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Piranesi

4.25  ·  Rating details ·  181,778 ratings  ·  28,985 reviews
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 understan ...more
Kindle Edition, 246 pages
Published September 15th 2020 by Bloomsbury Publishing
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Cari
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Linda Sexauer I was beyond excited when I learned about this book, and when it finally came out I was dismayed by how slim it is. I put off reading it for a couple …moreI was beyond excited when I learned about this book, and when it finally came out I was dismayed by how slim it is. I put off reading it for a couple months. I finally gave in last weekend, and my goodness, I cannot remember when I was so utter transported and delighted by a story. In my opinion it is perfect in every way. Lyrical, imaginative, poetic, philosophical, suspenseful. Especially during this crazy year, this book was a balm to my soul. I couldn't recommend it more highly.(less)

Community Reviews

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Average rating 4.25  · 
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 ·  181,778 ratings  ·  28,985 reviews


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Yun
Jan 13, 2022 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Umm, is that it?

Ok, let me start by first apologizing to everyone who loves this book. Obviously, I'm an outlier and my thoughts here are decidedly in the minority. So if you feel differently, please don't throw rotten vegetables at me.

Going into Piranesi, I had heard nothing but great things about it. How it's riveting and unputdownable. How no one had ever seen a story like this before. How the twist is going to blow my mind. Unfortunately, none of those turned out to be true for me.

For one t
...more
Elle
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
...more
Muhtasin
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.
...more
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
...more
Nataliya
“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
...more
Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
Sep 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
A 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-cheek footno
...more
ELLIAS (elliasreads)
The Beauty of the House is immeasurable; its Kindness infinite. aka The Mind of Ellias is broken; his Soul fucking fullfilled!!!!!!!!!!!!

The way I cannot begin to express or even put into mere words on how this book made me feel....literally immeasureable and inconsolable!!!!

It honestly felt like a missing part of a dream, sequenced away to savor and find for later. This missing piece? A callback to that wonderful and comforting nostalgia- our childhood's wildest untamed dreams and imagin
...more
Petrik
Nov 26, 2021 rated it really liked it
A genre-blending, memorable, and melancholic standalone novel.

This will be a short review. Writing the review for Piranesi by Susanna Clarke is not an easy task. It has taken me five days to write this review, and you might notice that it’s a relatively short review. There are two reasons for this. First, this is a short novel; I’m sure you can finish reading this book within 3-4 hours. Second, it’s due to spoiler reasons; before I started reading Piranesi, I received plenty of advice saying tha
...more
Marchpane
WINNER of the Women’s Prize for Fiction 2021

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 my
...more
Lucy Dacus
Feb 28, 2022 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Delightful. An antidote to the trend of self-serious writing that there's so much of recently. It's a fun and easy read that's compelling, but gets to a depth many less entertaining books wish they could arrive at. Anything involving impossible architecture has me hooked. This was a gift from a friend, and I think I'd recommend it too. ...more
jessica
Jan 13, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
this story reminded me of ‘house of leaves,’ in the most oddly beautiful way.

the beginning is tediously meticulous, just as the MC is, and i wasnt sure i was enjoying it. but over time, the strange, mythical, and quite sad nature of the story really starts to come through. i was actually quite stunned by how attached to piranesi i got and how melancholic the ending made me.

im not sure what else i can say except this was a pleasant surprise.

4 stars
...more
s.penkevich
Winner of the 2021 Women's Prize for Fiction.

I was in a house with many rooms. The sea sweeps through the house. Sometimes it swept over me, but always I was saved.

An infinite labyrinth with an ocean inside, academic murder mysteries, many-worlds theories--Piranesi by Susanna Clarke has it all. This tightly written novel is endlessly engaging and so cinematic it feels more like something I have watched than read, which is blissful as I cannot stop thinking of the endless halls of The House wit
...more
Michael || TheNeverendingTBR
I rarely write bad reviews but this was one of the most boring and repetitive books I've ever read.

Halls..
Vestibules..
Statues..
Albatross..
Halls...
Vestibules...
Statues...
Albatross..

And blah blah blah...

So goddamn boring, tedious and over hyped.

This is the kind of book that puts me in a slump!

I understand I'm in the minority here, most people have given this five stars - God knows why.
...more
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
...more
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
Holy shite! That’s was bloody brilliant!



Mel 🖤🐶🐺🐾
...more
Swrp
Feb 17, 2021 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
"The beauty of the house is immeasurable, it's kindness infinite."

[piraˈneːsi] or is it [pee-ra-nay-see! ?]

Piranesi is all about the other world…
"the other world, where architecture and oceans were muddled together..."


(Mermaid by the sea - Source the-joie-in-my-vivre.tumblr.com)

The house of Piranesi is not like any of the other houses, and also it is not a regular kind of building - the rooms are unlimited and the corridors never end.

Susanna Clarke`s Piranesi is mysterious, weird and fascinatin
...more
Spencer Orey
Oct 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Re-read for my book club. Still loved it. I was curious if already knowing everything would ruin the experience, but I think it’s less of a twisty book than I thought before. More of a meditative experience of this very earnest guy in a very strange situation. It’s interesting too how quickly I started to think in terms of allegory. Anyway, still excellent. Quite the POV study.

This time around, I’d meant to read it instead of listen. But the audiobook is such a delight.


Pretty much anything I cou
...more
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
...more
Henk
Jan 07, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
Winner of the Women’s Prize for Fiction 2021!
Mesmerizing, with an impossible house stretching everywhere and only two persons present. However in the end rather a rather conventional tale
He always thinks in terms of utility. He cannot imagine why anything should exist if he cannot make use of it.

At the start of the book we see a quote from The Magician's Nephew from C.S. Lewis and some concepts from that book come neatly back in Piranesi. The titular character and narrator (despite that he has a
...more
Danielle
Jan 26, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
2021 F.A.B. Bookclub pick # I.❤️. F.A.B.

When I picked up this book, my immediate thought was, I’m going to hate this. 😬 I’m not the type to enjoy overly fiction-esc worlds, with very little explanation, that requires a lot of imagination to picture on your own. 🤓 The first 1/3 of this book was rough for me. I almost threw in the towel. I’m actually glad I stuck with it. This book is a trip. I’m still not 100% sure what was really going on. But, I think that’s the point. 🤔 I found myself thinkin
...more
Hamad
Jun 15, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This Review ✍️ Blog 📖 Twitter 🐦 Instagram 📷

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
...more
emma
I would like to be in charge.

Yes, I hate to make decisions, and yes, I like things that no one else likes and dislike things everyone adores, but at this point I think I should take one for team (but mostly me) and start dictating.

Because this book did not go where I wanted it to go, and I'm so intensely upset about it that I've decided that will be my villain origin story.

I thought this was going to be very magical and lovely. In fact I thought this was going to be magical realism with a one of
...more
Farrah
Oct 31, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's easy to get lost in this fantasy World of hallways, vestibules, staircases and statues but luckily Piranesi is there to lead the way.

Personally I really enjoyed this book.
But it is very subjective. So much of the symbolism and imagery is ambiguous and different readers will interpret it in different ways - or not at all.

𝘈𝘭𝘭 𝘢𝘳𝘰𝘶𝘯𝘥 𝘮𝘦 𝘥𝘰𝘰𝘳𝘴 𝘪𝘯𝘵𝘰 𝘰𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘳 𝘸𝘰𝘳𝘭𝘥𝘴 𝘣𝘦𝘨𝘢𝘯 𝘢𝘱𝘱𝘦𝘢𝘳𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘣𝘶𝘵 𝘐 𝘬𝘯𝘦𝘸 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘰𝘯𝘦 𝘐 𝘸𝘢𝘯𝘵𝘦𝘥, 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘰𝘯𝘦 𝘪𝘯𝘵𝘰 𝘸𝘩𝘪𝘤𝘩 𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘳𝘺𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘧𝘰𝘳𝘨𝘰𝘵𝘵𝘦𝘯 𝘧𝘭𝘰𝘸𝘴. 𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘦𝘥𝘨𝘦𝘴 𝘰𝘧 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘥𝘰𝘰𝘳 𝘸𝘦𝘳𝘦 𝘧𝘳𝘢𝘺𝘦𝘥 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘸
...more
Sean Barrs
Oct 18, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 4-star-reads, fantasy
Piranesi is a very clever piece of writing, and it is also a very difficult book to review.

Why?

Because I can’t really talk about the content of the book. Anything I say (and I mean literally anything) would spoil the story. I can’t talk about the characters, the plot or even some of the central themes. If you’ve already read the book, then you will understand perfectly why. If you haven’t read the book, then I urge you to stop reading this review (and those of others.) The best way to approach
...more
☘Misericordia☘ ⚡ϟ⚡⛈⚡☁ ❇️❤❣
The Paradox Book of Paradoxes.

Q:
The Beauty of the House is immeasurable; its Kindness infinite. (c)
Q:
‘Do the Statues exist because they embody the Ideas and Knowledge that flowed out of the other World into this one?’ (c)
Q:
… 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
...more
emily
Jan 15, 2022 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this book back in January of this year, and it still won't let me fucking rest. Which makes me think: Have I really, truly, finished this book? How do you know when you're 'finished' with a story? Because my mind keeps circling back to Piranesi; this stupid novel keeps beckoning me with a force that exceeds words; and I keep crumbling, falling, crawling back to it over and over. And then, suddenly, I'm engulfed again. And then I remember. Everything.

description ©


I think..... and forgive me for
...more
Richard Derus
Dec 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The 2021 Dragon Awards finalists are out! An annual fan-awarded contest, voting is open to all who register, and does NOT require a membership or any other monetary investment.
PIRANESI is up for Best Fantasy novel & deserves the win.
Details of how you can vote & when they're awarded: https://www.tor.com/2021/08/12/dragon...

FINALIST, WORLD FANTASY AWARD: BEST NOVEL, 2021! Winners to be announced 7 November 2021.

SHORTLISTED FOR THE 2021 WOMEN'S PRIZE FOR FICTION!

Truly stupendously satisfying.

M
...more
Charlotte May
“The beauty of the House is immeasurable; its Kindness infinite.”

Ok, this was a very surreal read and had quite an impact for such a short novel.

Piranesi lives in the House. A labyrinth of halls filled with statues and tides that sweep through at regular intervals.

He doesn’t remember anything other than the House and he meets regularly with his friend The Other where they work together to learn The Great and Secret Knowledge.

Piranesi keeps diaries of his observations, but when he notices pa
...more
David
Piranesi is a compelling read and worthy winner of the Women’s Prize. Clarke creates a vivid world and tells an endlessly interesting story with fascinating characters and mounting tension. Piranesi is best savored for its world building and psychology rather than approached as a mystery to be solved. This was a perfect book to carry me through a rainy weekend.
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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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