Series: 15 literary mysteries

Susanna Clarke's hotly anticipated second novel is a fantasy novel that plays with fantasy tropes, a mystery but not just a mystery, an altogether weird and extremely compelling book set in a strange house with labyrinthine passageways and just fifteen inhabitants, only two of which are alive. It's decidedly weird and took me a solid 20% to get oriented, but once I did I couldn't stop reading. Our narrator is Piranesi—though he suspects that's not really his name—and while I don't recommend googling the plot before you begin reading, I do recommend those reading with a literary lens google the Italian artist who shares his moniker. Confession: despite having Clarke's debut, Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, on my bookshelf for 5+ years I STILL haven't read it. Now would be an excellent time to talk me into it.

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About the Book

New York Times Bestseller!

From the New York Times bestselling author of Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, an intoxicating, hypnotic new novel set in a dreamlike alternative reality.

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.

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