Cover Image: Piranesi

Piranesi

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

One of my new favorite magical reads that I recommend all the time. Susanna Clarke has been a favorite of mine since Strange & Norrell, and I'm so pleased to have grown up with her work.
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I did not enjoy this book, I thought it was super weird and thought about stopping multiple times. I kept giving it a shot to see if it got better, but even the ending was weird for me. Maybe I wasn’t in the right headspace? Who knows.. but it wasn’t my vibe.
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This was a very cerebral read. I was sucked into the imagery but as the explanation of the setting became more scientific and less fantastical the story lost me. I did not finish this book.
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This wasn't for me, it is very plot driven, perhaps even world-building driven. The narrator felt a little blank to me, which I do understand has reasons, but it wasn't for me.
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A challenging, puzzling tale of two characters in a giant building, unlike anything I've read. You could call it Borgesian, I suppose, but it simply didn't grab me the way Borges's stories do. It starts slowly and while other reviews assure me that patience is rewarded, I gave up after 100 pages.
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I know this book has been archived ages ago but I _finally_ read it and just, wow. I was saving it because I know how rare Susanna Clarke's books are-- I waited so long after Ladies of Grace-- and I guess I was saving Piranesi for when I _really_ needed it. 
It's probably weird to attribute sounds to a book (and honestly a little Piranesi like), but this book chimes like a crystal bell. Not all books are like that-- some are silent and some are muddled and murky, but this one is beautiful and crisp and clear.  It's basically impossible to review this book but I am so grateful to Susanna Clarke for writing it. It was a masterpiece.
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At first, I was confused and wasn’t sure how I would like the book. Piranesi lives in a labyrinth of halls with statues and ocean water. The Other is the only other person living there. 16 is another person looking for him. 16 is possibly dangerous. Piranesi learns clues to his own past and current situation. I don’t want to share anymore now and spoil the story for you. I really enjoyed the book as the story unfolds.
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This book right here is the reason why you shouldn’t DNF a read.  Starting off weird and frustrating, and having no idea what the heck “Piranesi” is doing or why he’s doing it, it’s easy to want to put this book down.  But damn if I am one of those people who can never DNF….  I just can’t.  Because of it I have read so me of the most amazing books ever.  This one included.

Finally at one point in this book, you meet the “Prophet” and everything changes.  A story comes to life, and a plot emerges.  In retrospect (because the only way you can adequately review this one is after you’ve finished completely) this book was BRILLIANT.  It has a sci-fi theme to it but the book becomes so engrossing that it doesn’t appear “sciency” and technical at all.    

This labyrinth of a book has a unique subject matter, alternative reality.  Susanne Clarke has woven one fantastic tale that makes you wonder what is real and what is assumed, and how much our minds create on their own.  The resolution of this book is very open-ended, which some readers may enjoy, allowing them to create their own summation of how things may culminate with the characters. 

I’ve gotta give this one 4 stars.  The only reason I didn’t give it 5 is because the of the beginning, it’s enough to put an insomniac to sleep, and as important as this beginning is to the book, I feel that it may have turned way too many readers away from continuing the journey of this crazy ride.  If you can make it past the beginning, and not DNF, I guarantee you will love this ingenious piece of work.
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Prepare to enter a world where you are not sure what is real and imaginary. Unique novel that was impossible to put down, I am still not certain how to describe it, but is was completely enthralling.
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I have conflicting opinions about this book. It was a slow start, mainly because it was difficult to feel a connection with the setting and the characters. I almost put it down, but the middle of the book was more interesting as I tried to figure out how it would end. The ending just felt rushed. Overall this book was worth reading, but not a favorite.
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I don't know if it was the total weirdness that just threw me off, but I didn't understand this book, at all. I've read some weird books and I was digging the setting but I felt like it went nowhere, which I wasn't expecting. I thought the main character was fascinating and unreliable. I wanted more than what it was.
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4 1/2. Ultimately ends of kind of slight as fantasy — in a way that suggests no negative connotations — and rather emotionally profound. Starts in an absolutely destabilized place, moves toward a familiar fantasy conceit (I won't spoil, but suffice to say that it's rooted in a crux familiar to both classic and modern fantasy worlds, with a twist), and ends up as something altogether different than either would suggest. Sneaky smart, sneaky tragic. Also a very fun bit of puzzling along the way, albeit not in a put-the-pieces-together sort of way but as an exercise in orientation. Good book. Read this book.
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This is just plain stunning. It is magic and takes the reader on an unforgettable journey. I have already purchased this for the library.
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Just trying to clear my Netgalley shelf of older content that I read but forgot to or didn't rate/review. Found this fell a bit flat for me, personally.
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A brilliant piece of writing! Novels (or novellas as the case may be) with heavy world building also need character development and enough of a plot to propel readers forward, and Susanna Clarke not only blows all of those elements out of the water, she also provides fodder for readers to discuss. This is a book I can recommend to people who think they don't like sci-fi/fantasy. Brilliant!
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I...don't get it. At all. Why is everyone raving about this?

I mean, did I hate this? Not really. Did I like it? Also not really. It was...fine, I guess? Something that may have worked better as a short story or a novella; as it was, it was full of completely pointless detail and description that just bogged it down. I kept reading to find out what was going on, but from the very first pages I was skimming through all the extraneous descriptions of the House, which in the end served absolutely no purpose. It's the Alice in Wonderland trope -- in other words, lots of pointless nonsense -- which I despise. Also, the random capitalization drove me batty.

I'm not sure what I'm meant to get from this, in the end, or what it's supposed to be. I've done some googling and read some interesting interpretations on Reddit, but ultimately this was just very bland and basic and I don't find any of the thematic points hinted at particularly innovative or even interesting. This was like a really badly written penny dreadful, one that tells what could be an exciting and sordid tale about cults and occultism from the most boring perspective possible.

Honestly, the fact that this has been nominated for a Hugo, Nebula, and the Women's Prize is utterly baffling to me. This was one of the most pointless and forgettable books I've ever read.
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Not quite as compelling as Madeline Miller's "Circe", but "Piranesi" by Susanna Clarke is a book and a world of its own. I loved the labyrinth like world that Piranesi wakes up alone each day to discover new rooms and interesting finds. But Piranesi is not as alone as he sometimes thinks. There is the "Other", but he meets with them pretty regularly. Who is this other alive person that seems to come and go haunting the world's many hallways? The "Other" says they are a dangerous enemy...but something doesn't seem right about this assessment. Not everything is as it seems in this mystical world between myth and reality, but the exciting plot twists are make it worthwhile!
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A much-anticipated title from one of my favorite authors. Clake's stories always feel simultaneously new and ancient, as if she's pulled unknown stories from the insides of stones. I constantly recommend her first novel to library patrons, but they are often intimidated by its length. This book is the perfect length for getting readers interested in her work.
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I had a tough time with this book. It was a little bit of a struggle for me to get into. Clarke’s last book was fantastic so maybe me expectations were just too high. I will give it a reread another time. Will purchase the title.
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Piranesi: what a wondrous, truly special novel. It had mystery, drama, astonishing world building, a truly creative premise, and one of the most appealing, honest, pure protagonists I've ever seen. What is it like inside your head, Susanna Clarke?
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