Average rating: (10 reviews)



490 votes

Appears on 11 lists in total.
Appears on 10 master lists.
Appears on 3 voting lists.
Appears on 0 non-voting lists.
A doomed lord, an emergent hero, and a dazzling array of bizarre creatures inhabit the magical world of the Gormenghast novels which, along with Tolkien's Lord of the Rings, reign as one of the undisputed fantasy classics of all time. At the center of it all is the seventy-seventh Earl, Titus...

  • Author: Mervyn Peake
  • Publish Date: 1995-12-01
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    Gormenghast Ranks On The Following Lists:

    Worst Fantasy Books Ever(Ranked 37 out of 121)

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    Best Fantasy Books(Ranked 67 out of 446)

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    Best Fantasy Series(Ranked 90 out of 257)

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    Books That Will Blow Your Mind(Ranked 40 out of 93)

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    Most Influential Fantasy Books(Ranked 16 out of 59)

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    Best Literary Fantasy Books(Ranked 3 out of 42)

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    Books I Shall Slay(Ranked 5 out of 9)

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    Fantasy of Manners Books(Ranked 1 out of 27)

    A kind of fantasy book that focuses on the conflict not between armies and wizards but rather neighbors and peers, often set in an elaborate urban court setting. The characters are often Lords, Ladies...


    Literary Fantasy Books(Ranked 5 out of 54)

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    New Weird Fantasy Books(Ranked 18 out of 23)

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    Reviews/Comments On Gormenghast

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful
    RE: Best Fantasy Series
    By: Anonymous
    2012-11-28 10:09:29

    The strangest books you will read. Maybe the best too.

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    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful
    By: Anonymous
    2012-12-02 02:01:46

    I think I finally finished with the books after seeing yet another beautiful and headstrong woman thrown into a pit of rapists to “teach her how to be beautiful”


    Wait what?.. really dont know if i want to read that book or not

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    RE: RE:
    By: Anonymous
    2013-07-28 03:21:38

    I don't know what book you were reading but this probably wasn't it.

    0 out of 0 people found this review helpful
    RE: Best Fantasy Books
    By: Anonymous
    2013-07-28 03:22:54

    Absolutely brilliant. Vivid characters, graphic setting and brilliant writing that predates Tolkien and CS Lewis.

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    RE: RE: Best Fantasy Books
    By: Anonymous
    2014-11-02 01:50:36

    Actually, The Hobbit was published in 1937. Peake's first book in the series, Titus Groan, was published in 1946. Gormenghast, the second book, was published in 1950.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful
    RE: Best Fantasy Books
    By: Anonymous
    2013-07-30 12:26:05

    The Gormenghast series by Mervyn Peake, particularly Titus Groan (1946) and Gormenghast (1950) predates The Lord of the Rings by at least 4 years. Oh and I did I mention it’s really REALLY good? Even after 63 years, even for someone who is an avid reader of modern fantasy, I can still honestly say that they were some of the best fantasy books I’ve read this year.
    To put this claim into context and sell these books for the fantasy modernists among you, beyond a surprising firsthand experience that is, I shall explain why this series is REALLY good. One name: Steerpike. Not even being the titular character for this series there is no doubt that this dark figure drove the plot home to anyone who has read it. This is because he is one of greatest proactive, maniacal and intelligent POV antagonist I have had the pleasure of reading. For this reason I put it that the main reason many consider the third book, Titus Alone, to be a disappointment is because this complex and sympathetic villain is not in it.
    The plot follows his exploitative schemes in the eerie gothic castle of Gormenghast in which he attempts to interweave himself within the highly classed-based government system to the point that he is a crucial gear in their mechanical traditions. He does this by learning the trades of everyone essential to their workings, gaining favor through phony flattery and killing off anyone who gets in his way. With the Earl of Gormenghast slowly becoming more and more senile, and a new heir being born, it was the perfect time to indoctrinate himself into the very framework and begin pulling the strings of those who would help him gain power.
    Indeed it isn’t until the second novel of the series that Titus Groan becomes a character perspective but even then he is, like his older sister, a rather whimsical character resentful of his inescapable position of Earl. This shows the different side of the coin to Steerpike who wishes to gain power where Titus sees his position as only a prison of responsibility from which he seeks freedom. Granted, one would be hard pressed to turn a corner in Gormenghast and not run into some kind of nutcase but this only goes to make each character uniquely bizarre and colorful. Honorable mentions go to Dr. Prunesquallor, Mr. Flay and even the Twins, two characters who would backstab one another despite thinking exactly alike.
    Watching the mini-series adaption cannot justify those interested in reading these books. Lacking the inner monologues of the characters, the plot of the mini-series could barely scratch the tip of the ice-berg of what the novel portrays. On the downside the narrative and the descriptions of the setting and events are not flawless and there are moments that you will just want the story to get on with it. But don’t let this put you off as it is a mere drum-roll that gives the action of the story that much more of an edge. With a beautifully developed setting, vivid and unique characters, an exciting and intriguing plot, it’s just simply a brilliant series.

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    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful
    RE: Best Fantasy Books
    By: Anonymous
    2013-08-06 03:57:38

    Why is this not in the top 50 at least?

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    1 out of 7 people found this review helpful
    By: Anonymous
    2014-04-09 04:24:04


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