Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Piranesi by Susanna Clarke

Piranesi (2020) by Susanna Clarke is an odd and difficult to describe fantasy novel. It begins with the eponymous character nearly alone in a world of massive architectural halls, sometimes underwater, all mapped out carefully over the years by Piranesi. Yet some aspects of the author's world-building don't quite fit (that is, why does Piranesi know of concepts and things from our modern world), but eventually (via reading his old journals) Clarke brings in a mystery of the real world that brought Piranesi to this world, at the same time as the process erased most of his memories. The set-up is initially too long, and (unusually) the middle section of the book, unravelling the real world mystery of academic rivalries exploring mystical dimensions, is the most gripping part, leaving the resolution rather disappointing. Though imperfect in minor ways, Piranesi is still a fine if strange novel. 

No comments:

Post a Comment