This is simply the best book I've read in years. It really has a unique visual vision that you rarely find in literature. It is a truly genuine piece of literary craftsmanship. Beauty and horror intertwine to create a mysterious world and victory of human spirit.
The highly circumscribed action takes place in a palace filled with an infinite labyrinth of halls and vestibules. The walls of all the rooms are decorated with statues covering every available space: There’s a woman carrying a beehive, a smiling faun, a squatting gorilla, a boy playing cymbals, an elephant carrying a castle, two kings playing chess — on and on, a vast inventory of sculptures, each representing an object, concept or feeling like a whole lexicon carved in marble.
The hypnotic quality of the book stems largely from how majestically Clarke conjures up this surreal House. It is not a place in the world; it’s a world unto itself.