- Title: Gormenghast
- Author: Mervyn Peake
- ISBN: 9780749394820
- Page: 466
- Format: Paperback
Titus Groan is seven years old Lord and heir to the crumbling castle Gormenghast A gothic labyrinth of roofs and turrets, cloisters and corridors, stairwells and dungeons, it is also the cobwebbed kingdom of Byzantine government and age old rituals, a world primed to implode beneath the weight of centuries of intrigue, treachery, and death Steerpike, who began his climbTitus Groan is seven years old Lord and heir to the crumbling castle Gormenghast A gothic labyrinth of roofs and turrets, cloisters and corridors, stairwells and dungeons, it is also the cobwebbed kingdom of Byzantine government and age old rituals, a world primed to implode beneath the weight of centuries of intrigue, treachery, and death Steerpike, who began his climb across the roofs when Titus was born, is now ascending the spiral staircase to the heart of the castle, and in his wake lie imprisonment, manipulation, and murder.Gormenghast is the second volume in Mervyn Peake s widely acclaimed trilogy, but it is much than a sequel to Titus Groan it is an enrichment and deepening of that book.The Gormenghast Trilogy ranks as one of the twentieth century s most remarkable feats of imaginative writing.
Recent Comments "Gormenghast"
I like Titus Groan very much, but I like Gormenghast more. The visual set pieces are equally vivid, but the style seems less labored, more fluid--less like cubist painting and more like a movie photographed by a cinematographer with a unique and eccentric palette. At first I thought this was principally due to Peake's maturing style--and I still believe that this is an important factor--but I have also come to understand that the growing ease in style, the flow of the narrative, has changed beca [...]
The sequel to the wonderful Titus Groan (which I reviewed HERE). At his christening, Titus, heir to the earldom of Gormenghast (accidentally) ripped the ancient book of ritual and at his earling (aged 2) he blasphemed again by removing sacred objects and casting them into the lake. That congenital rebellion comes to fruition in this book.Peake's illustration of Irma PrunesquallorThe DeadIt starts by summarising the ghostly demise of key characters from the first book and the mark they have left [...]
The Gormenghast books are considered to be the beginning of the 'mannerpunk' genre, and along with Tolkien, Moorecock, and Howard, Peake is one of the fathers of the modern Fantasy genre. Mannerpunk is a genre typified by complex psychology, plots driven by character interaction, and a strong sense of mood. It is also notable for the characters rather than the world being fantastical. In this sense, mannerpunk, and certainly the Gormenghast books, work in the vein of surrealism (meaning not 'unr [...]
This classic fantasy still feels almost like allegory and real history wrapped around some of the most beautiful prose in literature. Seriously. The prose is really fantastic. The names of things are both evocative and as predictive as shadows upon the wall: outlines and no substance.The same is not true for the characters or the story itself. Titus has many mini-adventures from his childhood through his young adulthood, culminating in his ever-present desire to free himself of his home's odd tr [...]
(Vaguely spoilerish remarks follow). Stripped to the bone, Titus Groan and Gormenghast tell a simple story of pre-socialist revolution and why it will inevitably fail. Steerpike, the ostensible villain, the agent of historical transition, is the working class boy from the kitchens who fails to achieve full political consciousness, seeks no solidarity from his co-workers, and decides to infiltrate the system from within, working alone. The toadying middle-classes (Prunesquallor and his sister, al [...]
I have a problem. I gave 5 stars to Titus Groan, book 1 in the Gormenghast trilogy, but I find the sequel to be even better. So,hey , if you guys could kindly change the rating system, I would very much like to give Gormenghast, book 2 in the Gormenghast trilogy, six or perhaps even seven stars. I'm just kidding except that I'm not. This book was simply and utterly amazing. It is exactly what Titus Groan is, but on steroids! So if you're interested, go check my review of Titus Groan and remember [...]
An excellent second book in a horrifically creepy trilogy. As the second book in the trilogy, Gormenghast doesn't disappoint with even more eccentric characters and mounting tension with our evil villain, Steerpike. Gormenghast feels as if it's still a part of the first book, it flows so well. In fact, by the way it ended, I almost could have seen the story ending there, and so I'm somewhat perplexed as to how the third book is going to go. For me, the main character out of the myriad of charact [...]
This trilogy is amazing and this second book does not disappoint. Again I had a bit of trouble getting into it but once I did I absolutely couldn't put it down. We met a bunch of new characters in this one and some of them provided some much needed levity to a pretty creepy, bleak story. I think my favorite scene was the "party" I don't think I'll ever think about a hot water bottle quite the same. Watching Titus work through his "rebellion" was interesting too. I originally thought he was going [...]
How to rate this one? Three stars or four? Well, I'm unlikely to read this again, so I guess three. Or am I? Maybe I'll try it again some day. Four?Note: The rest of this review has been withdrawn due to the changes in policy and enforcement. You can read why I came to this decision here.In the meantime, you can read the entire review at Smorgasbook
A kind of lull had settled upon the castle. It was not that events were lacking, but that even those of major importance had about them a sense of unreality. It was as though some strange wheel of destiny had brought the earth its pre-ordained lacunaI reviewed Titus Groan earlier today and my main bone of contention is that "Gormenghast", the 2nd book should really be called "Titus Groan" and the first book should be called "Gormenghast". Titus is only an infant in "Titus Groan" but in "Gormengh [...]
Sono due mesi due che il secondo volume di Gormenghast mi chiama dallo scaffale dei libri da leggere con canto da sirena. E sinora ho rimandato solo per posticipare il piacere della lettura.Stasera è arrivato il momento, finalmente riparto per Gormenghast!
With Titus Groan, Peake awakened me to what is possible when writing pen and brilliant mind are in perfect harmony. He created a tapestry of humanity and community uniquely compendious, woven together with threads of absolutely breathtaking writing. Yet for all its magnificence, it's purpose was still largely to set the foundation for the second book, Gormenghast.And such a second book it is. Gormenghast is Peake unleashed. In its pages he manages to pry humanity open, examine and play with all [...]
10/10Titus Groan was one of the very best books I've ever read. It had a fantastic setting, captivating characters, and, most importantly, outstanding prose. It's sequel, Gormenghast, has all of these, and one more thing as well: a plot. Whereas the plot of Titus Groan seemed to take a backseat to the other aspects of the book (not that I minded, I was lost in Peake's wonderful writing), the story in Gormenghast is driven forwards by Steerpike's continued machinations and becomes exciting to rea [...]
Titus Groan is born into innocence and privilege, then loses it through resentment, suffering, loss, and disillusionment, all within the walls of Gormenghast. Is Gormenghast home or hell? Is it sacred or evil? And is his foster sister a magical dragon-bird-thing?"And now began the threading of a maze so labyrinthine as to suggest that the builders of the sunless walls had been ordered to construct a maze for no other purpose than to torture the mind and freeze the memory."" was only fear that he [...]
Such drama and pageantry and characters. Peake writes so well. I wouldn't say it's a perfect book, but if you want excellent writing and vivid expression, colourful characters, settings and a plot with tension, I recommend this highly. So lucky to have learned of this book on GoodReads. Thank you to my well-read friends.
Oh man, just as dark, exciting and heartbreaking as the first book. Those last 100 pages were a roller coaster of emotions.
I know it's a classic, I know it's groundbreaking and a phenomenal creative achievement. I know his vision was superb, his plotting exact, his characters supremely well-observed - sympathetic and horrifying and humorous in equal measures, making the storyline more complex than a simple tale of betrayal and vengeance (inhale). I know his prose is spectacularbut bloody hellfire does there have to be so MUCH of it?Dear Gods. I did get to the end this time (it's previously defeated me on a couple of [...]
Quando ho iniziato il secondo volume della trilogia di Gormenghast, ho faticato a ritrovare l'atmosfera che tanto mi aveva affascinata nel primo.Ma si è trattato di un quasi-rifiuto momentaneo. Mi sono presto abituata al nuovo spirito che anima le pagine, comprendendone il senso e apprezzandolo.Il primo libro si apre con la nascita di Tito, un momento solenne e al tempo stesso un cambiamento nei ritmi di vita del Castello, che impariamo man mano a conoscere, nelle mille diramazioni del “mostr [...]
An extremely curious experience.I had no idea what to expect, except that I was expecting a lot. This book is often mentioned in the same breath as that father of modern epic fantasy, The Lord of the Rings, and spoken of in hushed, reverent tones as a fantasy classic. I've put it on my fantasy shelf for want of a better place, but there is little of what you generally associate with that genre here. In fact, but for the immense size and vast proportions of Gormenghast, this story could be histor [...]
To write a review of "Gormenghast" is as futile an endeavor as writing a review of a game of chess between two masters. For, in the end, that is what the book comes down to, a contest between one player, wise and battle-hardened, and another, youthful yet fierce. The game is between the old and the new. Peake coordinated the match, provided the pieces (his characters, each intricately detailed with unique functions), and provided the board (his castle, 'Gormenghast', that stony monster). This bo [...]
(Update: After reading this book last year, I chose to give it 4 stars, my argument being that I was detracting one star for the slow pacing. Then at the beginning of 2010, I determined that Gormenghast was #2 on my "10 Goodest Reads From 2009" list. (China Mieville's The Scar came in #1.) So, umm, I'm retroactively giving this'n five stars, because I was clearly on crack when I didn't give it 5 before. Below is the review of the book, which hasn't been changed.) At Gormenghast castle--a castle [...]
I think I'd only read Gormenghast (the book) once before, maybe twice, whereas I've read the first book, Titus Groan, multiple times. Unsurprisingly, I didn't remember this second book nearly as well as I did the first.The second book is also simply not as strong a book as the first. Titus Groan is chock full of dark images and heavy symbolism seen through an obscuring cloud of gloom. In Gormenghast, in contrast, Peake literally comes straight out and tells the reader what the symbols are. This [...]
The Gormenghast Trilogy is amazing. I don't know whether it's because it was written by an artist, but it is without a doubt the most painterly novel I've ever read. Peake's use of language incredibly beautiful and visual. Steerpike becomes so malignantly evil in the book, at some points I could only read short bits at a time. And the operative word is "becomes". Peake draws Steerpike not merely as a one dimensional character, but allows you to see his mental and physical disintegration over tim [...]
The best word to describe this book is rebellious. This the main theme of the book. Although a lot happens in last 100 pages of the book, but the first 400 pages are definitely a drag.Some of the strong points of the book are1.Getrude comes out of her slumber.2.Titus rebellion is intriguing to read.3.Steerpike climb through castle hierarchy.Some of the weak points of the book are1.Fuchsia is still a enigma.2.Peake just keeps beating around the bush.Let me expand on the above points1.Getrude come [...]
March 2017 Edit: re-read for a book-club. Still astonishing.----This was, not to put too fine a point on it, bloody marvellous. Within its overall marveltudinosity there was a passage of such sublime wonderment that, I think, it may just be my favourite passage ever. I was going to link to it but, I feel, you deserve to receive it in its entire resplendence here. Indulge me, won't you, for it's rather a lengthy piece but it's for your own benefit and general betterment. Here it is, in full.----A [...]
Pre mňa ešte lepší diel než prvý. Zaoberá sa udalosťami na Gormenghaste v čase Titovho dospievania (7 až cca. 19 rokov), pričom prvý diel opisoval prvé dva roky jeho života.Príbeh je taký stredoveko-civilný a leží na hranici medzi realitou a fantáziou. Keby nemal arcizloduch Koncíř červené oči, tak pôsobí ako úplne bežný politik :) Lesné epizódy a celá línia s Tamtou mi atmosférou trochu pripomínali moju obľúbenú mytágovskú sériu.Peake bol nielen spisova [...]
The stage is built, my blueprint (which I often draw of literary villages/castles, etc having been inspired to do so by Mark Bennett and his fabulous/fantasy work entitled "TV Sets: Fantasy Blueprints of Classic TV Homes"- yes, exactly, you might think, that's where Ginger and Mary Anne must have sun bathed!) is drawn, I'm ready for another visit to Gormenghast. From a literary point of view, "Titus Groan" is complete, in and of itself: that's why we really can't call Gormenghast part of a trilo [...]
This was my second time reading this trilogy or is it my third? ;)Either way I love it every time I read it and find something new each time.Some people say it is too lengthy to read, or a literary bog of words.But I like it.It has textures, swirls, tangled tangents, and characters that are quirky and fun.Albeit a bit disturbed, but fun.A review is impossible, for me anyway, to write. Just too much going on to describe it all.Though some of my more gifted friends here on GR's would have no probl [...]
Gormenghast by Mervyn Peake is a unique book. It is an incomparable masterpiece by one of the most amazing and interesting authors I have ever had the chance to read. And I say “amazing” with the true meaning of the word as this is a book that will amaze you constantly while reading it. See, Peake’s writing is not like anything one might have read. I’m can safely say that Peake must have been a very bold and perceptive man. He sees things that are obvious but always stay out of sight, he [...]
If I could afford to judge people by their opinion of a book this one just might be it.This was 10x better than Titus Groan. Or perhaps I was simply more adapted to the setting and writing style this time around. But this definitely had a better balance of description, characters, action, grimness, humourThe first two books of the Gormenghast trilogy center around a vast castle governed by monarchy and strange, symbolic rituals (rituals in which even the inhabitants are unaware of the symbolism [...]
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