The Gormenghast Trilogy

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9780099284383: The Gormenghast Trilogy

The trilogy of novels - Titus Groan, Gormenghast and Titus Alone - comprising Peake's classic fantasy and basis of a major PBS miniseries.

The trilogy of novels - Titus Groan, Gormenghast and Titus Alone - comprising Peake's classic fantasy and basis of a major PBS miniseries. A doomed lord, a scheming underling, an ancient royal family plagued by madness and intrigue - these are the denizens of ancient, sprawling, tumbledown Gormenghast Castle. Within its vast halls and serpentine corridors, the members of the Groan dynasty and their master Lord Sepulchrave grow increasingly out of touch with a changing world as they pass their days in unending devotion to meaningless rituals and arcane traditions. Meanwhile, an ambitious kitchen boy named Steerpike rises by devious means to the post of Master of the Ritual while he maneuvers to bring down the Groans. Breathtaking in its power and drenched in dark atmosphere, humor and intrigue, The Gormenghast Novels is a classic, one of the great works of 20th century British literature.

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Review:

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

About the Author:

Mervyn Peake (1911-1968) wrote plays, painted, as well as being poet, illustrator, short-story writer, and designer of theatrical costumes, as well as a novelist. Among his many books are the Gormenghast novels, Titus Groan, Gormenghast, and Titus Alone.

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Mervyn Peake
Published by Vintage (1999)
ISBN 10: 0099284383 ISBN 13: 9780099284383
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Mervyn Peake
Published by Vintage (1999)
ISBN 10: 0099284383 ISBN 13: 9780099284383
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Irish Booksellers
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Book Description Vintage, 1999. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 0099284383

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