<squeeeee> I just ordered the trilogy last week and it arrived <happy dancing>
I saw the BBC miniseries thanks to netflix, and decided it was odd enough to warrant a read, and I had enough gift certificates stockpiled, and it was on sale!

Ill let you know in 1172 pages what I think

<wanders off flipping pages>

Reading that series was an odd experience for me. I’m really really glad I read it, but I have no desire to ever read it again. Strange books.

I found them hard going. Like Smeghead, I doubt I’ll read them again.

Fantastic books, except for Titus Alone, 'cos Titus is a whiny little drip: I was cheering for Steerpike, who is one of the great villains. I can see how some people mightn’t like them, though: definitely not a cosy fantasy reading experience like Narnia or even LotR.

Personally, I think “Gormenghast” and “Titus Groan” are masterpieces of 20th century fantasy that far surpass the good-but-over-rated “Lord of the Rings.” Peake had a flair for baroque language that can put some people off, but it’s well worth the extra effort to appreciate the stunning scope of his dark, gothic and byzantine world. Persistent readers are richly rewarded. He can paint word pictures like nobody else and has some disturbing insight into the nature of madness and obsession.

A word of warning about the third book, “Titus Alone”: Peake was sketching the outlines of this book when he was sick and dying. It was pieced together post-mortem and it shows. The plotting and characters are sketchy and hard to follow. I read it once but have had no desire to re-read. On the other hand, I’ve read the first 2 books multiple times.

Agree with Hodge that the first two are brilliant. I also loved the BBC dramatisation and had the actors in mind when visualising the scenes.

Hmmm… I’ve had this trilogy sitting on my shelf for a while (found it for ~$1 at a used bookstore/ flea market/ garage sale), but I’ve never quite mustered the courage to read it. I hate starting things and not finishing them, but frankly as much as I love fantasy, I’ve always felt a bit “meh” about the LOTR books. I may just have to give these a try.

well, as I said I saw the BBC miniseries first and it really helped me keep the dramatis personae straight.

I liked the first book a lot, you really did get this sense that the whole castle was so stuck in ritual that the various insane acts by the people living there just were invisible. I have to admit, I did find myself hating Steerpike but I also understood his drive to get out of the kitchen and into power. I cant say that he started evil, but it sort of slowly grew on him. I have a lot of sympathy for his sister, she is essentially left in the nursery with the governess because as a daughter, she is of no use.

Book 2 was slow going, it goes into a lot more detail than the miniseries and I finished it but am not sure I like it. I can sympathize with Titus feeling so constricted. After all he was shoved into a position he didnt want or ask for. Sometimes I now have to wonder if Prince Charles of Britain would have been much happier as some non noble landed gentry - he seems to act like it.

I hated book 3. Titus is a tit.

I will look for a copy of Gormenghast without the rest of the books and keep that for rereading,and I bought a copy of the miniseries as it is an interesting watch=) and I have already found a new home for the trilogy [a few friends and I pass along books in case someone else would end up liking them rather than throwing it away.]

Takes a while to get into it. About 2000 pages, in fact.

I hated this series.

It has a special place in my personal reading history - other than Of Mice And Men, it’s the only book (I read it as an all-in-one omnibus edition) to have the distinction of being thrown across the room.

And the only one to be stomped on for good measure and then thrown in the bin so it wouldn’t taint my environment any more with its presence.

Perhaps ‘hated’ isn’t a strong enough word.