Titus Awakes : The Lost Book of Gormenghast Paperback
In Titus Awakes the 77th Earl of Groan leaves the crumbling castle of Gormenghast and finds the larger world even stranger than his birthplace.
Confronted by elemental and human threats - snowstorms, shipwrecks and attempts on his life - Titus' bravery is tested and he must fight to free himself from the claims of his past.
Peake began this fourth and final volume of the Gormenghast stories but he died having only written a few pages.
Using notes and the fragments he left behind, his wife, the painter and writer Maeve Gilmore, has created a richly imagined sequel that fans of The Gormenghast Trilogy will delight in.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 288 pages
- Publisher: Vintage Publishing
- Publication Date: 23/06/2011
- Category: Classic fiction (pre c 1945)
- ISBN: 9780099552765
- EPUB from £3.99
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Review by JonArnold
The best thing about Peake’s widow finishing off his notes for a planned fourth volume is the balance it provides to the original trilogy – Titus Alone now no longer feels like a bitty appendage to the meaty epic of the first books of the series. It’s also clearly a cathartic exercise for her, with what seems to be an avatar of Peake making a small but vital appearance at a key moment. It also provides a sense of closure to Titus’ wanderingsIt’s a slight story in itself though, and hard as Gilmore works, her prose is distinctly different from her husband, less detailed and evocative. It also suffers the same problem as Titus Alone, being bitty and episodic in nature. The story’s really of Titus’ growing maturity, but the various incidents don’t seem to build that, sudden lurches changing his character rather than smoothly building. Arguably that’s more realistic than a literary treatment, but it doesn’t really satisfy. As a cathartic work it’s fascinating, but as a book too bitty and slight to be truly memorable.