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Boy in Darkness and Other Stories
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Boy in Darkness and Other Stories (Gormenghast)

4.09 of 5 stars 4.09  ·  rating details  ·  177 ratings  ·  18 reviews
A must-have forfans of the Gormenghast books, this anthologyconstitutes a chapter in the life of Titus Groan that unfolds beyond the pages ofthe author'smonumental trilogy. Disturbingly atmospheric, these stories are told with the force and simplicity of allegory. This special volumeincludesrare stories as well as some never-before-seen illustrations. ...more
Paperback, 200 pages
Published December 1st 2007 by Peter Owen Publishers (first published 1956)
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This contains a novella, Boy in Darkness, and five short stories.

This 90-page novella resulted in three pages of notes! It is so beautiful and so strange, and not even strange in the same way as the other Gormenghast books.

The story starts on Titus's fourteenth birthday (part way through the second of the Gormenghast "trilogy"), though all but once, he is referred to as "the Boy". He is a truculent teen, exasperated by the relentless and oppressive rituals that govern his lif
Apr 15, 2010 Leonardo rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone who loves to embark in weird journeys
The Gormengahst books have always been among my favourite books, every since I let myself become enraptured by Mervy Peake's "purple prose". Throughout the years, I had been eagerly looking forward to getting my hands on "Boy in Darkness". I was almost afraid that praise for this Gormenghast offshoot wouldn't be able to live up to the praise that it had received. Fortunately, I can now say that "Boy in Darkness" fulfilled and surpassed my expectations and shares with Gormenghast and other books ...more
On the blurb and in the Introduction, it's stated that the title story is about Titus Groan, though he is never named. Well, he's called "Titus" twice and the setting so closely resembles the Castle of the Groans that there is no doubt at all, as far as I can tell. It's a good, weird, story, too - worth the tiny second-hand price I paid on its own.


See the complete review here:
This slim volume contains the novella 'Boy in Darkness' and a handful of lesser stories by the multi-talented Peake: it also features a selection of his illustrations, though none of them were created specifically for the texts in this book. 'Boy in Darkness' is an outtake from TITUS GROAN; the boy who is the main character is also Titus (Peake gives this fact away casually only once; the rest of the time the main character is referred to as 'The Boy' and in fact the foreword incorrectly insists ...more
I read this book as an insertion into my project of reading through the Gormenghast series. It is actually a brief collection of miscellaneous short pieces and artwork, collected after the author's death, and they can and should be read independently of his other work. But the title story is a 90-page novella that also operates as an interlude in the life of Titus, the hero of the novels for which Peake was famous.

The story occupies an unusual spot in the canon: it is considered to have been un
Tricia Gadd
Excellent! It's not every day you come across creepy, surreal writing that is also entertaining without being cryptic. These make perfect bedtime stories. This book contains six short stories ranging from eight pages to seventy-two. My favorite was the title story "Boy in Darkness" about a bored child who runs away and finds himself in danger in a very strange place. I believe most, if not all, of the illustrations are by Peake himself, and they are just wonderful and full of eerie loneliness. I ...more
Annika Howells
Peake is so incredibly talented. I would give my right leg to be able to write as beautifully as him. Hell, take both my legs! Take my arms! I'll type with my nose!
Aaron Jansen
This is a curious, intermittently successful collection of stories, the strongest of which is definitely "Boy in Darkness," in which Titus of the Gormenghast novels runs away from home and finds himself in the run-down kingdom of a blind, demonic lamb who delights in transforming people into hideous animal caricatures of themselves. Like Titus Alone, the story suffers a bit from overheated prose; Mervyn Peake really, really loves words like "sinister" and "vile" and phrases like "infinite emptin ...more
Michael Eisenberg
Just finished Boy in Darkness and other stories by Mervyn Peake. Loved the quirkieness of it all, but the novella "Boy in Darkness" was fantastic, not to mention disturbing and very sinister to boot. For me, Peake has this talent of lifting the reader up, and dropping them right in the middle of the action...his descriptions are that good! The story left me with an unease last night, that is still with me this morning.

The other 5 short stories contained in the volume are very good too, some of
Jan 13, 2011 Adam added it
Peake's biographer, Malcolm Yorke--in a book written with the "full cooperation" of the Peake family--says of "Boy in Darkness":

"...this is a powerful adult nightmare from which there is no awakening. It is possible for books to harm children as well as to heal them, to corrupt their view of the world rather than embrace it, and in this book the evil is so powerfully felt, the desolation so utterly dire, that any fears the child may have had beforehand will be handed back in intensified form. ..
My least favorite of the Gormenghast series was Titus Alone, partly because it wasn't as fleshed out as the previous novels and partly because Gormenghast and its inhabitants weren't included.

So, I was a bit leery of picking up this novella and anthology since neither Titus or Gormenghast are ever named. In content, it is very similar to Titus Alone, and an unnamed Titus is playing hooky for a day and exploring the territory around the castle. Despite the similarity, I did enjoy it - maybe becau
Monty Milne
Disturbing and bizarre, I enjoyed trying to tease out what might have been going on in Peake's mind as he wrote Boy in Darkness. But in the end I just surrendered to that awesome creative intellect, as dark and mysterious and intriguing as some gothic outwork of Gormenghast itself.
Cooper Renner
Four stories and the title piece Boy in Darkness, which is a sort of supplement to the Gormenghast trilogy. Boy is a strange and memorable tale; the others good.
The title story is a nice side story from the Gormenghast trilogy, and I'd argue, makes Titus Alone seem less aberrant as a final installment. The rest of the shorts are a fair assortment of Peake's inimitable style. A good introduction to this author.
Charlie Byers
I fell in love with Gormenghast years ago, so it was a thrill to find this collection of Mervyn Peake's short stories at my library. It's always a joy to fall into Peake's inimitably vivid settings.
Bryan Young
I've never before read Mervyn Peake and this was an interesting introduction to him. His short stories were all over the place in a good way.

It was a quick, entertaining read.
Vrej Hezaran
Solid book of bizarre short stories. The title story was especially creepy.
Jasper Randall
good short story with good ending and a good read. ?
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Mervyn Laurence Peake was an English modernist writer, artist, poet and illustrator. He is best known for what are usually referred to as the Gormenghast books, though the Titus books would be more accurate: the three works that exist were the beginning of what Peake conceived as a lengthy cycle, following his protagonist Titus Groan from cradle to grave, but Peake's untimely death prevented compl ...more
More about Mervyn Peake...

Other Books in the Series

Gormenghast (5 books)
  • Titus Groan (Gormenghast, #1)
  • Gormenghast
  • Boy in Darkness
  • Titus Alone (Gormenghast, #3)
  • Titus Awakes: The Lost Book of Gormenghast (Gormenghast, #4)
Titus Groan (Gormenghast, #1) Gormenghast The Gormenghast Novels (Gormenghast, #1-3) Titus Alone (Gormenghast, #3) Mr Pye

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“Take him away. Prepare a feast. Forget nothing. My crown: the golden cutlery. The poison bottles; and the fumes; the wreaths of ivy and the bloody joints; the chains; the bowl of nettles; the spices; the baskets of fresh grass; the skulls and spines; the ribs and shoulder-blades. Forget nothing or, by the blindness of my sockets, I will have your hearts out. Take him away...” 5 likes
“One thing at a time,' said the Boy. 'You must be patient. This is a day of hope and wild revenge. Do not interrupt me. I am a courier from another world. I bring you golden words.

Listen!' said the Boy. 'Where I come from there is no more fear. But there is a roaring and a bellowing and a cracking of bones. And sometimes there is silence when, lolling on your thrones, your slaves adore you.”
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