Home > Literature, Reviews > Review of Gormenghast by Mervyn Peake

Review of Gormenghast by Mervyn Peake

A lot of what I said in my review of Titus Groan applies also to this book, the second in the trilogy.

I found Gormenghast to be a noticeably more engaging read. Where Titus Groan is about the rise of the psychopathic Steerpike, this volume is about the journey into manhood of Titus, the seventy-seventh Earl of Gormenghast and growing enmity towards the institutions of Gormenghast and especially Steerpike.

While this book had more forward momentum than its predecessor, it still had a curious fast-slow-fast effect. Some chapters were active and moved the story forward, others were largely descriptive and didn’t really go anywhere.

The writing was as it was in the first book – sombre, poetic, dense and rather wonderful. The characters came to life a bit more than in the first book, I think; they came across more sympathetically, even though they were all still basically self-absorbed grotesques.

I’m currently reading the last in the series, Titus Alone.

Categories: Literature, Reviews
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  1. 10 December 2010 at 2:03 am

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