Titus Groan – Mervyn Peake

Gormenghast #1 The first book in Peake’s beautiful, classic story of a crumbling, tradition-ridden society. I’ve been (re-)reading Mervyn Peake, Jack Vance, and Robert Silverberg, all at the same time. I was surprised by the similarity between Vance and Silverberg, but more on that (and Silverberg and Peake, for that matter) in my eventual review of Lord Valentine’s Castle. I expected some similarity between Vance and Peake, who both leave the impression of dense, intricate…

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Clarges – Jack Vance

In Clarges, anyone who qualifies can live forever, but Gavin Waylock, falsely accused of crime, has had to live in hiding. Now, he emerges to try again for everlasting life. Wikipedia quotes Floyd C. Gale as saying “frighteningly logical…[t]he sick, inbred society of Vance’s imagination comes fully alive, even though his characters remain mere symbols.” I really can’t say it better than that. Where most Vance work is focused on atmosphere, attitude, and of course…

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