Jacqueline's Reviews > The Illustrated Gormenghast Trilogy

The Illustrated Gormenghast Trilogy by Mervyn Peake
Rate this book
Clear rating

by
7003979
's review
May 02, 2012

really liked it
Recommended to Jacqueline by: Wikipedia
Recommended for: fantasy lovers
Read from January 02 to May 02, 2012 — I own a copy

All in all this was a lovely set of books with amazing turns of phrase that sometimes leaves one utterly captivated at the pure beauty and elegance of the prose.

Set in a fantastical decaying society, whose surrender to madness and nature is reflected in the minds and spirits of its peoples as well as within the very stonework of Gormenghast itself. This work is a reflection of well-observed social mores, attitudes and conventions that comment as strongly on society today as it did in the era of its creation. Well developed, flawed and yet charming characters grace the pages, characters who attempt to make the best they can of their lives despite the rigid social and legal constructs of traditional life in the castle and who struggle under the last futile subconscious attempts to somehow maintain the grand splendour of a once grand and noble lineage and castle. Many scenes are grippingly dramatic and often quite shocking in their graphic depictions. Love, the rebelliousness of youth, tradition, absurdity of archaic social laws, loyalty and companionship, the relationship between parent and child, surrender to nature and machiavellian power plays are all themes dominent in the first two novels.

The third book, which was not completed at the time of Mr. Peake's death, takes a dramatic departure from the setting and tone of the first two novels. While certainly not as fleshed out as the first two novels both in description and dialogue, it still manages to convey a story of finding oneself and of defining what is truly home. Strong themes of the devastation of nature, the meaning of friendship, whether location and geography defines us and love unfold before the reader.

This set is beautifully illustrated with numerous rough sketches by the author himself, a renowned book illustrator.

The books are somewhat on the longish side and there are places where the story tends to drag on a bit, but if was an enjoyable read.
flag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read The Illustrated Gormenghast Trilogy.
Sign In »

No comments have been added yet.