The first book in the Gormenghast series, a gothic fantasy tale describing the Dickensien inhabitants of the ancient and crumbling Gormenghast castle. The prose of this series is absolutely unmatched, especially within the world of fantasy. It is the exquisite, 5-Michelin star cuisine of genre fiction, and frankly, the writing is so wonderful to read that the story could get away with being somewhat shoddy. But it isn't! The story is fascinating, tracing the plots and machinations of a variety of grotesque residents of the ancient castle. Please do yourself a favor and read this overlooked gem!
Dreamlike and macabre, Mervyn Peake’s extraordinary novel Titus Groan—first in the Gormenghast Trilogy—is one of the most astonishing and fantastic works in modern fiction.
Introduction by Anthony Burgess
As the novel opens, Titus, heir to Lord Sepulchrave, has just been born. He stands to inherit the miles of rambling stone and mortar that form Gormenghast Castle. Meanwhile, far away and in the kitchen, a servant named Steerpike escapes his drudgework and begins an auspicious ascent to power. Inside of Gormenghast, all events are predetermined by complex rituals, the origins of which are lost in time—and the castle is peopled by dark characters in half-lit corridors.
“His inventiveness, his ingenuity, and his humor are astonishing.” —San Francisco Chronicle
About the Author
Mervyn Peake (1911–1968) was a playwright, painter, poet, illustrator, short story writer, and designer of theatrical costumes, as well as a novelist. Among his many books are the celebrated Gormenghast novels, Titus Groan, Gormenghast, and Titus Alone, and the posthumously published Titus Awakes, the lost book of Gormenghast finished by Peake’s wife Maeve Gilmore after his death. The Gormenghast novels, as well as Peake’s other writings, Mr. Pye and Peake’s Progress, are all available from The Overlook Press.