• The Good: What is truth, knowledge, memory, self?
  • The Bad: n/a
  • The Literary: Existential themes among Narnia references

The world is a house. Its rooms are infinite; none have been fully explored. And lining its walls are all manner of statues. Piranesi considers himself a caretaker of sorts. He catalogs the rooms and its statues. He understands the tides, fishes in the ocean, studies the birds, and brings offerings to the skeletons. Piransi lives to explore the house. The house provides.

Absolutely delightful, captivating, and gorgeous. The opening pages of this exquisite novel transport you into a dreamlike world of grand halls, sunken rooms, and hidden alcoves, one after another, an infinite labyrinth filled with the sounds of the ocean, its windows open to drifting clouds or piercing stars. Void of the bustle and thrum of our world, its sounds are those of nature, and Piranesi is a natural philosopher transcribing the world into his journals.

Piranesi is a story of quiet wonder, mystery, and magic. It’s the sort of wonder you feel when the natural world communicates through birds hopping between statues; the sort of mystery of a modern scifi dystopia without the dystopia; the sort of magic that makes you long for a place that doesn’t exist.

Highly recommended for fans of small, internal, and naturalist narratives! I love it!