I will admit that Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell has been a bit of white whale for me for a while–it’s just hard for me to get into the book, even though I want to read it and I want to like it! Plus it was gifted to me by a friend, which means I feel bad for not reading it? (side bar: giving books as gifts is so fraught)
So you can imagine my trepidation to try another of Clarke’s works, even though this one is markedly shorter. The blurb as well is so bizarre. You’d think that it’s a set up, or that it’s not entirely the whole story but actually it is? There is a giant house, and it goes forever, and each room has a different but vaguely related decor, and there’s Piranesi and The Other, and the two of them live there together.
Oh, and Piranesi is REALLY into the whole vibe, while The Other is not nearly as into all of it. Despite the fact that there are literally no other (alive) humans around, The Other and Piranesi don’t hang out even every day–most of the time we’re just following Piranesi through his weird Household chores. He’s basically created a whole world out of nothingness, with no knowledge of anything outside of the house–if there is anything outside the house–? Is the house in our world, or is it in another world, or something entirely different altogether?
It’s hard to write much more because to give away any part of this book is to spoil it in its entirely. Suffice to say if you, like me, had trouble finishing Clarke’s prior work try this book out!