Gormenghast Read-along?

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The Gormenghast Trilogy

I was inspired to read The Gormenghast Trilogy after hearing wonderful things about it at the Vintage Classics Day. A couple of people mentioned that they’d also like to read it and so I thought I’d see if anyone was interested in participating in a read-along.

Gormenghast is a cult classic that has been described as:

one of the most distinctive, absorbing and wonderfully strange books ever written.

It is set in a crumbling castle and describes the lives of the heirs to this dark kingdom. I’m afraid I don’t know much more about it, but I’m looking forward to finding out!

Amazon states that it is a book:

no reader interested in Gothic dare to miss.

The fourth book in the “trilogy” is being released in July and so it seems appropriate to read these books now, making the way through the entire series in one long stint.

I was thinking about starting the read-along in June, but am not sure about what pace to take.

Are you interesting in reading Gormenghast with me?

If so, how quickly would you like to progress through the books?

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  1. LizzySiddal says:

    I am very interested in this, Jackie. It will give me a great excuse to treat myself to the new illustrated edition. Unfortunately that’s not published till July so I’ll try and grab a library edition in the interim.

    The major thing for me in large read -alongs is the pace. I find I succeed better when it’s regular and moderate (50-100 pages per week). I suspect that may be too slow for you, though.

    1. Jackie says:

      Lizzy, I’m so pleased you are interested in this!

      I quite like a slow pace for read-alongs too, as I like to be able to read other things at the same time. I’m just not sure how slow would be best. Let’s see what others think and go with the majority.

      1. LizzySiddal says:

        For info – Have reserved library copy but am unlikely to get my paws on it until the beginning of June.

        1. Jackie says:

          I was thinking of a start date at the beginning of June sometime, but will check my calendar and finalise details soon.

  2. Bellezza says:

    I’d be interested in reading along, Jackie. Whatever pace you choose sounds okay with me; I’ve read Bleak House and The Woman in White as read alongs, and hosted my own of The Brothers Karamazov so long novels don’t scare me. ;) I agree that a steady pace of at least 100 pages a week would be good though, as I need to keep the momentum going. Plus, my own Japanese Literature Challenge 5 will be starting in June, and I have to save time for that! Looking forward tow hat you decide.

    1. Jackie says:

      Bellezza, It is great to hear that you are joining in. Most people seem to think that 100 pages a week is about right so it sounds as though that is a good number to pick. I must remember to save a Japanese book for your challenge too :-)

  3. Bellezza says:

    p.s. I’m sure you’re probably aware of this already, but I wanted to leave a link to the website I found for Gormenghast. Such fun this will bel!

    1. Jackie says:

      Bellezza, Thank you! I had seen the website, but didn’t want to browse it at this stage as I am scared of spoilers. I look forward to investigating it once I’ve read a fair chunk of the book.

      1. Bellezza says:

        Agreed; spoilers, they’re the worst.

  4. gavin says:

    I am very interested in this read-along!

    1. Jackie says:

      Yay! Glad to have you on board, Gavin.

  5. Jackie — Great idea!

    Since I just read the trilogy last year, I am not in the mood to re-read it so soon. But I think your read-along is a great idea and I will help you promote it.

    For one thing, I am happy to post an announcement about the read-along on my reviews of the three books, and I will cross-post reviews anyone does of the books on my review posts, for anyone who leaves a link (so I know where to find their review):

    My review of Titus Groan is here.

    My review of Gormenghast is here.

    My review of Titus Alone is here.

    Have fun!

    1. Jackie says:

      Rose City Reader, Thank you for the support! Perhaps you could read the fourth book along with us?

  6. I’d like to read along too. I first read the trilogy years ago and have been meaning to re-read it for at least the last two years. This should give me the incentive! 100 pages a week sounds feasible.

    1. Jackie says:

      Margaret, Excellent :-) I look forward to sharing thoughts on the book with you.

  7. Annabel says:

    I’d like to join in, but personally would prefer to do one book per month. I don’t like spreading it out so thinly, preferring total immersion – just to be awkward!

    1. Jackie says:

      Annabel, In my copy of the trilogy Titus Groan is 369 pages, Gormenghast is 384 pages and Titus Alone is 200 pages. If we read 100 pages a week we’d effectively be reading each of the first two books in a month and the last one in two weeks. So actually there isn’t much difference between the two.

  8. I think I might give this a go, Jackie. Interestingly, after I read your post the other week I was then looking on Joanne Harris’s website (one of my all-time favourite authors) and she states this as her favourite book, so the timing is rather apt as I wanted to get myself a copy.

    I am notorioulsy bad at wanting to read with other people and then getting engrossed in other books though; I feel it only fair to warn you. I am interested though so look forward to seeing the schedule. Maybe not every week would suit me so I don’t feel like it’s “homework”.

    1. Jackie says:

      The Book Whisperer, It is great to know that this is Joanne Harris’s favourite book. I’m becoming more and more excited about this one all the time.

      Don’t worry about keeping up with the read-along – I’ve also been bad at sticking to other people’s schedules so know the problems you face. Feel free to read it at your own pace and join in with the discussion whenever you feel like it – I hate reading becoming like homework.

  9. FleurFisher says:

    I would love to reread Gormenghast, but I’m heavily commited and so I’m making no promises.

    1. Jackie says:

      I’ll keep my fingers crossed that you’ll be able to find the time to squueze in some Gormenghast.

  10. kiss a cloud says:

    I’ve been dying to read this, Jackie! But I probably won’t be able to read along if it happens soon. I’ll be eagerly awaiting your posts!

    1. Jackie says:

      kiss a cloud, The posts will always be there, so you’re more than welcome to read and add your thoughts whenever you get round to reading it. :-)

  11. Dot says:

    I have always looked at this trilogy with great interest so I am off to order it so that I can join in. Great idea!

    1. Jackie says:

      Dot, Yay! I’m pleased you’ll be joining us :-)

  12. I’d like to join in as I started the first book years ago but never finished it. I have fairly significant work commitments so the slower the pace the better!

  13. sakura says:

    I’m so tempted to join in but I’ll have to see how much time I have as I’ve got lots of books lined up to read. I actually had a copy of this but gave it away during a cull as I’d watched the DVD and wasn’t sure whether I was going to read it. Now I wish I hadn’t!

  14. stujallen says:

    I ve read this and not really time for a reread ,good luck ,all the best stu

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