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Extended Audio Sample Gormenghast Audiobook, by Mervyn Peake Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (4,861 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Mervyn Peake Narrator: Simon Vance Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The Gormenghast Trilogy Release Date: May 2017 ISBN: 9781538462980
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A doomed lord, an emergent hero, and an array of bizarre creatures haunt the world of the Gormenghast trilogy, which reigns as one of the undisputed fantasy classics of all time. At the center of it all is Titus Groan, the seventy-seventh Earl, who stands to inherit the miles of rambling stone and mortar that form Gormenghast Castle and its kingdom.

In this second volume, Titus comes of age within the walls of Gormenghast Castle and discovers various family intrigues. Having been “exiled” to grow up with the common children until the age of fifteen, Titus has discovered secret hiding places in the castle from where he can watch and learn unobserved. Disconnected from his future responsibilities, Titus drifts back and forth between the complicated social world he will grow up to govern and a world of fantasy and daydream.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “[Peake’s books] are actual additions to life; they give, like certain rare dreams, sensations we never had before and enlarge our conception of the range of possible experience.”

    C. S. Lewis

  • “This extravagant epic about a labyrinthine castle populated with conniving Dickensian grotesques is the true fantasy classic of our time.”

    Washington Post Book World 

  • “Mervyn Peake is a finer poet than Edgar Allan Poe, and he is therefore able to maintain his world of fantasy brilliantly through three novels. It is a very, very great work…a classic of our age.”

    Robertson Davies

  • “[A] magnificent ediface spun from thin air by a tortured genius.”

    Liz Jensen, author of The Rapture

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Aneel | 2/17/2014

    " Even more bizarre than Titus Groan. It flows along, seeming to make sense in its own odd way and suddenly reverses itself. Everything changes in an abrupt sentence, leaving me to re-read the relevant part over and over to assure myself that it actually said what it seemed to. Very rich. Full of haunting imagery. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 g | 2/4/2014

    " Moody, murky Gormenghast, with your echoing corridors and vivid inhabitants: you have haunted and taunted me for three (four?) years now. Forgive me if I strut and crow for a time over your at-long-last vanquished pages! I don't doubt but I shall succumb to your melancholy siren song again in years to come. Know that you have a fervent admirer in me, however erratic my attendance. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Daisy Madder | 2/2/2014

    " It is perhaps wrong of me to wish that Steerpike had triumphed.... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Iain | 1/25/2014

    " First book is best. A really unique author. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ikonopeiston | 1/25/2014

    " I loved this book. It continues the Dickensian mode of the first book but with a steadily increasing sense of unease. The characters continue to develop and move off the page. Steerpike is one of the great villains of literature. His machinations are horrifying and inevitable as is his ultimate fate. The story should have stopped with this book since it is entirely satisfying. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 lowercase | 1/17/2014

    " fascinating, epic, sprawling and intimately detailed, the gormenghast trilogy isn't so much a series of tales as it is an almost inhuman accomplishment. with every word, you can hear the creaking of all the many gears that must spin to support the effort, even if most of them are broken-toothed. i'm still not precisely sure what it was all about, but i don't really care; it catches you up and takes you with it to some other place, and when it sets you down, you look around you with eyes that are able to see slightly beyond anywhere you've looked before. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 marginalia | 1/11/2014

    " Lush. Strange. It doesn't make sense, but it's so vivid. He doesn't so much build a plot as a world, from the ground up; Gormenthast *is* the story. I go back to it again and again. Can't read the third in the series, though, it's too mad. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rick | 10/2/2013

    " one day...i will finish this...butnot soon :) "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tara Isabella | 9/3/2013

    " Perhaps less narratively tight than Titus Groan, but what does it matter when you have five hundred pages in which to luxuriate (and/or wallow) in the swamps and flooded corridors of Castle Gormenghast? "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jude Broad | 6/14/2013

    " Captivating. These books draw you into the dark and disturbing world of Titus Groan. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 John | 5/26/2012

    " As weird and as briliant as ever. A slightly broader sweep that Titus Groan which gives it a more Dickensian feel. High comedy v. intense drama. Titus is still a terrible prig ttough - no wonder Steerpike is more interesting. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Talbot Hook | 10/23/2010

    " This book, as far as my tastes are concerned, had far too much script dealing with Irma Prunesquallor, and a bunch of insipid professors. Many parts, I feel, had absolutely nothing to do with anything. That said, the prose was still brilliant. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Robert Premeaux | 10/22/2010

    " It might be blasphemous to say, but I think Titus Groan was better. Still, Gormenghast is incredible in many ways. The reintroduction of Mr. Flay, the professors, the entire Steerpike saga ... and, of course, the great flood. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jim | 6/22/2010

    " Probably my favourite of the trilogy. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Elizabeth | 4/17/2010

    " I tried. I really tried. Reading his writing is like trying to swim through glue. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Shelley Farrar | 12/23/2006

    " Beautifully written with such absorbing descriptions. Bizarre and sometimes strangely humorous it really is a joy to read. One of my all time favourite books. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kristel | 4/30/2003

    " I liked this one much better than Titus Groan (the first book in the trilogy). It was still longer than it had any need to be, but at least this time I felt like there was a story. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Joe | 9/6/2002

    " I like this one a little less than TITUS GROAN. I think it's because it spends too much time with characters I don't like as much. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dan Creighton | 4/28/2002

    " Depending on your level of tolerance for Peake's style, you either think it's a stone cold masterpiece or give up about 60 pages in, as I have learnt to my chagrin over many years of attempting to force people to read this book. It is a stone cold masterpiece. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Olivia | 2/8/2002

    " Reads like fantasy although there is no magic whatsoever. Every page is a reverie. "

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About the Author
Author Mervyn Peake

Mervyn Laurence Peake (1911–1968) was born and raised in China until the age of eleven. He went on to study at the Royal Academy School in London, where he developed as an artist, designer, and writer. He worked as an artist on the island of Sark for several years and then returned to London to hold several exhibitions. Peake has also published illustrated verse and short stories for children, plays, short stories, and novels.

About the Narrator

Simon Vance (a.k.a. Robert Whitfield) is an award-winning actor and an AudioFile Golden Voice with over forty Earphones Awards. He has won thirteen prestigious Audie Awards and was Booklist’s very first Voice of Choice in 2008. He has narrated more than eight hundred audiobooks over almost thirty years, beginning when he was a radio newsreader for the BBC in London.