Titus Groan

Book 1 of The Gormenghast Trilogy.

Author Peake, Mervyn
ISBN 0-14-002762-9
Find it WorldCat
Project Gutenberg
Buy it Amazon.com|ca|co.uk

A book in which very few events actually transpire, but which manages to transfix me nonetheless. It works almost entirely in terms of baroque characterisation and atmosphere, and it does so very, very well. It occurs to me that the best analogy may not be to describe it to other authors so much as to make an analogy with visual art: Peake does not paint a picture of flawless realism, but works in a medium where the brush strokes can be plainly seen: The words aren’t awkward, but certainly ponderous enough not to be overlooked. Gouache is the medium that most readily springs to mind, but the words of Peake do not paint a Zorn, but rather a Black Painting of Goya.