claushetzer’s #CBR4 review #13: Titus Groan by Mervyn Peake
My quarter Cannonball is complete!
Titus Groan is a chewy book. While I’m one of those readers who can buzz through something by, say, Jim Butcher or Terry Brooks in a couple of hours, Titus Groan took me the better part of two months. I don’t mean that as a knock; other books have taken me this long simply because I found them unbearably tedious (Dostoevsky leaps aggravatingly to mind) or frustrating (the first 5 chapters or so of Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One), but not this one. Simply put, reading Titus Groan is just hard work. I chalk this up to multiple factors, the greatest of which is simply Mervyn Peake’s style of writing. Peake was a poet as well as a novelist and illustrator, and it shows in both his voluminous vocabulary and his particularly evocative imagery. He also makes use of long narrative and descriptive passages and often cryptic dialog, to the point where one cannot rush through it even if inclined to; it would be like trying to sprint through a rainforest without benefit of a machete.
Read the rest of the review here.