Mervyn Peake


Peake's novels are among the most beautiful I've read. The prose is incredible. A simple description of light falling upon the floor becomes poetry. The characters of Gormenghast are so real they live in your mind long after closing the book.

>>By Robin   (Sunday, 26 Jan 2003 10:25)

i agree, when i first read through the list of chapter titles and saw things like 'stone lanes' i fell in love imediately! the sound of the words and the imagery are amazing - the moods and personalities are etched on to your brain, as is the character of gormenghast itself
apart from the gormenghast series is there much else by him

>>By brainslave   (Sunday, 18 Jan 2004 14:45)

Two messages. There's no justice.

Titus Groan was brilliant; I'll soon be reading the second one.

He wrote a book called Mr. Pye, apart from that I think it's mostly short stories and poetry.

>>By Flagg   (Friday, 3 Dec 2004 18:32)

Peake's prose is truly a wonder. I'm not a reader who enjoys descriptive text -- it's usually written for the author's sake, not the reader's -- but some passages in the Gormenghast trilogy struck me dumb with wonder. I remember a description of some hills in the first book that left me breathless.

I really ought to go back and read his books again. Every time I hear about Tolkien these days, I politely smile and end the conversation... and think about Gormenghast.

>>By M@   (Monday, 14 Mar 2005 16:51)

In a lifetime of recreational reading, I've only read one or two other works that equal the quality of the "Gormenghast Trilogy."
Peake's descriptive ability, and the archetypal nature of his characters are really beyond compare. Steerpike and Fuschia are two of the most powerful characters ever created, and the countess Gertrude Groan is a truly unique creation- this enigmatic woman who seems so connected with the earth and nature, yet with her iron-hard loyalty to the traditions of the castle. Where did she come from? How did Sepulchrave come to choose her as his bride?
Fuschia's death was the most affecting literary scene I've experienced, and made Titus' final fight with Steerpike all the more powerful. Even the incidental passages, like Keda's journey, and interlude with the Brown Father, were lucid and strongly felt. Then other scenes, like the death-struggle between Flay and Swelter, and the comic relief of the professors, and Bellgrove's courtship of Irma- all superb!

It's the single richest work I've ever read.

The BBC production of the story was really good-certainly recommended (sp?) viewing for anyone who likes the books.
Christopher Lee is great as Flay, as is Richard Griffiths as Swelter. The visual realization of the castle is awesome.

Well, rave, rave. Glad to find others who know and appreciate this great work.

>>By resealable   (Friday, 18 Mar 2005 18:49)

I couldn't agree more on Fuschia and Steerpike - I'd never really read anything like it before - my dream is to be able to write a relationship between two characters just like that one. I doubt I ever will.

>>By Flagg   (Saturday, 19 Mar 2005 22:02)

I would just like to add that, for some strange reason currently unfathomable to me, i have been living in a castle for a year now, in the north of England. it's a bloody great place of three foot thick buttress walls, crumbling battlements and colony of rooks. It is populated by the oddest people you could know.
I think you all know where i'm going with this.
it is just like "G"

>>By zab   (Thursday, 11 Sep 2008 20:41)

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