Scott Forbes's Reviews > Titus Groan

Titus Groan by Mervyn Peake
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's review
Mar 10, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: library-books, fantasy
Read from March 10 to 18, 2012

This is a fantastic book, but there are a lot of caveats to that. It is not a book full of fast-paced action and exciting moments. There are two aspects of the work that, if they sound appealing to you, would make this an absolute must read.

First, the language, word-choice, and writing are all fantastic. Peake has a way of developing scenery, imagery, characters, dialogue, and everything in between with real beauty. His style, however, is often subtle and dry. This, combined with the extremely long sentences and obscure words, means that you always have to be giving the book your fullest attention to get any enjoyment out of it. There will be many long stretches where the plot is barely advancing. It’s not boring, however, as these are the moments when Peake is at his best in terms of word choice, humor, and style.

Second, you have to be a fan of interesting characters. In much the same way that Catch-22 is great because of the characters that litter the book, so is Titus Groan wonderful because of its characters. Again, I’m not saying the plot is bad (there are many intriguing moments), but the characters, their quirks, their eccentricities are fascinating from beginning to end.

Just to "prove" that I really did enjoy the plot of Titus Groan, I would only like to say that my plan all along was to read this book, and then move on to something else before finishing the Gormenghast Trilogy. Upon completing it, however, I was sorely tempted to change my plan and immediately read the next book. I cannot wait to see where the plot goes, and to yet again spend time with these amazing characters and this fascinating world.

I highly recommend everyone at least give this book a chance. It’s really great, and it will immediately become apparent if it’s something you would be interested in or not. I would have given this 5/5, but I wanted to give the series room to improve.

Blog Post and Database entry coming soon.

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03/10/2012 page 167
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