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 trilogy continues with the novels Gormenghast and Titus Alone, and all three books are bound together in this single-volume edition.
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 these engrossing stories. 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 the Gormenghast trilogy 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. --Therese Littleton
This is the first complete, single-volume paperback edition of the restored novels and includes twelve critical essays and an unfinished fourth novel. As the divided paperbacks of previous years are proving increasingly hard to come by, this will prove a far superior edition for many newcomers, presenting the poetic fantasy trilogy in a single-cover format which makes the entire sequence easier to digest. -- Midwest Book ReviewSee all Editorial Reviews
Perhaps the most intricately drawn and mesmerizing gothic fantasy ever written, set in a Middle Ages of the mind, and left tantalizingly unfinished.Published 15 days ago by Murrayhill
A great collection edition of some really wonderful pieces of literature.Published 19 days ago by Josh F
This isn't actually Gormenghast, but the second book, Titus' Groan.Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
This book is virtually unreadable. I have never been more annoyed or bored in my life as I have been through the first 100 pages of this book. Read morePublished 1 month ago by fortrock
Peake's Gormenghast novels start out drawing me keeping into the characters. Unfortunately, Peake's dementia is visible in the quality of his writing as he progresses further into... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Connie
My thirty-year-old memories of this book were not as clear as those of "Titus Groan." I remembered, vaguely, that it was about the growing-up of Titus, seventy-seventh Earl... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Dan'l Danehy-Oakes
The writing is very dense, and yet, doesn't come across that way. There's nothing I can say about this great series that hasn't been said across the net, but it's definitely... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Ethan
I had heard all the hype over the years about it being on par with Tolkien or even better, but it's just okay at best. Peake suffers from an extreme case of verbosity. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Robert Henderson
All I can say , this is some of the most breathtaking Englishs language I have ever read. The man was a poet in prose. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Doug Reedy