Every so often a book comes along that, once I start reading it, I’m so deeply enthralled that I absolutely must finish. This became that kind of book. I felt as if I was the rather innocent Piranesi himself, picking up clues yet not knowing exactly the grander significance. As it all unravelled in front of me, I descended deeper. Not purposely, but I devoted an entire afternoon to soak up the constructed world that is “The House.” It is hard to imagine for me that a book of mere 272 pages could be so interesting and layered.
Piranesi is perhaps inspired by Giovanni Battista Piranesi, an artist who created labyrinthian worlds in etchings. His work is almost immediately intricate as it is somehow familiar when you see it. In the book, you’ll see all of Piranesi’s names used in some form; and I’m sure that’s no accident.
Now, I’m not a big fiction reader, but for those that knock fiction, why? Fiction is every bit as powerful as non-fiction, and in some cases can be more incredible than its fact-based counterpart. Piranesi feels like a “Hey, look fiction can be awesome!” advertisement. This short, very accessible book should do well.
And it does take a bit to get going (surprising for such a short book), but once things are set into motion, the intricacies of all characters coalesce into a fulfilling climax. I won’t do you the disservice of revealing any sort of plot details because the joy of seeing and feeling it all unfold is why you come to read this book in the first place. There aren’t many characters to juggle here, however, at times character’s names change. Keeping track of that wasn’t too difficult. I would have also like to understand more of the motivation behind some people’s actions, but perhaps that will be for a sequel.
Read Piranesi, you will be rewarded for entering The World.