Piranesi by Susanna Clarke
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
From the start of this book to the finish, we are transported into a truly enormous house full of sunken rooms, many statues, fish, and birds -- a realm of nature, and an impossibly huge house.
Our narrator, far from being a prime candidate for truly reliable storytelling, is nonetheless a very objective and careful natural philosopher. The descriptions of this world are beyond beautiful.
Only one other, if you don't count 13 corpses, is his company during most of the novel. The Other is also a scientist of a sort, but he is more interested in the deeper pathways of magic.
I'll tell you though -- this book may not have any outright magic, but we are still steeped in it. It's not merely the descriptions, but these are the core of it. I was frankly blown away from the birds hopping between the statues. The idea that we can see nature as a world that is constantly communicating with us, that we can negotiate with, made me believe that we were either in the deep past or in the realm of the Fae. And more than anything, I just wanted to know what this world was, what was going on, and what was the true mystery.
Beyond this, I will not say, because it is the journey that truly counts.
I still feel the magic here. Hell, I feel the magic and the magick, for make no mistake, there is plenty of both in these pages. :)
This is a real treat for both natural philosophers and metaphysicians.
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