Piranesi-A Book Review

Well hello beautiful people! It’s that most chaotic of days where everyone returns to work after the holiday and tries to Cyber Monday shop at the same time. If this is what you endeavor to do today, I wish you luck and happy hunting. May your clicking be fruitful and the deals plentiful.

But I’m not here to talk about Cyber Monday, any more than I have already, I mean. I’m here to talk to you about Piranesi. A book that had been sitting on my TBR for a year just screaming at me to be read. It was my online book club that got me to read it this month, so thanks Literarily Wasted book club!

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.

I must confess I was very excited to read this book. It currently sits at 4.28 stars on Goodreads, so I had high-ish expectations. I have to say, I was a little disappointed.

This is a book that clearly wants to be read. It craves it. And yet, it doesn’t quite fulfill that promise.

Piranesi’s journey to finding himself and answering the mystery of the House was promising. I loved watching as he discovered more in the mysterious journals even as it made him question both himself and The Other.

One of the things I found interesting was the way Piranesi looks at the House with this sort of child like wonder, despite being an adult of some age. Piranesi journals his days in the House so you can see his thoughts and feelings towards the House and the Other. But, the question does come up as to whether or not he is an unreliable narrator. Can you trust Piranesi as a narrator?

I felt that the characters that fill the House, such as the Other, could have been fleshed out a bit more. They all felt like they were missing just a little something.

Another problem is that I wasn’t as entertained as I would like to be by a book. It had moments where it gripped me, don’t get me wrong, but those weren’t as often as I would have liked.

At the end of the day I just didn’t feel like Piranesi lived up to the hype. I gave it three stars.