Thursday 22 October 2020

Audiobook Review - Piranesi

Oh yes. I audiobooked this. Actually, I preordered the audiobook to this a while ago and I kinda half forgot. But this title is a bit of a big deal. 

Before I give you all the info and affiliate links, let em explain quickly why. Susanna Clarke is the author who wrote Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, a monster of a book (1000ish pages) that main people have classed as a modern classic. I have tried to read it several times and it never really worked for me. That was fifteen years ago. Yes, FIFTEEN. Because of that, this (of course) is going to be a big deal. 

But is it worth the hype? 

  • Title And Author: Piranesi by Susanna Clarke
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury
  • Physical, eBook or Audiobook: Audiobook
  • Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: Bought
  • Length: 272 Pages or 6 Hours 58 Minutes

Piranesi lives in the House. Maybe he always has. Maybe he hasn't... 

In his notebooks, Piranesi writes carefully about the wonders and mysteries of the House: its labyrinths of Halls, the thousands of statues, the clouds in the Upper Floors and the seas and tides in the Lower. He is alone, barring the fourteen Dead and, on Tuesdays and Fridays, he is visited by his only friend, the Other. But, for the most part, he is alone. 

But now, he's not so certain. Piranesi is sure there is someone else in the House. Someone who is writing messages in chalk for him. Someone he calls Sixteen and someone the Other calls a threat and a danger. 

But who is Sixteen? Who is the Other? Who is Piranesi?

I went into this with no real expectations. I had read a sampler of the first few pages from NetGalley in the beginning of the year and I came away intrigued as this was weird, a bit of a mind**** and had undertones of Greek and Roman mythology with some darkness underneath. 

I am shocked and hugely surprised with this as, whatever I was expecting, I didn't get it. Instead, I got a story that is wistful, gentle and just a joy. I expected something a lot more darker, but Piranesi has a childlike innocence to him and that makes reading the House and the mystery behind the House and all the characters (yes, there is a mystery and it does get revealed in breadcrumbs) a surprisingly joyful. 

I am going to say that this isn't going to be everyone's cup of tea. Some of you won't like the writing style of this (you are reading Piranesi's journals so his innocence might grate on some of you and some of you might think the plot of the story is a little thing), but I just found this lovely and the ideas it put forward about memories were intriguing. 

This is such a beautiful audiobook (the narrator of the audiobook is Chiwetel Ejiofor did a wonderful job) and I am struggling to figure out how to write this review so going to end this here. Though I have no plans to attempt Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, I am thinking of buying a physical copy for Christmas and reading it next year... 

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