Piranesi by Susanna Clarke is a novel taking place in a strange place, by a narrator whose whole world consists of a vast house he’s in. This is Ms. Clarke’s, an English author, second novel.
- 6 hours 58 minutes
- Publisher : Bloomsbury Publishing Plc
- Language : English
- ASIN : B084NVNFBH
Like many other readers, I have been waiting for Susana Clarke’s next novel since immensely enjoying Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell. I didn’t jump on the bandwagon immediately, but when I got the time to read/listen to her new book, I took it.
Piranesi by Susanna Clarke is an apt novel, in particular for 2020. The main theme of being alone in your own world, in a “House”, a study in solitude, is, of course, something the vast majority of us could certainly understand.
Unlike her previous book, Piranesi is very economical in words and themes. To be honest, I quite enjoyed Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell’s expansive verbiage and stories woven within stories. That, for me, was the magic of the book and I hoped for more.
From a study of loneliness, however, the novel takes a sharp turn to confront moralistic dilemmas and uncertainties. The novel at this point also stops being the stuff of hazy dreams one cannot awake from, to a more fantasy novel, of an excellent variety. Chiwetel Ejiofor, the narrator, does a wonderful job to bring forth the full affects of the writing.
I have huge respect for Ms. Clarke who reinvented herself with this novel, which is nothing like its predecessor. While it took me quite a while to get into it, let alone figure out what’s going on, at the end I enjoyed it very much.
The story is told chiefly through Piranesi’s journal entries. His whole world consists of corridors, vestibules, the ocean, a house in ruins, as well as birds and ocean life. There are no humans with Piranesi, except The Other, who comes to question him, in particular about his findings.
Piranesi cannot remember life before the House. He unquestionably believes that he has been its occupant “since the world began”, taking care of the bones of the dead, and attempting to find something he knows not what.
Zohar — Man of la Book
Disclaimer: I bought this book through an Audible.com membership.
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