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Extended Audio Sample Titus Groan Audiobook, by Mervyn Peake Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (7 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: October 2010 ISBN: 9781455176991
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A doomed lord, an emergent hero, and an array of bizarre creatures haunt the world of the Gormenghast novels which, along with Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, reigns as one of the undisputed fantasy classics of all time. Peake has created a world where all is like a dream—lush, fantastical, vivid, and yet symbolic of a dark struggle.

At the center of everything is the seventy-seventh earl, Titus Groan, who stands to inherit the Gormenghast Castle and its kingdom. Inside, all events are predetermined by a complex ritual whose origins are lost in history, and the castle is peopled by dark characters in half-lit corridors. When Titus is crowned, he is called “Child-Inheritor of the rivers, of the Tower of Flints and the dark recesses beneath cold stairways…Child-Inheritor of the spring breezes that blow in from the jarl forests and of the autumn misery in petal, scale, and wing.”

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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

  • “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

  • “[Simon Vance] is calm and fastidious-voiced in third person narration, giving us time to revel in the book’s surreal description and ghastly ambience…In the book’s dialogue, however, he takes on the Gormenghast menagerie with brio and versatility, giving each character a distinctive, appropriate voice…Overall his narration is a masterly rendition of a lurid and haunting work.” 

    Washington Post 

  • “A darkly humorous, stunningly complex tale…This true classic is a feast of words unlike anything else in the world of fantasy. Those who explore Gormenghast castle will be richly rewarded.”

    Amazon.com, editorial review

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chloe | 5/16/2011

    " The sort of fantasy book that someone who loved Lord of the Rings and wants more of the same style would want to read. Luckily, that's me! I really enjoyed this book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Paul | 4/4/2011

    " Think a collaboration between Lovecraft and Huysmans for British children. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Doug | 4/2/2011

    " Another one (along with Lord of the Rings) where I liked the story but found the actual experience of reading so very very dull. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lela | 3/11/2011

    " Love this book, but not as much as I love book two which is AMAZING! I couldn't find it anywhere on here though. Where is the second novel to the Titus Groan series? "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kylie | 3/4/2011

    " First read in 1991. Have read it since and it's still good. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dutch | 2/9/2011

    " Not the easiest writer to read the darkness of the storyline and the stream of unlovable characters do not make for light reading. I found the BBC interpretation very good and a lot more watchable than reading all the books. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Joe | 12/15/2010

    " I think this is one of my top five favorite books right now. There's nothing else I've read quite like it. It's beautifully written, dripping with imagination, semisatirical, and every character is a delight. "

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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 fifty-eight 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.