Piranesi by Susanna Clarke

My reviews and reading have taken a back seat as I have drifted back into a few projects that I intended to tie up before the year ends. I started these projects quite a few months ago and as such need very little time to wrap them up individually, I doubt I will reach my self imposed deadline since I keep added smaller knitting projects to the list now that I find that I actually have the hang of it and like it!

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Narrated by Chiwetel Ejiofor

This was a surprising book to listen to. I do not say this lightly because, in the beginning, we are treated to exquisitely minute detail about the surroundings our lead protagonist finds himself in. This is almost a monologue and quite earnestly provided, making it all the harder to completely absorb. This made me assume that the story will progress in the pedantic tone, and I would not actually find my way to the end of the story. One of the main reasons I finally liked the experience was because of how the story suddenly turned on its head. I must also say that this is a review of the audiobook listened to at 1.25x to 1.5x speeds based on where in the story I was. I am pretty confident a physical copy would have(unfortunately) lost me partway into the first few chapters.

Our man (for the lack of a better context) is called Piranesi by the ‘other’ but does not think it is his actual name. He lives in a house with many rooms and spends his time cataloguing them all. He has a profound and primal connection to the place and lives his life with all that the house offers him. A few jolts are in store in this seemingly tedious experience (as some are also wont to describe their own homes in 2020). We do not know whom to believe and how much of it at that. The ending should have been dissatisfying, but given the content, I could not think of a more appropriate way to tie up the ends.

It is a blend of Sci-fi and fantasy and cannot be read by anyone expecting a straightforward narrative. I did try to pick up the author’s previous work but never got around to reading it, the size put me off. I am glad I got a chance to listen to this one though! The narration was perfect for the entire book.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I received an ARC thanks to NetGalley and the publishers, but the review is entirely based on my own listening experience.

4 thoughts on “Piranesi by Susanna Clarke”

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