As the first novel opens, Titus, heir to Lord Sepulchrave, has just been born: He stands to inherit the miles of rambling stone and mortar that stand for Gormenghast Castle. Inside, all events are predetermined by a complex ritual, lost in history, understood only by Sourdust, Lord of the Library. There are tears and strange laughter; fierce births and deaths beneath umbrageous ceilings; dreams and violence and disenchantment contained within a labyrinth of stone.
Titus Groan has fled the rambling, ruined and ruinous castle of Gormenghast, desperate for a view of the world beyond. But he wasn’t prepared for this! Satellites, death-rays, sinister policemen and underworld outcasts live in a nightmarish contemporary city that feels like something by Wells, Burroughs or Philip K. Dick. Threatened and lost, he begins to miss the home he left; but surely he won’t be tempted back?
Continuing to mark 100 years since Mervyn Peake’s birth, Naxos AudioBooks releases the second novel in the cycle series. Gormenghast follows protagonist Titus (now the 77th earl of Gormenghast) from the age of seven to 17 and describes his desire to break free from the physical and psychological constraints of the castle. Meanwhile, the Machiavellian Steerpike continues his dastardly rise to power. But will he succeed?
Enter the world of Gormenghast...the vast crumbling castle to which the seventy-seventh Earl, Titus Groan, is Lord and heir. Gothic labyrinth of roofs and turrets, cloisters and corridors, stairwells and dungeons, it is also the cobwebbed kingdom of Byzantine government and age-old rituals, a world primed to implode beneath the weight of centuries of intrigue, treachery, manipulation and murder.
Deep in the labyrinthine corridors of Gormenghast Castle, a child is born. Titus, 77th Earl of Groan, is heir to arcane and all-embracing rituals that determine the activities of everyone from Lord Sepulchrave, his father, to the vast cook, Swelter, and the irrepressible Dr Prunesquallor. But not the steely and devious Steerpike, who will lie, cheat and even murder to get on. One of the greatest feats of sustained imaginative writing, the world of Gormenghast Castle is brilliantly realised in this darkly fantastic novel.
In this final part of the trilogy, we follow Titus, now almost twenty, as he escapes from the Castle, flees its oppressive Ritual, and becomes lost in a sandstorm. Helped by the owner of a travelling zoo, Muzzlehatch, and his ex-lover Juno, Titus ends up stranded in a big, bustling city. No one there having heard of Gormenghast, the general consensus is that the boy is deranged, and with no papers, he's soon arrested for vagrancy.
Mervyn Peake was a writer, artist, poet and playwright, best known for his gothic masterpiece, the Gormenghast trilogy. This selection of works from Peake’s Progress includes some of his most characteristic and memorable poems and short stories, from memories of the horrors of the concentration camps at Belsen to the fantastic wit of his nonsense poetry. The selection includes 'The Rhyme of the Flying Bomb', 'The Weird Journey', 'Mr Slaughterboard' and 'Danse Macabre'. It is read by Mervyn Peake's sons, Sebastian and Fabian Peake.
The life and times of Titus Groan, 77th Earl of Gormenghast - a vast stronghold of crumbling masonry steeped in immemorial ritual and inhabited by an extraordinary cavalcade of characters including the kitchen boy, Steerpike, who ruthlessly rises to the upper echelons of dynastic power through mischief and murder.
Titus Awakes is the fourth and last novel in the Gormenghast series and was finished by Peake’s widow, Maeve Gilmore. In this last novel, Titus has left the world of Gormenghast behind, but he remains haunted by memories of his former life. Journeying from snow-covered mountains to archipelagos strewn with coral reefs, he awakens his senses but fails to conquer his aching sense of solitude.