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Susanna Clarke

Bloomsbury Publishing

Piranesi Download image

ISBN10: 1635577802
ISBN13: 9781635577808


272 Pages



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Winner of the Women's Prize for Fiction
World Fantasy Awards Finalist

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.


Praise for Piranesi

“A novel that feels like a surreal meditation on life in quarantine.”The New Yorker

“Clarke's imagination is prodigious, her pacing is masterly, and she knows how to employ dry humor in the service of majesty.”Gregory Maguire, The New York Times

“Infinitely clever . . . none of [Clarke's] enchantment has worn off—it's evolved . . . to abide in these pages is to find oneself happily detained in awe.”The Washington Post

Piranesi is a high-quality page-turner even the most leisurely reader will probably finish it off in a day—but its chief pleasure is immersion in its strange and uncannily attractive setting . . . Establishing that sense of totality-and the feeling of peacefulness that accompanies it—is Ms. Clarke's standout feat.”Sam Sacks, Wall Street Journal

“Could Piranesi match [the hype]? I'm delighted to say it has, with Clarke's singular wit and imagination still intact in a far more compressed yet still captivating tale you'll want to delve into again right after you read its sublime last sentence.”The Boston Globe

“The long-awaited followup to Jonathan Strange is even more magically immersive . . . Here is a protagonist with no guile, no greed, no envy, no cruelty, and yet still intriguing.”The Los Angeles Times

“Susanna Clarke has fashioned her own myth anew and enlarged the world again.”The New Republic

“The novel establishes Susanna Clarke as one of our greatest living writers.”New York Magazine

“Nobody writes about magic the way Clarke does . . . She writes about magic as if she's actually worked it.”Lev Grossman, TIME Magazine

“A short and beautiful novel that reads like a poem, not in its use of language (which is very accessible) but rather in its cumulative effect of expressing an emotion and state of being that is inexpressible. It's a strange and lovely read.”Buzzfeed

“Destined to become a work of classic fantasy.”Ron Charles, CBS Sunday Morning Book Report

“Almost impossible to put down . . . lavishly descriptive, charming, heartbreaking and imbued with a magic that will be familiar to Clarke's devoted readers, Piranesi will satisfy lovers of Jonathan Strange and win her many new fans.”Bookpage (starred review)

Piranesi astonished me. It is a miraculous and luminous feat of storytelling, at once a gripping mystery, an adventure through a brilliant new fantasy world, and a deep meditation on the human condition: feeling lost, and being found.”Madeline Miller, The New York Times bestselling author of Circe

Piranesi is a gorgeous, spellbinding mystery that gently unravels page by page. Precisely the sort of book that I love wordlessly handing to someone so they can have the pleasure of uncovering its secrets for themselves. This book is a treasure, washed up upon a forgotten shore, waiting to be discovered.”Erin Morgenstern, The New York Times bestselling author of The Starless Sea and The Night Circus

“What a world Susanna Clarke conjures into being, what a tick-tock-tick-tock of reveals, what a pure protagonist, what a morally-squalid supporting cast, what beauty, tension and restraint, and what a pitch-perfect ending. Piranesi is an exquisite puzzle-box far, far bigger on the inside than it is on the outside.”David Mitchell, The New York Times bestselling author of Cloud Atlas

“Readers who accompany [Piranesi] as he learns to understand himself will see magic returning to our world. Weird and haunting and excellent.”Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“As questions multiply and suspense mounts in this spellbinding, occult puzzle of a fable, one begins to wonder if perhaps the reverence, kindness, and gratitude practiced by Clarke's enchanting and resilient hero aren't all the wisdom one truly needs.”Booklist (starred review)

“Clarke creates an immersive world that readers can almost believe exists. This is a solid crossover pick for readers whose appreciation of magical fantasy leans toward V.E. Schwab or Erin Morgenstern.”Library Journal (starred review)

“Clarke wraps a twisty mystery inside a metaphysical fantasy in her extraordinary new novel . . . Sure to be recognized as one of the year's most inventive.”Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Reviews from Goodreads

About the author

Susanna Clarke

Susanna Clarke is the author of the The Ladies of Grace Adieu and Other Stories and the New York Times bestseller and Hugo Award–winning Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell. She lives in England.

Susanna Clarke