Eerie as Heck!| Piranesi, Susanna Clarke | Book Review | Spoiler Free | Overbooked [CC]

welcome back to dead good book 
reviews i’m judith it’s the day  
after my birthday when i’m filming this 
that’s why there are birthday cards up  
nothing strange has happened it’s just time travel 
i promise you’re watching another episode of  
overbooked the series where i talk about every 
single book on my shelf because i’m trapped in  
a strange labyrinth and the other is telling me 
it’s my life’s purpose why am i talking so weirdly  
it’s because today’s book we’re talking 
about is piranesi by susanna clarke
in frame in frame i want to give a quick shout out 
to justine over i should read that who gifted me  
this copy of this book for christmas of 2020 very 
grateful you should always go check out her stuff  
anyway i recommend her in almost every 
single video but today she is the reason  
that we are all here i also want to say that 
i am filming this at 20 past four in february  
so if the light just leaves us in this video 
that’s how it is okay we’re just gonna have to  
deal with it finally i am gonna keep this review 
spoiler free as all over booked videos are as far  
as i know i

don’t think i’ve ever put a spoiler 
in one of them hopefully but if you do want to  
go in knowing absolutely nothing then click away 
now because we’re going to get into some elements  
of the plot that perhaps you might not like to 
know if you want to preserve more of the mystery  
of this book but come back when you finished and 
let me know how it went piranesi is a standalone  
fantasy book published by bloomsbury in 2020 and 
it is the latest full book from author susanna  
clarke who is a british author who’s probably best 
known for writing jonathan strange and mr Norrel  
the big chunky fantasy book i did read that in 
2020 wasn’t the biggest fan of it she has another  
collection of short stories which is called the 
ladies of graced adieu which published in 2006  
so we’re talking 14 years between that and her 
latest book while i liked jonathan strange & mr  
norrell i wasn’t a huge fan of the amount of 
detail in it all the extra stuff which is kind  
of pertinent to this review but also sort of isn’t 
so i’m talking about this from the perspective of  
someone who had read that previous book and went 
in with some kind of preconceptions about susanna  
clark’s writing i wanted to let you know about the 
ideas i had going into this book which were i hope  
this is more succinct this is a series of diary 
entries written by a man called piranesi who is  
kind of like a hermit living in this big enormous 
sprawling house that he can’t get out of that’s  
filled with random hallways filled with statuary 
and also a kind of sea or multiple different  
seas that are just flowing throughout the place 
the whole time he spends the days mapping the  
hallways in order to relay his findings to the 
other the only other person alive in the house  
but when chalk messages start to appear in some of 
the vestibules he realizes that maybe he’s not as  
alone as he thought he was there’s something else 
going on here piranesi has to uncover the secrets  
of this world that he lives in and at the same 
time basically unpick everything he believed to be  
true i don’t want to go into the plot in too much 
more detail than that because i think it is a big  
mystery thing that would wouldn’t it wouldn’t 
be enjoyable if i just told you everything that  
happens in this book suffice to say given what 
i’ve just said i’m not going to make you wait  
to hear whether i actually enjoyed this book 
or not i really did was it more succinct  
absolutely it was this is only 250 pages or 
so compared to what a thousand however many  
jonathan strange & mr norrell is but even just 
considering there are fewer pages but this book  
really does feel pared back it’s a very quite 
often quite literal take on the world in these  
diary entries it’s all reported and i think that 
that makes for a book that you can really fill in  
the gaps yourself which is something i was missing 
in jonathan strange & mr norrell i think suzanna  
clarke creates a main character that gives just 
the right amount of information to the reader so  
it still feels believable as a diary entry that 
someone would write you know how some books you  
read them and they are diaries and you think why 
would anyone write this bit of world building in  
a diary this would just be assumed as something 
everyone would know and i think part of the  
relationship that piranesi has with 
the other means that it makes sense  
for him to be writing all of this down in the way 
that he does so yeah it feels realistic as much as  
any fantasy feels realistic you know what i mean 
if a book sells itself to me as a mystery it’d  
better grab my attention and make me keep reading 
and this book absolutely does that looking back  
on it as a book and having now understood as much 
of it as it lets you understand i think there are  
some elements that are a little bit more drawn 
out than they perhaps need to be but for the most  
part it’s this glorious feeling of being two or 
three steps ahead of the main character from the  
very beginning it’s not something that’s revealed 
later on you are always just a tiny bit ahead of  
him and it’s really interesting to experience that 
mystery yourself and then read another character  
experiencing it atmosphere i say this in a lot 
of videos but it’s my favorite thing in a book  
i love a book that has good atmosphere and this 
book is definitely one of those i really loved  
the descriptions obviously we get from piranesi’s 
perspective but i love the descriptions of all the  
different hallways and all the different statuary 
and the sort of ways that he distinguishes  
different rooms is really interesting and the way 
that he distinguishes different years as well you  
know so the year that the book is written in is 
the year that the albatross first came to the  
first hallway or something like that i can find 
it the year the albatross came to the southwestern  
halls yeah like all of that is so evocative of 
this kind of strange slightly eerie set apart  
world that we’re in all of the detail we have and 
all the detail that’s missing sets up this really  
good juxtaposition of somebody who knows a lot 
about some things and not a lot about others and  
i find that really interesting and it makes for 
a really creepy kind of spine tingling atmosphere  
throughout most of the book and that’s why i think 
this would make a really good read for around  
about halloween i don’t know when you’re watching 
this but hey it would make a good halloween read  
if you like really solid resolutions of this 
is what was going on this is how it worked  
end then i don’t think you’ll get that from 
this book i think it leaves too many things open  
if that’s your preference personally i don’t mind 
an open ending or even an open middle uh i’m kind  
of cool with it but i think that depending on 
your preference that might be something to take  
into consideration if you’re planning on reading 
this but equally there are some things that are  
explained so if you are the kind of person who 
prefers everything to be left completely wide open  
equally it might not be for you it sort of sits 
if the spectrum is everything explained to nothing  
explained i would say it sits around about here 
somewhere towards the not explained section but  
not quite fully there i’m a happy medium person 
so uh it suited me just fine i was thinking about  
some things to compare this to and i think in 
terms of this sort of strange not quite explained  
atmosphere i wondered about erin morgenstern’s the 
the starless sea it’s very hard to say but i think  
that might be a good option i think also this 
idea of uh sea indoors it just reminded me of that  
that’s probably another thing that triggered that 
but i do think that there are some similarities if  
you’re interested in ya i thought about strange 
the dreamer by laini taylor and thinking about  
it now i can’t quite remember why but i think this 
idea of being trapped and finding out things about  
yourself that you weren’t necessarily expecting i 
think that’s probably about as far as i can talk  
about that without spoiling strange the dreamer 
for you and then finally i this is maybe a bit of  
a stretch and also it’s a book two in a series so 
it’s not the same in terms of tone whatsoever but  
in terms of the general something strange is going 
on here and i can’t quite put my finger on what  
harrow the ninth by tamsyn muir and i know it’s 
the sequel and maybe i’m just recommending it  
because it doesn’t make any sense to me but 
yeah there’s something in there that kind of  
audience being a little bit ahead of the 
characters there’s something there final  
thoughts i think that this is a book that would 
suit a lot of people i think a lot of people  
would enjoy it um i think that it covers a lot of 
different ideas and it’s just good to read i did  
listen to a clip of the audiobook when i was 
trying to work out how to pronounce the title  
and i really liked the narrator for that i have 
no idea how the full audio book goes but i think  
it would be beautiful to listen to in audio and 
probably even more creepy maybe i don’t want to  
do that but i think that it would suit a lot of 
people and if you are thinking about reading it  
i would say go for it it’s a good a good book 
to read also if you were put off by jonathan  
strange and mr norrell i will say this is a very 
different book it still manages to capture that  
kind of creepy atmosphere that the really in my 
opinion the really good bits of that book had  
i don’t think it’s as simple as saying uh this is 
jonathan’s strange and mr norrell without all the  
extra stuff in it because it’s really not by any 
stretch of the imagination but it’s just tighter  
writing and i really liked it comment below if 
you have any more atmospheric recommendations  
i’m always looking for them it could be the 
next book that i say has atmosphere in spades  
who knows somebody get me a spade to shovel all 
of this atmosphere or something while you’re  
down there commenting please do follow me on 
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it makes me feel loved and appreciated that’s 
all from me and i will see you in the next one  
it’s gonna be some bloopers now and today 
you’re how is it with the one give me a page

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