Gormenghast Again

Finished it a few days ago. There was a brief interlude in between the second and third books where i read Douglas Adam’s Last Chance To See. Getting back to Gormenghast was a little light relief after that.

The first two books (Titus Groan, and Gormenghast) are a really impressive read. Titus Groan more than Gormenghast. Perhaps what i’m saying is that the first book is the best, the second has quite some moments, and the third is well worth reading.

It’s one of those series were the temptation is to look for allegory. However, it is very hard to make a consistent case for any of the claims i’ve seen made. Sometimes a work of imagination is just that, and any similarities to real events are coincidental.

My guess is that, short of reading the books, the best indication of whether you’ll be pulled into this is by reading a list of the characters names. Here are some of my favourites: Sepulchrave, Rottcod, Flay, Abiatha Swelter, Dr. Prunesquallor, Fuchsia, Muzzlehatch, Juno, Cheeta, Steerpike, The Thing, Nannie Slag.

As an aside, Flay and Muzzlehatch seem to be the ‘heroes’ of this saga, and, i’d posit, the kind of men that Peake held in the highest regard.