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Titus Groan (original 1946; edition 1946)
by Mervyn Peake
References to this work on external resources.
Wikipedia in English
Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0879514256, Paperback)Mervyn Peake's gothic masterpiece, the Gormenghast trilogy, begins with the superlative Titus Groan, a darkly humorous, stunningly complex tale of the first two years in the life of the heir to an ancient, rambling castle. The Gormenghast royal family, the castle's decidedly eccentric staff, and the peasant artisans living around the dreary, crumbling structure make up the cast of characters in this engrossing story. Peake's command of language and unique style set the tone and shape of an intricate, slow-moving world of ritual and stasis:
The walls of the vast room which were streaming with calid moisture, were built with gray slabs of stone and were the personal concern of a company of eighteen men known as the 'Grey Scrubbers'.... On every day of the year from three hours before daybreak until about eleven o'clock, when the scaffolding and ladders became a hindrance to the cooks, the Grey Scrubbers fulfilled their hereditary calling.Peake has been compared to Dickens, Tolkien, and Peacock, but Titus Groan is truly unique. Unforgettable characters with names like Steerpike and Prunesquallor make their way through an architecturally stifling world, with lots of dark corners around to dampen any whimsy that might arise. This true classic is a feast of words unlike anything else in the world of fantasy. Those who explore Gormenghast castle will be richly rewarded. --Therese Littleton
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 14 Apr 2011 04:18:33 -0400)
Titus Groan, heir to Lord Sepulchrave, has just been born. His world will be predetermined by complex rituals, the origins of which are lost in time; it will be peopled by the dark characters who inhabit the half-lit corridors.
(summary from another edition)
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