Piranesi by Susanna Clarke

Piranesi is without a doubt one of the most hyped books right now. The wait was long but I was finally able to get my Kindle hands on it. I knew almost nothing about the book going in, but you can’t go wrong with a 4.4 rating on Goodreads for a high anticipated book.

1) “‘I can’t tell you that. It might influence the data.'” – the Other

In a thoroughly wacky world, science and reason rule supreme.

2) “I have named this year the Year the Albatross came to the South-Western Halls.

I couldn’t help but think of the albatross lateral thinking question, the answer to which I never remember.

3) “‘When 16 arrives, I can talk to him and explain that you are a Good Person with many Admirable Qualities.'” – Piranesi

The letter casing took a bit to get used to. This sentence was the #1 candidate for “Most Likely to be a Trump Tweet.”

4) “‘They were all enamoured with the idea of progress and believed that whatever was new must be superior to what was old. As if merit was a function of chronology.'” – The Prophet

Coincidentally, I learned about whig history two days ago.

5) “Over the years, as it has grown longer, I have interlaced it with pretty things that I have found or made: seashells, coral beads, pearls, tiny pebbles and interesting fishbones.”

There is very little information provided about Piranesi’s physical appearance. This is almost the only description, a chilling one at that.

6) “It has become clear that I have forgotten many things and – it is best to face things squarely – I now have evidence of periods of serious mental derangement.”

The gaslighting plotline was so well written.

7) “‘The Other had asked me to tell him if I saw the Prophet in the future, not if I had seen him in the past, so I was not exactly lying.'” 

This brought me back to The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.


When there is no other frame of reference, the celestial bodies are your friends.

9) “‘I will place you somewhere where the fish and the birds can strip away all this broken flesh.'” – Piranesi

One could say psychopath.

10) “‘Yes. I was free. I came and went. I did not remain in one place. I walked for hundreds, perhaps thousands, of kilometers.'” – Matthew Rose Sorenson

Sometimes I think that even Earth is too small.

Piranesi is one of the rare books that I wanted to stay up and read. I didn’t do it – screwing up my sleep schedule is too dangerous. But I did read it first thing in the morning and during meals. It’s a book like this that has kept my reading going. The world building and the plot twists were fascinating. The book goes from fantasy to mystery to thriller, and yet isn’t really any of them. There is a 200% chance of a Piranesi movie.

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