Mr Pye by Mervyn Peake. Hardcover book published by Methuen 1985.
I was recently talking to someone about Mervyn Peake, in particular his Gormenghast books. I thought they were a trilogy but checking the old Wikipedia, I find that they are not classified as a trilogy but were part of a “lengthy cycle, the completion of which was prevented by his death.” Death will do that sometimes… unless you’re V.C. Andrews.
The Gormenghast “cycle” is incredibly popular with those that like that sort of thing… which is a sort of gothic fantasy type thing. I’d even go so far as to say that there’s a cult of Gormenghast although maybe that’s going a little too far. Lets just say that Mervyn has his fans… of which I am not one there of.
I read the first of the Gormenghast books (Titus Groan) many years ago and despite believing that it was a trilogy, I have never been tempted to read the other books (Gormenghast, Titus Alone). So what was wrong with my reading of Titus Groan? Well, it just didn’t grab me and this may sound a bit strange, but at the time I remember reading it and thinking that it was going in and going straight back out again. Now this is interesting because I remember thinking this about the book, but I can’t remember any details about the book. It could have been my state of mind at the time and I do remember thinking that I should possibly read it again at a later date… which as I’ve mentioned I never been tempted to do.
In the meantime I’ve got this copy of Mr. Pye which is not part of the Gormenghast “cycle”. But it is the book that I have for sale. It’s very rare for me to find any of the Gormenghast books and when I do they are usually very worn and not up to the usual Huc & Gabet standard. This copy of Mr Pye does meet the standard but it isn’t Gormenghast. Maybe I should read this book. Maybe I should read Gormenghast. Or maybe I should just leave it and see what happens, as life is too short to worry about what I have and haven’t read.