Piranesi by Susanna Clarke

Publisher: Bloomsbury
Publication Date:
Length: 245 pages
Literary Fiction | Mystery

CW: n/a


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.



When I first saw this novel I was immediately drawn to the beautiful cover, and then the mysterious premise of the novel compelled me to buy it. I don’t know what I was expecting from this novel, but it certainly wasn’t what I got and it has easily become one of my favourite reads of the year. 

The entire novel is told from Piranesi’s perspective, through journal entries, so it was very easy to get attached to him. I loved the way he would explain the different things around the house and his own ways of living; there was just something about it that was endearing and almost childlike. It was vital for Piranesi to be so likeable as, unlike other novels, you’re barely introduced to any other characters. Without spoiling anything, even those we are introduced to through the course of the novel are also wonderfully written and they all make you feel a certain way. 

At the beginning of the novel I was totally lost and confused with what was happening, as a reader you’re just thrown into the middle of someone’s life without any concrete explanation as to where he is or even what year it is. Whilst sometimes this can feel frustrating for me, I was entranced and eager to find out the answers. Clarke’s writing is wonderfully lyrical and I had little trouble from imagining everything that was presented to me. The pacing of the novel was perfect, it never felt like that the mystery was drawn out. I was able to begin to piece the puzzle together but only barely one step ahead of Piranesi, which was immensely satisfying to read. 

This novel will definitely be staying with me for a long time and is one that I wanted to pick up again as soon as I finished it. I just couldn’t believe that it was over. As you can tell, I loved this novel and think that it’s well worth picking up! The wonderful writing coupled with the labyrinthian mystery was just what I needed to read this season!

Rating: 5 out of 5.

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3 thoughts on “Piranesi by Susanna Clarke

    1. Oh, definitely, I can’t imagine how they would be able to do this as a film. At a stretch, maybe a short TV series? But I wouldn’t be confident in its quality, haha!

      Liked by 1 person

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