Titus Awakes

A Novel

Mervyn Peake - Author

Maeve Gilmore - Author

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ISBN 9781590208700 | 288 pages | 07 Jul 2011 | Overlook | 18 - AND UP
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Mervyn Peake's Gormenghast trilogy is widely acknowledged to be, as Robertson Davies pronounced, "a classic of our age." In these extraordinary novels, Peake created a world where all is like a dream-- lush, fantastical, and vivid. Yet it was incomplete. Parkinson's disease took Peake's life in 1968, depriving his fans of the fourth and final volume of the series, Titus Awakes except for a few tantalizing pages, after which his writing became indecipherable. Or so it seemed.

In January of 2010, Peake's granddaughter found four composition books in her attic. They contained the fabled Titus Awakes in its entirety. Peake had outlined the novel for his wife, Maeve Gilmore, who had at last finished Peake's masterpiece.

It starts with Titus leaving Castle Gormenghast. Peake wrote: "With every pace he drew away from Gormenghast mountain, and from everything that belonged to his home. That night, as Titus lay asleep in the tall barn, a nightmare held him. "

Fans of Peake will delight in this new, wonderful novel, published one hundred years after his birth, every bit as thrilling and masterfully written as his famed trilogy.

"Gilmore finishes her husband's lush, fantastical Gormenghast series, drawing on the pages Peake left behind with his death in 1968." - - LA Times

Praise for Mervyn Peake:

"A gorgeous, volcanic eruption . . . a work of extraordinary imagination." --The New Yorker

"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, author of The Deptford Trilogy

"[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

"The true fantasy classic of our time." -- The Washington Post

"Peake's style is marvelous... His inventiveness, his ingenuity, and his humor are astonishing." --San Francisco Chronicle

"Many readers admire Tolkien's Lord of the Rings, but fans of Mervyn Peake's Titus trilogy maintain that this extravagant epic about a labyrinthine castle populated with conniving Dickensian grotesques is the true fantasy classic of our time." --The Washington Post Book World

"Mr. Peake's first novel hold one with its glittering eye . . . It has a genuine plot in the strictest sense, and it persuades you to read on simply in order to know what will happen . . . Its gallery of characters is wonderful." --The Nation

"A fancy of such freshness, variety and visionary power that in his own modest, special way Mervyn Peake liberates and elevates as well as charms." -- The New York Times

"A brilliant work, the product of a unique mind." --The Chicago Daily News

"It is, if you like, a rich wine of fancy chilled by the intellect to just the right temperature. There is really no close relative to it in all our prose literature. It is uniquely brilliant, and we are right to call it a modern classic." -- Anthony Burgess

"A moving conclusion to a grand saga . . . The most distinctive feature of the Gormenghast books is the playful exuberance with which they recount the scenes of horror and madness . . . The grotesque characters and ghastly scenes that fill the Gormenghast books do not emerge, half-formed and darkly menacing, from the depths of the unconscious mind. They are creations of wit . . . Nothing is more characteristic of Peake's genius than the perfect command he exercises over the world that he invented." --New Statesman (UK)

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