A man is exploring a huge building, which he calls the House, but something seems odd about both him and the House. That’s how the novel opens, and soon, things become clearly wrong. The man, Piranesi, doesn’t — and in a strange way can’t — understand his own situation, which is ghastly. Yet, overall, he’s very happy, good, and generous.
The novel leads the reader on a series of discoveries. What is happening, and why does Piranesi believe such strange and obviously false things? By the end it makes sense, but with a twist. This is the novel’s final sentence: “The Beauty of the House is immeasurable; its Kindness infinite.” We learn that the things Piranesi believed that seemed false may in fact be true.
I might not be making sense because I don’t want to give anything away. This novel won some big awards, and it deserves them. It was a delight to read.