Titus Groan

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Titus Groan

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1readerbabe1984
Dic 30, 2008, 9:11pm

Has anyone read this book? My mom bough it for me saying that it came highly reccomended. Personally this book did not capture my interest. I found it a chore to finish. I found the characters rather two deminsional. Also the flowery artistic prose without much action is not my style at all. Can someone give me a reason to try the sequal.

2atimco
Dic 30, 2008, 10:33pm

Oh my goodness I love the Gormenghast books! Well, the first two anyways. Titus Alone was rather strange and disjointed.

I discovered Gormenghast at the library, where I found the fat one-volume edition sitting lonely on the shelf, with fantastical praise on the back saying it was better than The Lord of the Rings. I don't agree with that assessment, but I can see how some people could prefer it. The world of Gormenghast is so fully realized, even though Peake doesn't make a point of filling in all the gaps and explaining the place to you. You get to know it through the movements of the characters through that world. The endless rituals. The descent into madness. The puns, the jokes, the fatalistic art and the brief fire of beauty.

I really love Peake's prose. His vocabulary was simply enormous, and he used his words with such good effect that even if you've never heard the word before, you'll get the meaning because of the context. I have never read another author who could go on for twenty pages describing a man's journey in the forest to vanquish his enemy, and keep me totally enthralled.

The action really starts in the second book. Steerpike has been sowing his plans, and they really start bearing fruit. There is a very dramatic culmination... and not everyone who is supposed to survive makes it.

And Peake is so funny! The account of Irma Prunesquallor's man-hunting party is absolutely hilarious.

Which reminds me, there is a BBC miniseries of Gormenghast. Christopher Lee plays Mr. Flay so well! And the other actors are also excellent. I don't know her name, but the lady who plays Aunt Petunia in the Harry Potter movies plays Irma Prunesquallor in this production, and she is absolutely amazing!

I don't think they really had the budget to pull off Gormenghast like Peake does, but it might help you to be able to envision the characters more clearly and understand their relationships a little better. Maybe your local library would have a copy of it?

Perhaps I will come back and rave some more later :-P