Gormenghast Novels: Titus Groan, Gormenghast, Titus Alone

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Overview

A doomed lord, an emergent hero, and a dazzling array of bizarre creatures inhabit the magical world of the Gormenghast novels which, along with Tolkien's Lord of the Rings, reign as one of the undisputed fantasy classics of all time. At the center of it all is the seventy-seventh Earl, Titus Groan, who stands to inherit the miles of rambling stone and mortar that form Gormenghast Castle and its kingdom, unless the conniving Steerpike, who is ...
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Overview

A doomed lord, an emergent hero, and a dazzling array of bizarre creatures inhabit the magical world of the Gormenghast novels which, along with Tolkien's Lord of the Rings, reign as one of the undisputed fantasy classics of all time. At the center of it all is the seventy-seventh Earl, Titus Groan, who stands to inherit the miles of rambling stone and mortar that form Gormenghast Castle and its kingdom, unless the conniving Steerpike, who is determined to rise above his menial position and control the House of Groan, has his way.

In these extraordinary novels, Peake has created a world where all is like a dream—lush, fantastical, and vivid. Accompanying the text are Peake's own drawings, illustrating the whole assembly of strange and marvelous creatures that inhabit Gormenghast.

* Introductory Essays by Anthony Burgess and Quentin Crisp

* Twelve critical essays

* Fragment of the unpublished novel, Titus Awakes

"Mervyn Peake is a finer poet than Edgar Allan Poe, and he is therefore able to maintain his world of fantasy brilliantly through three novels. It is a very, very great work . . . a classic of our age." — Robertson Davies

"[Peake's books] are actual additions to life; they give, like certain rare dreams, sensations we never had before, and enlarge our conception of the range of possible experience." — C. S. Lewis

"This extravagant epic about a labyrinthine castle populated with conniving Dickensian grotesques is the true fantasy classic of our time." — The Washington Post Book World

Mervyn Peake (1911-1968) was a playwright, painter, poet, illustrator, short story writer, and designer of theatrical costumes, as well as a novelist. Among his many books are Mr. Pye and Peake's Progress.

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Editorial Reviews

Gale Research
The Gormenghast Trilogy is highly considered by several critics. Price called it an "odd minor masterpiece," and Ostermann judged it "an eccentric, poetic masterpiece." R. G. Davis of the New York Times remarked that "Peake liberates and elevates as well as charms." Writing in the Spectator, J. W. M. Thompson stated that Peake has "a secure place among that precious line of originals . . . who resist classification and fashion, and go their own ways."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780879516284
  • Publisher: Overlook Press, The
  • Publication date: 12/28/1995
  • Series: Gormenghast Trilogy
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 1168
  • Sales rank: 177,046
  • Product dimensions: 5.56 (w) x 8.02 (h) x 2.09 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 13 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 13 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 2, 2013

    This is my favorite book of all of the hundreds I've read! You

    This is my favorite book of all of the hundreds I've read! You feel like you live in the castle with each of his characters walking through the dusty halls. I read this book 20 years ago and twice since. I have never read any other author who made characters come to life as exquisitely as Peake.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 16, 2005

    Juicy, mind-captivating fiction

    Gormenghast! You will be screaming for more when you are done and wondering what treasures Peake might have showered his readers with had he lived to create more literary gems. In his novel, Gormenghast, Peake paints pictures that would make the seeing person seem blind. His juicy words and captivating attention to the intricate surrounding of the mythical characters provide a fairy-tale playground for your mind. Without a doubt, Peake is the Shakespear of his genre. The memories are still more fresh in my mind than any movie I have ever seen.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 21, 2004

    Beyond a Masterpeice

    The character developement and literary quality is unparralled by any novel I have read so far. The lack of supernatural and the fantastical qualities of the characters contrast deliciously. Anyone who skips this book skips the experience of a lifetime.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 11, 2003

    strange and wonderful books

    These are books that one never forgets. Readers either love or hate them. They lead the reader into a world outside of ours, bizarre and fantastic yet grounded in realistic details. One of the great fantasy novels, especially the first book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 30, 2001

    Steerpike at his best...............

    One of the most fascinating stories I have read. Recently, I just saw the television movie of it, and I just can't get enough out of it!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 8, 2001

    Stimulating!

    I first read this book about 6 years ago. I've read it 3 more times. I have never ready anything like this before or since and have been searching for anything that comes close. If you love fantasy... don't read this book. You'll never be satisfied again!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 9, 2000

    A strange masterpiece

    As a work this is a hard one to classify - it feels like a Gothic fantasy, but not quite, for there are no supernatural elements. In fact it has a very potent feel of realism, and at the same time of total disconnection with the normal everyday world. The castle of Gormenghast exists in its own world, one that is endlessly interesting. It never becomes a mere escapist flight of fancy because of the grim realities faced by the characters in their prison, as it were, of stone and mortar. Without ever presenting any 'moral' or symbolism, Peake's work is throught-provoking as well as emotionally moving. I can't see any reason why any reader shouldn't try this book at least once.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 26, 2000

    The Best Thing that I have Read in a Long Time

    Mervyn Peake creates a beautiful and mysterious world in the Gormenghast Trilogy. The characters are unlike any in other books that I have read. They are unique and changing just like real people. The whole thing is like liquid poetry. It just flows through you. A definate 'must read' for any avid fantasy reader.

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    Posted October 26, 2008

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