try but I never did finish.
By comparison, this book takes much less investment in time, at a breezy 200 plus pages.

Piranesi is a rather elusive experience, one best embarked upon in ignorance. I liken it to a puzzling computer game like Myst, where initially you only have a dim idea of your purpose. There might be a few tentative leads
Lauren James
Wonderful. Lost memories and closed environments and unreliable narrators and untrustworthy companions.
Utterly unputdownable is the only way to describe this book. Susanna Clarke left me totally breathless with this gorgeous tale of modern day magic that echoes with the deeper, darker, older world of "Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norell." Piranesi, named I'm guessing for the Italian architect of fantastical prisons, lives in the House. The House provides food, shelter, and comfort in the form of endless rooms of beautiful and bizarre statues. Piranesi loves the house with a zealotry that borders on f ...more

From the start of this book to the finish, we are transported into a truly enormous house full of sunken rooms, many statues, fish, and birds -- a realm of nature, and an impossibly huge house.

Our narrator, far from being a prime candidate for truly reliable storytelling, is nonetheless a very objective and careful natural philosopher. The descriptions of this world are beyond beautiful.

Only one other, if you don't count 13 corpses, is his company during most of the novel. The Other is
Anna Luce
“The Beauty of the House is immeasurable; its Kindness infinite.”

Once I started reading Piranesi I understood why so many reviewers disclosed very little about its story. The driving force in this novel is the not knowing what the hell is going on. The summary for Piranesi hints at the narrative's peculiarity: our narrator, Piranesi, lives in a house, which happens to be his entire world, with many many rooms and many many corridors, his only companions are the statues adorning this house and
This being what the Other calls me.
(But I do not think that it is my name.)

What an absolutely gorgeous experience of a book this was. There's absolutely no way I can do it justice in a review, but honestly it's better for the reader to go in as unprepared as possible. Importantly, before you go, there is just a little advice I'd give.

Trust Susanna Clarke - she knows what she's doing, and it's best not to try and rush or predict your way through this. This mystery isn't about the resoluti
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Susanna Clarke was born in Nottingham in 1959. A nomadic childhood was spent in towns in Northern England and Scotland. She was educated at St Hilda's College, Oxford, and has worked in various areas of non-fiction publishing, including Gordon Fraser and Quarto. In 1990, she left London and went to Turin to teach English to stressed-out executives of the Fiat motor company. The following year she ...more

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