Piranesi by Susanna Clarke

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mrganondorf

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« on: October 26, 2020, 02:19:37 am »
Susanna Clarke has a new book out!  It's been 16 years since Jonathan Strange and 14 years since the Ladies of Grace Adieu.  Ms. Clarke hasn't been well but she did get this book to print and it is wonderful.  No spoilers from me in this post.

A few things about Piranesi:
- It's not related to the Jonathan Strange universe except thematically.  It takes place in 'The House' which brings to mind the King's Roads.  I think everyone was expecting a sequel but I've got to wonder if that's even possible.  The book I'd really wish she'd write would be A Child's History of the Raven King by Lord Portishead.
- It's pretty overtly inspired by and a tribute to C.S. Lewis' The Magician's Nephew (but it isn't Christian propaganda).  That's the sixth book in the Narnia series or what some heretics think of as the first.
- Feels a bit like Kafka's The Castle but is not ultimately Kafkaesque.
- Like I mentioned, it's great.  Clarke has not lost a beat.

I listed to the audiobook--the narrator, Chiwetel Ejiofor, is extremely capable.  I will look for his books hereon.

Wilshire

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« Reply #1 on: October 26, 2020, 01:10:04 pm »
That is fantastic news. Goldsboro has a limited edition with a fancy bookmark that they just announced, and so I had Piranesi on the mind. I'm glad it turned out well and will probably get a copy of it one way or another.
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mrganondorf

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« Reply #2 on: October 29, 2020, 04:16:29 pm »
That is fantastic news. Goldsboro has a limited edition with a fancy bookmark that they just announced, and so I had Piranesi on the mind. I'm glad it turned out well and will probably get a copy of it one way or another.

I just went to the site and my hopes soared when I saw 'signed'

https://www.goldsborobooks.com/product/piranesi

OUT OF STOCK

Oh well.  Someone somewhere is enjoying a lovely copy.

Wilshire

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« Reply #3 on: October 29, 2020, 08:33:21 pm »
Yup. Sold out immediate at Anderida Books as well. Probably you can find a standard copy at any large book store, but I don't know of anyone else doing an interesting edition.
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H

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« Reply #4 on: October 30, 2020, 11:40:58 am »
I really liked the style of JS&MN but the story itself left me wanting, definitely.  Maybe I'll check out this new book though.  Is it the same sort of style (of writing I mean)?
I am a warrior of ages, Anasurimbor. . . ages. I have dipped my nimil in a thousand hearts. I have ridden both against and for the No-God in the great wars that authored this wilderness. I have scaled the ramparts of great Golgotterath, watched the hearts of High Kings break for fury. -Cet'ingira

H

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« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2021, 02:25:56 pm »
I really wanted to like this book, but like JS&MN the writing is good, the concept is great, but ultimately the book just didn't "do it" for me and I struggled to get myself to finish it.
I am a warrior of ages, Anasurimbor. . . ages. I have dipped my nimil in a thousand hearts. I have ridden both against and for the No-God in the great wars that authored this wilderness. I have scaled the ramparts of great Golgotterath, watched the hearts of High Kings break for fury. -Cet'ingira

SmilerLoki

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« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2021, 08:24:01 am »
I really wanted to like this book, but like JS&MN the writing is good, the concept is great, but ultimately the book just didn't "do it" for me and I struggled to get myself to finish it.
Pretty much my relationship with JS&MN, although I still hold it in high esteem. But there is just too many words there that do relatively little, and certainly nothing for story progression.

H

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« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2021, 04:53:46 pm »
Pretty much my relationship with JS&MN, although I still hold it in high esteem. But there is just too many words there that do relatively little, and certainly nothing for story progression.

Yeah, I think this is pretty much exactly it for me.  The story just doesn't seem to "get" anywhere nor does it seem to reveal much in the process or journey.  Maybe I just miss it though, somehow.
I am a warrior of ages, Anasurimbor. . . ages. I have dipped my nimil in a thousand hearts. I have ridden both against and for the No-God in the great wars that authored this wilderness. I have scaled the ramparts of great Golgotterath, watched the hearts of High Kings break for fury. -Cet'ingira

Wilshire

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« Reply #8 on: February 10, 2021, 03:27:35 pm »
Its called "Fantasy of Manners" and/or "Slice of Life", which are 'sub-genres' or classifications of fantasy wherein little happens - the focus being on the characters/relationships rather than anything actually happening.

I loved JS/MN despite missing much of it in a car ride while it was playing (it put me to sleep). The parts I was awake for were great though, but therein lies the rub lol. In my estimation the JSMN would have been improved by removing half of it. If was was reading a physical copy, I probably would have been skipped 10's of pages at once looking for plot.

I haven't read Piranesi, but it seems that's just Clarke's writing style. As such, I'll probably skip it.
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SmilerLoki

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« Reply #9 on: February 10, 2021, 04:09:48 pm »
Its called "Fantasy of Manners" and/or "Slice of Life", which are 'sub-genres' or classifications of fantasy wherein little happens - the focus being on the characters/relationships rather than anything actually happening.
Unfortunately, there is also very little characterization happening. All of the relationships have almost no progression, and are themselves rather milquetoast. It's realistic (real life is short on serious drama), but this is the less often encountered sort of realism that's in fact bad for fiction. It's simply boring, and one of the things people try to escape by reading entirely made up books.

It is, though, done by choice in JS&MN, of this I have no doubt. The book is just too well-written for Susanna Clarke not seeing it. In the end, it's what she wants to write, which is the best point of view an author can have. Writing should first be for whoever's writing, and only after that for others, that's how we actually get good books. It's also why even very good books will never be for everybody.