Review of 'Titus Groan'

Titus Groan by Mervyn Peake
1st book in the 'Gormenghast' series

This is the first, and arguably the best, book of the Gormenghast series by Peake. It is set in the mythical kingdom of Gormenghast which is ruled from Gormenghast Castle whose inhabitants are bound by tradition. Lord Sepulchrave is the ruler who is obsessed with books and mindlessly follows the rituals found in books religiously studied by Sourdust, the lord of the library and adviser to the Groan dynasty. Swelter the massive head chef despises the first servant to Lord Groan, Mr. Flay. Add to the mixture his wife who is obsessed with herself, her cats and her birds, her daughter who is prone to flights of regular flights of fancy, the two sisters of Lord Groan who are alike in every way including an IQ somewhat less than a pencil to the arch-enemy of all but himself, Steerpike. A wonderful, rich, novel bringing a strange and fantastic place to life. Peake has been criticised for being a bit too eloquant but I found the imagery unique and fascinating. A very good read indeed.

Rating: “Nearly perfect, but not quite”

Review Date: 2004-07-17

Genre: Fantasy

Publisher: Mandarin

Publication Date: 1946

Other reviewed books in the 'Gormenghast' series:

Other reviewed books by Mervyn Peake: