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Piranesi

Written by: Susanna Clarke
Narrated by: Chiwetel Ejiofor
Length: 6 hrs and 58 mins
5.0 out of 5 stars (1 rating)

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Publisher's Summary

Bloomsbury presents Piranesi by Susanna Clarke, read by Chiwetel Ejiofor. 

The long-awaited return from the author of the multi-million copy best-selling Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell.

Piranesi lives in the House. Perhaps he always has? 

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell transported countless listeners into its mysterious world. It became an instant classic and has been hailed as one of the finest works of fiction of the 21st century. 

Fifteen years later, it is finally time to enter the House and meet Piranesi.

May your Paths be safe, your Floors unbroken, and may the House fill your eyes with Beauty.

©2020 Susanna Clarke (P)2020 Bloomsbury Publishing Plc

Critic Reviews

"A book to look out for in 2020." (Guardian)

"Just read Susanna Clarke’s extraordinary Piranesi.... Like nothing else." (Justine Jordan, Guardian)

"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. I already want to be back in its haunting and beautiful halls!" (Madeline Miller) 

What listeners say about Piranesi

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  • Mark
  • 17-09-20

Strange & Pointless

I read all the raving reviews so I went back & listened to it a 2nd time. I wanted more of “Johnathan Strange & Mr. Norrell” , but this is nothing like that. The world created in this book is not magical, but just boring. The narration was great. I wanted to like it after reading the reviews, but it just isn’t for me.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Elisa D
  • 16-09-20

Never heard a story like this one, but hoped to

I’ve been waiting for this story for so long, even though I had no idea what Susanna Clarke would craft next. But here she is, offering yet another world that is complex and eerie but beautiful and worthy of spending time in. Piranesi and his labyrinth will break your heart then put it back together again. ‘The beauty of the House is immeasurable; it’s kindness infinite.’

3 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 17-09-20

Random Scenes Strung Together

Do not both reading this book. The author has strung together random scenes and not bothered to create a story. It's a complete mess.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Geonn W. Cannon
  • 16-09-20

Magnificent

A magical book, almost a fairy tale, with amazing writing enhanced by perfect narration. Relatively short but massive in its weight. I really loved this story.

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  • Brody w.
  • 16-09-20

Hauntingly Beautiful

I love this book. it was deep and beautiful and sad. I finished it in one day and this story will stay with me forever.

1 person found this helpful

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  • K. M. Alexander
  • 28-09-20

Another Susanna Clarke Masterpiece

Well worth the wait. This is a beautiful book with a world to get lost in. Susanna Clarke is a master at world-building, engaging characters, and storytelling. Chiwetel Ejiofor does a wonderful job narrating. Can't wait to listen to it again and read it too!

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  • jazzbeaunola
  • 28-09-20

Better as a short story or a novella

Beautifully written, beautifully written, beautifully, written. Did I mention it was beautifully written? In case I didn't, it was beautifully written. Really beautifully written. Truly. Would have been much more suited as a novella, or even, pardon me, a long short story. The denouement is so long overdue by the end that it really does feel like welcome and blessed relief, and perhaps that was the point; however, any revelation(s) that may manifest by the end could have been as well served by considerably less 'setup'. Beautifully narrated, seriously.

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  • Daniel
  • 28-09-20

Confusingly good!

On its face this story might seem tedious or boring with its endless repetitive description of very similar halls, and I can get how some readers might have that reaction, especially initially. Give yourself time to be drawn into the characterizations, though, and this is a surprisingly good read. If you're looking for action adventure, this story is probably not for you. If you're intrigued by a puzzle, enjoy well written descriptions and fleshed out characters, this is a great story. It's no "Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell" by any stretch (it's a lot shorter for one), but it shares a style that anyone charmed by that other masterpiece will enjoy. Also, the narration by Chiwetel Ejiofor is first rate. His sensitive punctilious pronunciations really bring the main character to life.

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  • D. Lockwood
  • 26-09-20

Like a view from Myst

Through the first half of this book I was struck by the similarity in tone to the computer game of some years ago; Myst. Indeed, this novel begins as a disorienting mystery and evolves into something resembling "Dr, Strange and Mr. Norell", the authors premier effort. If you don't mind spending a few hours feeling as if you are uninitiated and "in the dark" fear not fore all will be revealed. In fact, the very astute will guess some of the "surprises" .

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  • Timothy
  • 26-09-20

An instant classic

It has become increasingly rare to be able to experience a new classic just as it has been produced. Piranesi is one of those classics. Like the Eleanor Rigby, Alice in Wonderland, The Little Prince, Guernica or Gymnopédie, you are immediately aware from the first moment of contact that you are in the presence of something profound and lasting that is going to remain part of our collective awareness for many, many years to come. Piranesi is a mysterious, touching wonderment, a poetic and visionary masterpiece. Reading it creates a dream world within that continues to unfold and resonate with your own dreams and questions long after you have put the book down. Susanna Clarke is a master wordsmith at the peak of her craft, leaving out all unnecessary descriptions and explanations, allowing the visions to stand for themselves and the questions to arise of their own accord and seek their own answers within your awareness. And ultimately it is a bittersweet celebration of the poignant beauty and mystery of simply being. The fact that she managed to create Piranesi while suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome makes the achievement all the more amazing. Serendipitously, this exquisite poetic fable is here further enhanced by Chiwetel Ejiofor’s narration. His diction, presentation and emotion are all perfect. Once you have heard it, it would be impossible to imagine anyone else doing Piranesi justice. Both the book itself and this audiobook version of it are classics for the ages.

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  • Mum of wrestling fan
  • 17-09-20

Breathtakingly beautiful

A wonderfully written story perfectly narrated. I could have listened forever. What an excellent follow-up to Strange and Norrell.

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  • Liz
  • 16-09-20

Bewitching

Strange, beautiful and filled with the magical. We spend our time with the delightful creature Piranesi who lives an odd life in an even odder place. Gradually we learn his story and although it's signalled well in advance it is no less beautiful for that. After a 17 year wait for a second book from Susanna Clarke it would be easy for it to be a disappointment. This most definitely is worth the weight. I found myself smiling often as I read, there is so much to enjoy here from the sublime writing to the gentle character of Piranesi himself and the odd and glittering world he inhabits. I recently re-read Mister Norrell and Jonathan Strange and loved it again, though it is punishingly long and could definitely have been shorter and just as good. This is book is a short and delightful thing. Strongly recommend.

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  • Jennifer McGlade
  • 18-09-20

Not for me

I wanted to love this book, but I found it tedious. The narration was spot on, but the storyline was lacking for me.

1 person found this helpful

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  • C. A. Mealing
  • 30-09-20

Magical!

Utterly fascinating.....words escape me! A story slowly unravels, told by a mind that sees two worlds very differently and yet connects them.

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  • Charlie
  • 29-09-20

Beautiful, truly beautiful.

An epic world, an epic narration and I want to go back. My favourite author; and this is why.

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  • Yvonne
  • 28-09-20

Clarke takes us away again

Susanna Clarke’s vivid prose creates a world that is reminds me why I have always loved her novels. This is a tight simple narrative beautifully executed, as opposed to the her previous sprawling works. By the time you fully understand the house of Piranesi you have to leave it, but the images and ideas stay with you Ejiofor’s voice is a great match for the book

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  • Rich
  • 26-09-20

Hoped would be as awesome as first books. It was.

From first line until the very end I was gripped, moved and entertained. Didn’t want it to end. Thanks!!

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  • Busy bee
  • 25-09-20

Beautifully written but story transparent

I was so looking forward to this as her first book is one of my all time favourites. This was never going to be that but I was open minded, however, it was a tedious start and the plot is easily guessed from the first few chapters. The quality of the writing saves it and the imagination of Clarke is extra special and the narration is one of the best I’ve heard.

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  • Pete D
  • 24-09-20

Over long short story

What a disappointment. The start is really dragged out and so is the end. The early spoilers give away enough of the plot that intrigue doesn't last. The key scenes are great but then back to slow predictability for the wind up. Not what I had hoped for...

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  • Hannah
  • 23-09-20

Beautiful.

I adored it. I think it's probably an acquired taste, but I found it very special. Short but somehow contained so much. Strange, lonely, ethereal, evocative. Good narration.

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  • Louise Angrilli
  • 26-09-20

A beautiful journey

This book is a beautiful journey. The text is delicate and subdued - with moments of sharpness. It is an elusive exploration on the meaning of self. I find myself still wondering at underlying meanings. It's just the kind of book I needed - it brings me a sense of quiet reflection at a time when the world seems to be an oppressive and frightful place.