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Titus Groan by Mervyn Peake

Titus Groan (original 1946; edition 1989)

by Mervyn Peake

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2,453492,508 (4.11)1 / 208
Title:Titus Groan
Authors:Mervyn Peake
Info:Mandarin (1989), Edition: First edition & printing in this form, Mass Market Paperback, 505 pages
Collections:Your library

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Titus Groan by Mervyn Peake (Author) (1946)

  1. 40
    Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke (saltmanz)
    saltmanz: Both extrememly atmospheric books, with vivid visuals and memorable characters.

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English (48)  French (1)  German (1)  All languages (50)
Showing 1-5 of 48 (next | show all)
Twenty something years ago, a college lecturer told me to read this series and do my 'Special Study' on them with the words, "By the time you finish, you'll either love it or hate, but at least if you've never read them before you won't have anything to lose in the process." Twenty something years later and I still love them for their intricacy and world building, for the bizarre caricatures of people in them, their excesses and the way Peake brought them all alive. For me, no dramatisation of the books could ever rival the world Peake drew in my imagination. ( )
  Peace2 | Jan 19, 2014 |
I have been reading Titus Groan infrequently for more than six months now and I am only 160 pages in (so slow!). I have no idea what to make of the novel. I am frustrated with the writer much of the time yet I feel some vague obligation not to abandon it as Peak's influence seems to know no bounds these days. So I soldier on, it has been an exercise in patience and is occasionally rewarding . He has created a unique literary atmosphere.

Update: Definitely on better terms with Titus Groan these days. Still only read it occasionally but find that all the effort Peake spent on describing his world early on is paying off now. Whenever I pick it up its like stepping into a graphic novel or something grim from Laika Animation. Just a strange little castle with odd folks slowly revealing themselves a chapter at a time.
  toddj | Sep 26, 2013 |
This is a hard book to digest and a hard book to review. My first impressions was that is was a fantasy set in a medieval realm (think Lord of the Rings) but the book is definitely much more strange and complex. Set in Gormenghast castle, the world is filled with rituals and traditions that have been passed along generation to generation without question and have smothered creativity and created a stilted and dull society. There are no handsome swashbuckling knights or beautiful princesses, but there is a huge cast of very well-described and VERY bizarre characters. And there are heroes and villains, but without spoilers, I'll just say that the heroes and the villains are not who I expected them to be.

Although the plot of the book is not a breakneck-paced adventure, it is interesting. But the real gem hidden in this book is the amazing descriptions. There was one scene of a dinner, but rather than describe all the attendees by what they are wearing or eating, the narration takes place under the table and characters are described by how their legs jiggle or wave back and forth, or even inappropriately search out someone else's leg. Very interesting book. ( )
  jmoncton | Jun 3, 2013 |
Hay literatura fantástica, y luego está esta obra. Leído en español, en una traducción muy, pero muy, buena. ( )
  Don.A | Apr 1, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 48 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Peake, MervynAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Burgess, AnthonyIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Harding, PeterCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pepper, RobertCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Robertson, MarkCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Whitfield, RobertNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Dost thou love picking meat? Or would'st thou see
A man in the clouds, and have him speak to thee?
First words
Gormenghast, that is, the main massing of the original stone, taken by itself would have displayed a certain ponderous quality were it possible to have ignored the circumfusion of those mean dwellings that swarmed like an epidemic around its outer walls.
Aast ge op aards gewin? Of zoudt gij eer het woord vernemen van een hoger heer? - Bunyan
Swelter's eyes meet those of his enemy, and never was there held between four globes of gristle so sinister a hell of hatred. Had the flesh, the fibres, and the bones of the chef and those of Mr. Flay been conjured away and away down that dark corridor, leaving only their four eyes suspended in mid-air outside the Earl's door, then, surely, they must have reddened to the hue of Mars, reddened and smouldered, and at last broken into flame, so intense was their hatred - broken into flame and and circled about one another in ever-narrowing gyres and in swifter and yet swifter flight until, merged into one sizzling globe of ire they must have surely fled, the four in one, leaving a trail of blood behind them in the cold grey air of the corridor, until, screaming as they fly beneath innumerable arches and down endless passageways of Gormenghast, they found their eyeless bodies once again, and re-entrenched themselves in startled sockets.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0140027629, Paperback)

one of the few remaining copies today

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:43:00 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

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.

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