“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.”
This is the setting of Piranesi, a beautiful and enormously creative new novel by Susanna Clarke that is equal parts mystery novel, survival story and journey of self discovery. The reader follows Piranesi “The Beloved Child of the House” as he gathers food and supplies from the House’s seas while occasionally receiving gifts from his only friend, the enigmatic Other. As Piranesi journeys through his home, aids the Other in the search for some lost and secret knowledge, and delves into the mysteries of his own past. All the while readers are given glimpses of the strange and wonderful world that Piranesi inhabits, and the many shadowy corners of Piranesi’s own mind.
Piranesi is one of the best books I have read in years, and one that stuck with me long after I had finished it. I’d recommend Piranesi to readers who enjoyed Circe, House of Leaves, or The Ocean at the End of the Lane.