Steven Naude's Reviews > Titus Groan

Titus Groan by Mervyn Peake
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Jul 10, 12

Read in June, 2012

Some books carry such graphic descriptions of characters and places that one can instantly imagine the film of the book - this one would be directed by Tim Burton. There is not a straight line in any building, not a normal physique, a predictable outcome or a recognisable plot. Every back on every aged servant is as crooked as their intentions; every grim passageway is as tortuous as the secret it conceals. The book is long, but the plot can be summarised in a paragraph. Yet it contains the most astounding collections of weird and twisted characters outside of a Dickens novel. Peake has created a fantastic world which subsequent authors have copied with much less success. His characters have been drawn with such a fine pen and the relentless (and pointless) routines or rituals in the cavernous Gormenghast castle have been described in such detail that the lack of pace becomes one of the book's most endearing features. After a pause to clear my mind of the dust of several centuries in several statue-cluttered attics I look forward to the next volume.
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