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The Sunday Books by Mervyn Peake
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The Sunday Books

by Mervyn Peake (Illustrator), Michael Moorcock (Author)

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$15 (1) art (1) biography (2) fiction (4) French (1) new (1) sff (1) short stories (1) to-read (1)
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When I saw this book I thought, "Mervyn Peake's illustrations; Michael Moorcock's words: what more could you ask for?" The answer is, "Mervyn Peake's words."

The illustrations were made by Peake for his children's story times and were not originally intended for publication. That many of them are drawn on line-ruled note paper and that some drawings have "leaked" through from the page beneath just adds to the charm.

Some of the drawings are rough sketches, but still clearly "Peake-ian" and worthy of inclusion. For the most part, however, they are really high quality illustrations and they look like they were made for a professional commission.

Moorcock's introduction is sweet and, as a friend of Peake and his family, his affection and regard really comes through. There are also some nice photos of the Peake family that I haven't seen before.

Regarding the main text, as Peake didn't record the stories he told to his children while making the drawings, Moorcock has written a story to link them together. He's created a pastiche of [b:Captain Slaughterboard Drops Anchor|39266|Captain Slaughterboard Drops Anchor|Mervyn Peake|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1309674090s/39266.jpg|1332136] and [b:Letters from a Lost Uncle|39268|Letters from a Lost Uncle|Mervyn Peake|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1169282265s/39268.jpg|1180463], but it doesn't quite work. The story feels overly forced to reference the illustrations instead of flowing naturally. I also found a few of the references to contemporary news stories (the banking crisis, rising oil prices, etc.) rather jarring. Annoying because Moorcock is a brilliant writer and should have done this better.

So, five stars for Peake's illustrations, three stars for Moorcock's text = 4 stars.

As an artefact, the book is very well put together: good quality paper and sturdily constructed. It sits really well in the hand and is a pleasure to read. ( )
  Michael.Rimmer | Mar 30, 2013 |
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Peake, MervynIllustratorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Moorcock, MichaelAuthormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Sztajn, LiliTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Every Sunday on the Isle of Sark, Mervyn Peake would tell his children stories about pirates, shipwrecks, and the Wild West. He illustrated his spontaneous stories with delightfully vivid drawings of the characters in his tales, but never set down words to go with them. Now, decades after Peakes death, world-renowned fantasy writer (and friend of the Peakes) Michael Moorcock has written verses to go with Peakes drawings. Work begins with biographical essay about Peake.… (more)

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