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January Books 9) Titus Alone

I'm afraid I was simply not convinced by Titus Alone. In fact, I was bored and confused by it. Titus, having run away from his home, finds himself in the neighbouring industrialised countryside (where people have never actually heard of Gormenghast, despite its absolute domination of its own hinterland). He becomes the object of obsession - in particular of the two women, Juno, with whom he has a love affair, and Cheeta, who rejects him and then develops a bizarrely elaborate plan to humiliate him by throwing a party at which various aspects of Gormenghast are satirically brought to life, but also of the self-appointed guardians from the Under-River. The imagery was intense, and I suppose it is in some way a spiritual and allegorical journey for Titus growing up, but in the end he ends back exactly where he started, and it did not work for me.

Also fails the Bechdel Test. I had hopes that the mysterious Black Rose would have a conversation with Juno, but she died before waking up.


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 15th, 2011 11:02 am (UTC)
This book was written shortly before Peake's death. From what I understand, it's more of an outline with some fleshing out rather than what he intended to have as book 3.
Jan. 15th, 2011 12:31 pm (UTC)
I think there are three versions of this now - the edited one which came out first, Langdon Jones's rejigged version which restored heavy cuts and possible a new one or one due, possibly with materials for volume four based on his notes and fleshed out by his wife - I see a few pages were published in the 1990s, but I heard the whole thing would appear: Titus Awakes. (I'm sure about a new version of Alone - it's what the radio people were suggesting a year ago - clearly other decisions from Jones's could be made)
Jan. 15th, 2011 01:34 pm (UTC)
I gave up on it a chapter or two in, as I recall.
Jan. 15th, 2011 06:47 pm (UTC)
The second book is the best IMO. His illness and someone else finishing the third really killed it as far as I'm concerned.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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