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. From Goodreads.
It might be a gothic masterpiece but I thought it was long and boring with only one slightly interesting character in it. I will not be continuing this trilogy.
This book qualifies for:
Goodreads 2013 Reading Challenge
Serious Readers 2013
Tower Teams Read 2013-2
2013 Ebook Challenge
2013 Literary Exploration Reading Challenge
A Book A Day Keeps the Boredom at Bay Reading Challenge