Cécile C.'s Reviews > Titus Groan

Titus Groan by Mervyn Peake
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's review
Apr 06, 11

bookshelves: english-literature
Read in April, 2011

This was a very fine book, very intelligent, beautifully written, and... it took me three months to finish it. My copy of the book is partly to blame (very small font, the kind that makes you read the same line four times in a row), but may I still warn you that this is not the easiest book I've found yet?

Titus Groan has interlocking plots that border between antasy and nonsense, theatrical characters, a deep sense of the grotesque and the outré. The prose shows a high degree of mastery, and there are some delightful parts (the twins Cora and Clarice, in particular... I'm not saying anything else, see for yourself!), some moving parts and some rather impressive and poignant bits. That does not prevent the plot from moving at a snail's pace, and it's not exactly the right kind of bedtime reading, either.

I would have given it five stars for inventiveness and poetry. I just didn't enjoy myself all that much, all the time. Perhaps I wasn't in the right mood, but the word "boring" came to my mind a couple of times. Beautifully boring, of course. If you're used to a wide range of literary styles and don't shy away from a disconcerting read, go ahead; but if you're looking for an entertaining fantasy trilogy, you've rung the wrong doorbell, I'm afraid...
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