Get Your Free Audiobook

After 30 days, Audible is ₹199/mo. Cancel anytime.

OR

Publisher's Summary

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

A Sunday Times best seller.

A New York Times best seller.

The spectacular new novel from the best-selling author of Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, ‘one of our greatest living authors.’ (New York Magazine)

Piranesi lives in the House. Perhaps he always has.

In his notebooks, day after day, he makes a clear and careful record of its wonders: the labyrinth of halls, the thousands upon thousands of statues, the tides that thunder up staircases, the clouds that move in slow procession through the upper halls. On Tuesdays and Fridays Piranesi sees his friend, the Other. At other times he brings tributes of food to the Dead. But mostly, he is alone.

Messages begin to appear, scratched out in chalk on the pavements. There is someone new in the House. But who are they and what do they want? Are they a friend or do they bring destruction and madness as the Other claims?

Lost texts must be found; secrets must be uncovered. The world that Piranesi thought he knew is becoming strange and dangerous.

The Beauty of the House is immeasurable; its Kindness infinite.

©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

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    12
  • 4 Stars
    0
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Performance
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    9
  • 4 Stars
    2
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Story
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    11
  • 4 Stars
    0
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

a unique story and a must read

it is a bit hard to imagine it at first but as you get through the book.. you will love it more and more.. the book is a puzzle to solve

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • 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.

19 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • 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.’

11 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Michael G Kurilla
  • 08-12-20

A house with too many rooms

Susanna Clarke's Piranesi begins in a fantasy world with an endless house, an ocean, birds, statues, and a mystery surrounding its origins. Told completely in the first person of the main occupant, over time there is the 'other' who comes by occasionally. Gradually, clues arise that slowly lead to the inescapable conclusion that Piranesi is a prisoner who has forgotten his own name and his past. There are other infrequent visitors that take a while to match up with long forgotten notes. Eventually, his past is revealed, but release is still up in the air. In the end, physical and mental escape are mutually exclusive.

Clarke starts off with a confusing and slow moving plot that eventually catches up with the listener forced to wait for the characters to catch up. The juxtaposition of the fantasy world of another realm with the cold brutal victimization of our own world is jarring. As a crime thriller, the plot falls flat as the listener pieces together the clues well before the victim. At the same time, this other realm is rather arbitrary and without purpose and the motivations of the prison warden are never fully disclosed.

The narration is quite well done with excellent character distinction and good pacing.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • 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.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • 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.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • 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.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Busy Nurse
  • 09-10-20

Extraordinary!

Loved every word of this book. Just a wonderfully creative, well-written, fully dimensional story. Perfectly narrated. Kind of creates its own genre in a way.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • G. Eidinov
  • 06-10-20

Simply amazing. In the original sense of the word.

This was a perfection in writing augmented only further (if that was possible) by the delivery.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Evan Holloway
  • 06-10-20

Excellent narration of an excellent story.

Chiwetel Ejiofor gives a wondrous voice to Susanna Clarke's beautiful prose. The story is fantastical and moving, gentle and mysterious, and Mr. Ejiofor's pacing and character development add even more layers of complexity and wonder.

I will happily listen to this again and again.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • kathryn queen
  • 21-02-21

I hated this book

It was so slow and the book only slightly picks up 3/4 of the way through and quickly ends. Frustrating. The narrator was excellent.

1 person found this helpful

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Miko
  • 19-09-20

Beautiful and Brilliant



Susanna Clarke’s Piranesi is compelling, clever, and couldn’t be a more fitting return for the the author who sixteen years ago brought us the brilliant Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell.

A modern allegoric tale that works beautifully on all its levels; I’ve never regretted my spoiler-free approach to reviews more, as I really want to discuss the allegory at the heart of this intriguing story. Simultaneously simple and complex, every piece seems to have its place both on the surface and below, the labyrinth setting layered and reflected in characters and themes.

As I say, it seems the perfect return for Clarke and it made me wonder, on top of the dominant metaphor, how much her own experience was was imbued into the foundation. She’d been so wildly successful with Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, then became ill, leading to the long gap between novels. As someone who’s followed a similar (if more humble) path, I can’t help but feel this novel may be closer to the author’s heart and mind than perhaps any of us can know. But, this theory is another indicator of the brilliance of the book—it’s one of the stories that will probably mean something different to everyone, allowing readers to find in it pieces of themselves, their own rooms to explore within their own labyrinthine interior worlds.

It’s the first book I’ve heard narrated by Chiwetel Ejiofor and I hope it won’t be the last—his voice is so easy to listen to and his intonation is lovely and subtle. Not all actors are fantastic narrators, but he definitely is. I wholeheartedly recommend this book.

13 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • 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 wait. 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 Norrel 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.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Colin Consterdine
  • 12-10-20

Dark but compelling

An exploration of altered states and Outsider concepts. Well crafted but may have complex impact on those with some mental illnesses.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • indigoblue
  • 22-10-20

Slow grind, for me

Notwithstanding the sophistication attested to many listeners, I have to be honest and admit that I reached halfway without experiencing any spark of interest or emotional connection with the text. The story and I just did not gel, though it evidently turned on the lights for other listers/readers.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • 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...

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • 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.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • 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.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • V. O'Regan
  • 27-12-20

Sheer perfection

This short lyrical novel is just perfect in its story, unique setting and the writing.

Impossible to summarise but sure to cement Clarke’s reputation. One of a kind

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Michael Hirst
  • 25-12-20

A big disappointment

Great narration couldn't overcome the listiness of this book, was greatly looking forward to it having just had the pleasure of listening to Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, but, original as the idea is it doesn't hold up, a handling that might have been bearable in a short story quickly becomes tedious.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Csuti
  • 12-10-20

I nearly gave up at the start

Struggled with the monotony and tinnelessnness at the beginning but slowly the book reveals itself and by the end, it is beautiful.

1 person found this helpful

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Peter
  • 19-12-20

Be patient

It took me while to begin to understand piranesi’s universe of halls, but once I started to I didn’t want to leave. The exquisite prose and narration make this a book that washes over you, like the tides.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Lachlan
  • 06-02-21

An enchanting tale, read beautifully.

Piranesi is a story I will never forget. It is a piece of true myth making, and I wish there were more stories like it in the world. Chiwetel Ejiofor reads it beautifully.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Samuel Tunstall
  • 20-01-21

terrific

incredible book, truly top notch. this requires fifteen words, it's my sausage dogs first birthday today.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 17-01-21

Outstanding story

Suzanna Clarke's story stands on the shoulders of The Magician's Nephew. Chiwetel Ejiofor gave voice to Piranesi perfectly.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Anne
  • 27-12-20

Genius

If fiction is best when we enter another's world and worldview completely; walk around within their perception and experience the narrative from this new vantage point - well, I can't think of another more brilliant, satisfying and intriguing example than this novel. It's like returning to Eden.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 18-12-20

Astonishingly Magnificent

Asolutely magnificent... Truly astounding.
An adept piece of literature. A modern day "Alice In Wonderland".

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 15-12-20

Imagination beyond Imagination and yet so real

The narration makes the story beyond perfect. I so want to hang out with Piranesi!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 12-12-20

Beautiful, eloquent, funny, heartbreaking and intriguing

Loved this book and loved the experience of the audible version. I loved every minute spent in The House.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • AC
  • 22-11-20

“The Beauty of the House is Immeasurable”: “Piranesi” is exquisite.


“The beauty of the House is immeasurable”. A man explores and catalogues findings in a labyrinthine house, so vast it has its own tides. What is this place? Who is he? Why is he there? Transcending genres, “Piranesi” unfolds like an exquisite and intricate puzzle. Quite simply, this is one of the most unusual and brilliant books I have read. Susannah Clarke’s writing is elegant and restrained. The audiobook, narrated by Oscar-nominated Chiwetel Ejiofor, is flawless. “Piranesi” is a perfect book for the Pandemic and destined to be a classic.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 11-11-20

Exquisite

From the moment I started listening to this book, I didn't want to stop listening, causing me to lose sleep! The performance perfectly fits the words, and Piranesi's world is so entrancing and evocatively described. I will listen to this again!