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 understands the pattern of the labyrinth itself. He lives to explore the house.
There is one other person in the house—a man called The Other, who visits Piranesi twice a week and asks for help with research into A Great and Secret Knowledge. But as Piranesi explores, evidence emerges of another person, and a terrible truth begins to unravel, revealing a world beyond the one Piranesi has always known.
For readers of Neil Gaiman’s The Ocean at the End of the Lane and fans of Madeline Miller’s Circe, Piranesi introduces an astonishing new world, an infinite labyrinth, full of startling images and surreal beauty, haunted by the tides and the clouds.
So, firstly disclaimer; this won’t be a regular review because this isn’t a regular book.
I picked up this book and instantly realised that I would require a different style of reading. Usually, I complete a book in a week’s time, stealing an hour from here and an hour from there. With this particular one, I wanted to enjoy it slowly. So, kept reading a few pages everyday for 2-3 weeks.
The book starts with a lot of complexities and bizarre world. You are unable to relate but equally engrossed to understand it, to imagine the obscure world of Piranesi. This book dives deep into symbolism and that connects immensely. Susanna has been successful in creating a spectacular world that is eerie and zany yet has its own charm to it. There are not much characters in the first half, it’s usually ‘Piranesi’ and a man called ‘Other’ (named by each other). These characters are oddly peculiar and give you a fresh characterisation. The narrative style again is unorthodox and intriguing. I loved to keep the book aside and imagine the world created in the book and keep spinning my own stories around it. It is that kind of book, you need to give it time to absorb as it has lot to offer.
The story did become a little predictable towards the end but I do not think the author ever shied away from keeping it a secret. It’s the reactions, emotions and philosophies attached, make you want to read more. The book is short and hence keeps the story crisp.
I wish I could read more of the book, I wanted more. I wish the book was twice its size. I have completed the book and I miss it already.
I totally recommend the book.
Genre: Fantasy, fiction
My Rating: 4.5/5