I needed to read this again to refresh my memory on three of my favorite characters, Sam, Eowyn and Farimir, whose treatment in the movies was less th...moreI needed to read this again to refresh my memory on three of my favorite characters, Sam, Eowyn and Farimir, whose treatment in the movies was less than could be desired. I enjoy the movies, the visual aspects of it are great, but with these three characters especially, they almost ruined them. If you have only seen the movies and not read the books, you owe it to yourself to set the story straight. I'll try not to spoil anything while making my points.
Sam's loyalty was everything; his primary trait. He would never have left Frodo, and Frodo never would have commanded him to leave. I do not understand why they did this in the movie. The book version of how they became separated in the tunnel was more than adequate. Sam is one of my favorite characters because he was folksy, but imbued with common sense, an excellent trait for a faithful servant. He also new his place and constantly said master and Mr. Frodo, something missing from the movie. The turmoil he went through leaving Frodo, thinking hem dead had almost a whole chapter in the book and was simply glossed over in the movie.
Miranda Otto was ok, but definitely not Eowyn. They needed someone tall, powerful and more striking in features, not just blonde. The film does not adequately portray the powerlessness she felt, being a warrior trapped in a female body and more importantly, female roles. I am not a feminist, but I appreciate her plight when portrayed in the book, always left behind and unable to win renown for herself. When she rode to battle, she was seeking death and would not have flinched and fretted as she did in the movie. Also, she was under disguise and not even Merry knew who she was. After the battle, her falling in love with Farimir was glossed over in just a couple of seconds, which again took almost a full chapter in the book. It is a very poignant part of the story.
The greatest disservice was done to Farimir. His whole part in the book was to represent the true man, unlike Borimir his brother, he was wise, but also strong and able to lead men. In the book, he told Frodo he would not touch the ring even if he saw it lying by the side of the road. In the movie, he was just another guy, who thanks to circumstances, decided to let Frodo continue with his task. In the book, he was fair an honorable, even to Gollum, whom he would never have beaten. He was the incorruptible, and faithful servant of the king. Where his father and brother failed, Farimir would stand and be better than both because of his true and honorable heart. The movies totally missed this and almost ruined the entire story for me. Even now, when I watch, I cringe through Farimir's parts.
If you have only seen the movie, you owe it to yourself to read and enjoy the books. I do every time.(less)
Gormenghast is a sprawling, dark and forbidding world of corridors, towers and forgotten rooms. The characters appear like small splotches of color se...moreGormenghast is a sprawling, dark and forbidding world of corridors, towers and forgotten rooms. The characters appear like small splotches of color set against the backdrop of the castle, which does its best to mute those colors and bring them into submission. This is not a book to skim, instead it must be inspected and savored for the rich prose and glorious descriptions. Of the series, I like the first book the best as it gives the reader the fullest account of the living Gormenghast.(less)
I enjoyed the story, although it was a little bit light for an older audience. The story was about a typical boy living in a highly...moreActually 3.5 stars.
I enjoyed the story, although it was a little bit light for an older audience. The story was about a typical boy living in a highly structured, steam-punk world. Unlike most people, he was not content with just living his life according to some predetermined plan. A seemingly small step outside of the normal takes him on a grand adventure where he learns to walk a tightrope between total freedom and total security.
One of the things I enjoyed most about the book was the presence of several lines, verses, and turns of phrase from Rush's vast repertoire. Most people who are not Rush fans would never notice them as they are sprinkled throughout in normal prose. As a companion to their latest album of the same name, the book helps flesh out the musical story. It is a must for Rush fans, and highly recommended for casual readers.(less)
This is my least favorite of the three Titus books. Although the prose is similar, the story is just not the same. Where the other two books are set i...moreThis is my least favorite of the three Titus books. Although the prose is similar, the story is just not the same. Where the other two books are set in the forbidding setting of Gormenghast, Titus Alone seems disconnected, which is maybe what the author was intending, but the story seems as though it takes place nowhere, it is not grounded and has a very ethereal quality.
As always, Peake comes up with the cleverest names ever. Mundane articles turn into people and take on those characteristics. Reading these books is a wordsmith's dream, unfortunately, I can't even think of anything notable to say about it.(less)
There is definitely more action in the second book of the series as Steerpike infects himself into the rituals of Gormenghast, wreaking havoc wherever...moreThere is definitely more action in the second book of the series as Steerpike infects himself into the rituals of Gormenghast, wreaking havoc wherever he goes. The greatest enemy to the castle is change and Steerpike represents change for change's sake, sort of like our illustrious president, no good can come of it.
Titus himself struggles against the oppressive rituals and attempts to assert his independence. Where Titus Groan is a detailed depiction of the first year of Titus' life, Gormenghast is spread out through Titus' childhood and adolescents. Many of the great characters return in the second book, Flay, Gertrude, Dr. Prunesquallor are all present.(less)