Gormenghast Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Gormenghast

"Gormenghast" continues the story begun in "Titus Groan." Titus is the future ruler of the city-state of Gormenghast, an exacting and inward-looking society; the book covers his life from childhood to early teens. As the book begins, Gormenghast has been invaded by a destructive force in the form of the ambitious and scheming former kitchen servant Steerpike. Most of the book is devoted to the parallel searches for identity, love and companionship on the part of Titus, a middle-aged schoolteacher, an aging spinster, Steerpike, and Titus' brooding sister Fuchsia, and Titus' schoolboy experiences and rebellion against the strict customs of his society. Running throughout is Steerpike's continuing quest for power and that quest's transformation into bitterness and desire for revenge.
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Chapter Analysis of Gormenghast

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book Descript. of chases or violence 10%planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 10%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 40%Descript. of society, phenomena (tech), places 40% Tone of book    -   depressing/sad FANTASY or SCIENCE FICTION?    -   fantasy world/fantasy past Coming of age    -   Yes Youngster becomes    -   an adult (general) Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Family relations    -   Yes

Main Character

Identity:    -   Male Profession/status:    -   Prince/Nobleman/King Age:    -   a teen


Earth setting:    -   general past Takes place on Earth?    -   Yes

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   moderately detailed references to deaths Sex in book?    -   Yes What kind of sex:    -   vague references only How much dialogue?    -   significantly more descript than dialog

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Mervyn Peake Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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