Staff Picks: Piranesi by Susanna Clarke
It’s Locus’s 2020 Holiday Countdown of Staff Picks!
Tim Pratt chooses Piranesi by Susanna Clarke. Gary K. Wolfe says, “With Piranesi, Clarke is knowingly taking a number of risks. In place of the wry, knowing Austenian voice of the earlier novel, she offers an ingenuous narrator who remains several steps behind the reader for most of the novel. Character roles remain shifty and indeterminate for much of the story, and questions of the reliability of memory and testimony are never far from the surface. But in the end, the elegant and ingenious structure of the novel lends it a haunting quality which would not be nearly as hypnotic were the story told any other way, and “hypnotic” is the term I find myself returning to in trying to account for the novel’s strange and powerful magic.”
You can read Gary’s full review online or in the August 2020 issue of Locus.