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Piranesi Kindle Edition
|Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled||Page Flip: Enabled|
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"[Piranesi] flooded me, as the tides flood the halls, with a scouring grief, leaving gleaming gifts in its wake… rich, wondrous, full of aching joy and sweet sorrow. "- The New York Times Book Review
“A novel that feels like a surreal meditation on life in quarantine.” ―The New Yorker
“Piranesi astonished me. It is a miraculous and luminous feat of storytelling, at once a gripping mystery, an adventure through a brilliant new fantasy world, and a deep meditation on the human condition: feeling lost, and being found. I already want to be back in its haunting and beautiful halls!” ―Madeline Miller, New York Times Bestselling Author of CIRCE
“Unforgettable - surely one of the most original works of fiction this season. It drops you into a mind-bending fantasy world, a vast labyrinth with infinite rooms and seas that sweep into halls and up staircases with the tides. … It's a hypnotic tale that you can devour in a day (and probably will; it's that hard to put down).” ―AARP
“Piranesi is a high-quality page-turner-even the most leisurely reader will probably finish it off in a day-but its chief pleasure is immersion in its strange and uncannily attractive setting. . . Establishing that sense of totality-and the feeling of peacefulness that accompanies it-is Ms. Clarke's standout feat.” ―Sam Sacks, Wall Street Journal
“Could Piranesi match [the hype]? I'm delighted to say it has, with Clarke's singular wit and imagination still intact in a far more compressed yet still captivating tale you'll want to delve into again right after you read its sublime last sentence.” ―The Boston Globe
“Piranesi is a gorgeous, spellbinding mystery that gently unravels page by page. Precisely the sort of book that I love wordlessly handing to someone so they can have the pleasure of uncovering its secrets for themselves. This book is a treasure, washed up upon a forgotten shore, waiting to be discovered.” ―Erin Morgenstern, NYT bestselling author of THE STARLESS SEA and THE NIGHT CIRCUS
“A short and beautiful novel that reads like a poem, not in its use of language (which is very accessible) but rather in its cumulative effect of expressing an emotion and state of being that is inexpressible. It's a strange and lovely read.” ―Buzzfeed
“What a world Susanna Clarke conjures into being, what a tick-tock-tick-tock of reveals, what a pure protagonist, what a morally-squalid supporting cast, what beauty, tension and restraint, and what a pitch-perfect ending. Piranesi is an exquisite puzzle-box far, far bigger on the inside than it is on the outside.” ―David Mitchell, New York Times bestselling author of CLOUD ATLAS
“Destined to become a work of classic fantasy.” ―Ron Charles, CBS Sunday Morning Book Report
“Piranesi Will Wreck You: The novel establishes Susanna Clarke as one of our greatest living writers.” ―New York Magazine
“Infinitely clever… none of [Clarke's] enchantment has worn off - it's evolved. . . to abide in these pages is to find oneself happily detained in awe.” ―The Washington Post
"Enthralling [and] transcendent… the sweetness, the innocence of Piranesi's love for this world is devastating to read. Clarke's writing is clear, sharp ― she can cleave your heart in a few short words. . . The mystery of Piranesi unwinds at a tantalizing yet lightening-like pace ― it's hard not to rush ahead, even when each sentence, each revelation makes you want to linger." - NPR.org
"The long-awaited followup to Jonathan Strange is even more magically immersive. . . Here is a protagonist with no guile, no greed, no envy, no cruelty, and yet still intriguing." - The Los Angeles Times
“Susanna Clarke's first novel in sixteen years is a wonder.” ―Slate
"Susanna Clarke’s astonishing Piranesi proves she’s one of the greatest novelists writing today." - Vox
"Piranesi hit my mind and soul like a thunderbolt. It is a work of deep power." - EW.com
“Susanna Clarke has fashioned her own myth anew and enlarged the world again.” ―The New Republic
“Almost impossible to put down… lavishly descriptive, charming, heartbreaking and imbued with a magic that will be familiar to Clarke's devoted readers, Piranesi will satisfy lovers of Jonathan Strange and win her many new fans.” ―Bookpage, starred review
“Readers who accompany [Piranesi] as he learns to understand himself will see magic returning to our world. Weird and haunting and excellent.” ―Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review
“Clarke wraps a twisty mystery inside a metaphysical fantasy in her extraordinary new novel . . . Sure to be recognized as one of the year's most inventive.” ―Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
“As questions multiply and suspense mounts in this spellbinding, occult puzzle of a fable, one begins to wonder if perhaps the reverence, kindness, and gratitude practiced by Clarke's enchanting and resilient hero aren't all the wisdom one truly needs.” ―Booklist, Starred Review
“Clarke creates an immersive world that readers can almost believe exists. This is a solid crossover pick for readers whose appreciation of magical fantasy leans toward V.E. Schwab or Erin Morgenstern.” ―Library Journal, Starred Review
“Clarke's imagination is prodigious, her pacing is masterly and she knows how to employ dry humor in the service of majesty.” ―Gregory Maguire, The New York Times
“Nobody writes about magic the way Clarke does . . . She writes about magic as if she's actually worked it.” ―Lev Grossman, TIME Magazine
About the Author
- Publication Date : September 15, 2020
- File Size : 748 KB
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print Length : 272 pages
- Publisher : Bloomsbury Publishing; 1st Edition (September 15, 2020)
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Language: : English
- ASIN : B0865TSTWM
- Enhanced Typesetting : Enabled
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,312 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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But then another character enters—the quasi-mythological “Other”. He seems quite able to communicate in a modern and realistic way. And, as the text unfolds, you realize that you are simultaneously reading a mystery about a twenty-first century disappearance and a meditation on the consciousness of ancient and modern humanity.
I won’t spoil the mystery, but Clarke’s choice to set into prose an understanding of the differences between antiquity and the modern world is ingenious. The statues, the ancestor worship, the diminution of personality and the exaltation of the symbolic—all of these and more are rendered from an effort at the ancient worldview.
As for the mystery, the reader is given enough clues before the final unveiling to keep it interesting. Even Piranesi as the narrator’s name is a hint: he was an Italian artist of the eighteenth century who created a series of depictions of imaginary labyrinths; exactly the type of world the narrator explores.
If you like mythology, mysteries and puzzles you are certain to like Piranesi. Those with a philosophical interest in how consciousness has varied throughout history will also want to read this book. Intellectual without losing the enjoyability of a good detective story! Highly recommended.
Having said this, Piranesi is a delightful book which stands on its own. I really enjoyed the atmosphere and the way the plot unfolded together with some of the ideas explored along the way.
I can't help thinking of the world behind the mirrors that Jonathan Strange explored. Although the architecture appears to be a little different here there is definitely that same sense about it.
I remain one of Susanna Clarke's loyal fans and somewhat selfishly hope that she is able to regain full strength & health and write down some of the other amazing stories that are latent inside her imagination!
A young man, Piranesi, (though that is not the name on his birth certificate, but a name given to him by the Other) lives in the House, a vast labyrinth of halls and corridors and staircases, filled with exquisite marble statues. Piranesi leads a simple life; he fishes, dries seaweed for soup and fuel, maps and memorizes the tides that at times course through the House, walks the halls in reverence, and keeps a journal, according to his own calendar, of what he observes and feels and comes to know. Twice a week, for one hour only, he has an appointment with the man known as the Other. The Other is always dressed smartly in suits and a tie. Piranesi is dressed in the rags that remain of the clothes he must have worn when he arrived at the House. Piranesi dresses his hair with seashells and seaweed. Piranesi does not know where the Other comes from or goes to outside these two weekly appointments, but believes, at least in the beginning, the Other to also live in the House.
Piranesi respects the Other but is also wary of him. For the Other warns that Piranesi will go mad or be in other dangers if he does not do what the Other wants. Piranesi researches, his memories and his journals and his thoughts, and reflects that maybe it is the Other who is mad, and not he.
And so ... this simple life carries on ... until there are messages left for Piranesi from an intruder, and signs of an intruder's presence. The Other warns the young man that the new presence is a mortal danger to him.
Susanna Clarke's storytelling language is stately, grand, as befitting the realm in which the story takes place. She uses a language full of descriptions of statues minutely observed, loved and adored. Piranesi speaks the same language, reverence at being in the presence of the magnificence of the House. The story unfolds. There is action. Twists and turns. Then dangers. But, who is the dangerous one for Piranesi; the Other, or, the intruder?
Returning to strangeness for a moment. By the end of the first few pages I was both bored and irritated. Thirty or forty pages further on I was captivated. This is NOT a "pulse-pounding page turner"! In fact, it is difficult even to ascribe a genre to it. Then, I reached a point I turned the pages as fast as I could (kindle "pages"). Hah! It is so refreshing to read something so different and that is so exquisitely plotted out and well written. And at the very last, after the final paragraph (which is resonant and glorious), I felt loss; for there is no more of this wonderful story to read.
Top reviews from other countries
I begin this review, if it can be called such, on the 4th of October 2020. The 300th birthday of Giovanni Giambattista Piranesi, (born 4/10/1720, died 9/11/1778): artist, architect, etcher, engraver, graphic philosopher. Is it necessary to know even as little as I do about this mysterious recorder of enduring imperial decay, and imaginer of gorgeously squalid near infinite prison-palaces, in order to begin to understand this magnificent novel?
I don't think so, Susanna Clarke does as well conjuring her own "Piranesian" world out of thin air. The title, obviously, betrays his influence, one which must surely have impinged on the set designers of such films as "Metropolis", "Citizen Kane", "Lord Of The Rings" and "Harry Potter" and any number of etc's, if not indeed upon their original creators. Unnumbered others must have felt his influence, if only at second hand.
Susanna Clark toys with this cultural memory, shared unkowingly by most. Scale is created and destroyed at the same moment. Vast halls are home to a pitifully cramped Universe, this itself surely a boundless cell. Everything is ambiguous and contradictory but has its own inverted logic. What is real and what metaphor shift about, dissolve and re-form, into solid enduring nothingness.
To say that I understand the novel would be to admit that I do not. It is certainly one that will repay re-reading, for simple pleasure, even if its puzzles should remain ever a mystery to me. The novel is a classic, pre-classical, and possibly post-modern. I admit no not understanding the latter term, at least. This is a book that deserves to be available, in print, 300 years from now. Always supposing that the world has not become by that time too "Piranesian".
Silly me, I forgot to add: despite the darkness of the materials employed (no comparison is intended) the overall impression the book conveys is one of joy, reverence and wonder. Perhaps it is possible to live happily in our present dystopia after all.