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Titus Groan (1946)

by Mervyn Peake

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Gormenghast (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
3,574892,708 (4.09)1 / 275
Classics of epic fantasy, Peakes series of Gormenghast novels represents one of the most brilliantly sustained flights of Gothic imagination. For the first time in years, the first book in this timeless series is available in an individual paperback volume, complete with new packaging.
  1. 81
    Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke (saltmanz)
    saltmanz: Both extrememly atmospheric books, with vivid visuals and memorable characters.

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English (86)  French (2)  Italian (1)  German (1)  All languages (90)
Showing 1-5 of 86 (next | show all)
My review of 'Titus Groan' by Mervyn Peake is up on the John C Adams Reviews blog now!

"Nothing is comprehensible when judged by the rational standards of our everyday lives, and the quirks simply become part of the entertainment until Gormenghast is the most vivid character of all."

Click on the link to read my review in full:

https://www.johncadamsreviews.com/single-post/john-c-adams-reviews-titus-groan-b... ( )
  johncadamssf | Mar 17, 2021 |
It's always amused me that the book called Titus Groan is mostly about Gormanghast, with very little about Titus, and the book called Gormanghast is about the coming to adulthood of Titus Groan.

To be honest, both books seem like halves of a single whole, so the main review is under Gormanghast. ( )
  atreic | Mar 15, 2021 |
Maybe I'm an uncultured plebe, but I wasn't a huge fan of Peake's prose. The incredibly over-the-top descriptions wore really thin for me after a while (although the bit about "the archless suction of [morbidly obese head chef Swelter's] soles" was great), but Steerpike's rise to power is interesting enough to keep me going. ( )
1 vote skolastic | Feb 2, 2021 |
6 stars. Sublime. ( )
  Firons2 | Jan 31, 2021 |
Gorgeous writing.
Wonderfully bizarre characters.
( )
  mjhunt | Jan 22, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 86 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (18 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Peake, Mervynprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Burgess, AnthonyIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Charpentier, AnnetteTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Harding, PeterCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lee, AlanCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pepper, RobertCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ravano, AnnaTranslatorsecondary 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.
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.
It was not often that Flay approved of happiness in others. He saw in happiness the seeds of independence, and in independence the seeds of revolt.
Steerpike had an unusual gift. It was to understand a subject without appreciating it. He was almost entirely cerebral in his approach. But this could not easily be perceived; so shrewdly, so surely he seemed to enter into the heart of whatever he wished, in his words or his deeds, to mimic.
The library appeared to spread outwards from him as from a core. His dejection infected the air about him and diffused its illness upon every side. All thing in the long room absorbed his melancholia. The shadowing galleries brooded with slow anguish; the books receding into the deep corners, tier upon tier, seemed each a separate tragic note in a monumental fugue of volumes.
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Classics of epic fantasy, Peakes series of Gormenghast novels represents one of the most brilliantly sustained flights of Gothic imagination. For the first time in years, the first book in this timeless series is available in an individual paperback volume, complete with new packaging.

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Average: (4.09)
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1 13
1.5 3
2 30
2.5 8
3 116
3.5 34
4 219
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