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 text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
-- C.S. Lewis
"One of the most important works of the imagination to come out of the age that also produced The Four Quartets," "The Unquiet Grave," "Brideshead Revisited," "The Loved One," "Animal Farm and""1984.""
-- "Anthony Burgess
"His novels, said Burgess, are "aggressively three-dimensional... showing the poet as well as the draughtsman. It is difficult in post-war English fiction to get away with big rhetorical gestures. Peake manages it because, with him, grandiloquence never means diffuseness' there is no musical emptiness in the most romantic of his descriptions. He is always exact... [Titus Groan] remains essentially a work of the closed imagination, in which a world parallel to our own is presented in almost paranoiac denseness of detail. But the madness is illusory, and contr
Praise for Mervyn Peake:
"Gormenghast is grotesque, gory, ghastly, mystical, lyrical, monstrous, mind-bending, and inarticulably beautiful." -- The Scattering Blog
"A gorgeous, volcanic eruption . . . a work of extraordinary imagination." --"The New Yorker"
"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, author of The Deptford Trilogy
"[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
"The true fantasy classic of our time." --"The Washington Post"
"Peake's style is marvelous... His inventiveness, his ingenuity, and his humor are astonishing." --"San Francisco Chronicle"
"Many readers admire Tolkien's Lord of the Rings, buto