Piranesi, a review

Well this is a coincidence in timing. Piranesi by Susanna Clarke was lent to me by my wonderful Mother-in-Law, and it’s also the first review that I’m writing after she passed away last Thursday after a 20 year battle with cancer.

Fuck cancer.

She told me that this was one of the weirdest little books that she’d read, but that she really enjoyed it and she hoped I would too. And I’m so glad that I did. It’s actually become one of my favourites, and since she’s passed on her copy now belongs to me. It’s a memento of her I’ll always cherish.

This book was absolutely fantastic. I was utterly utterly confused for the vast majority of the book, but so curious also to find out how this was going to cumulate and where these strings were all leading. Clarke does a brilliant job at explaining the world from our POV character’s limited perspective, meaning that we knew almost everything that he did (although some was still revealed through the story as normal), but our POV didn’t know nearly enough and gradually realised that he didn’t know everything. A very unique viewpoint to read from.

It’s an incredibly unusual book and it’s also such an intriguing discussion on the world and on our perspective on reality. How the worlds inside our own minds are so drastically different from those who we see every day, and yet hold so many similarities. And how what we believe is reality, might not be.

I write notes for all of my reviews, so that if I’m behind on writing them up (like now) I can go into a little more depth. My last bullet point here is that I was really excited to discuss the book with my partner’s mum. And I did, it wasn’t very long or in depth, but we were able to talk about the book a little and I’m so glad she knew that I enjoyed it.

Separate from my own links to the book, I do highly recommend that you pick this up. On CAWPILE I rated it: Characters: 9, Atmosphere: 10, Writing: 9, Plot: 9, Intrigue: 10, Logic: 9, and Enjoyment: 10 which gives a score of 9.43 and of course a rating of 5*s.

This is a stand out book that I think a lot of people will enjoy and get something from. If you’ve been tempted to pick it up? Go for it!

Highlight here for trigger warnings: attempted murder, cults, drowning, emotional abuse, kidnapping, gun violence, skeletons [end].

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