Titus Awakes – Maeve Gilmore and Mervyn Peake

Titus Awakes

Five words from the blurb: Gormenghast, Titus, bravery, free, past

Earlier this year the fourth novel in the Gormenghast series, Titus Awakes, was published. The book was discovered in a Maeve Gilmore’s attic nearly 30 years after her death and is Gilmore’s attempt to complete the fragments of a novel that her husband, Mervyn Peake, left behind.

Titus Awakes is a short novel in which Titus leaves Gormenghast, meets a variety of people and ends up in a modern city. Sound familiar? Yes! This book felt like a shortened version of Titus Alone. I didn’t enjoy Titus Alone  and I’m afraid that this was even worse. The plot was very basic; Titus was a weak, charmless individual and the descriptions lacked the vivid atmosphere of Titus Groan/Gormenghast.

This book added nothing to the Gormenghast series and I found it a real chore to read to the end. I can only imagine this being of interest Gormenghast scholars – everyone else should stick to Titus Groan and Gormenghast.


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  1. Teresa says:

    Ugh. I have an ARC of this, but I was so nonplussed by Titus Alone that I’ve been hesitant to pick it up. I’ll give the first couple of chapters an “audition skim” at some point, but it may just end up going in my charity bag.

    1. Jackie says:

      Teresa, I think your hesitation is justified. This book has none of the magic of Titus Alone (and I struggled to see the plus points of that book!) I hope you give it a go at some point (if only to ensure I’m not missing something) but I wouldn’t get your hopes up.

  2. I was wondering about this book. After reading this I shan’t bother with it – unless I see a copy in the library.

    1. Jackie says:

      Margaret, It is such a shame that this book didn’t do anything for me :-(

  3. I hadn’t heard of this one, but it doesn’t really sound like one I would like. I’ll keep the others in mind.

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