Equipped with love, Mr Harold Pye lands on the island of Sark, his mission to convert the islanders into a crusading force for the undiluted goodness that he feels within. The extraordinary inhabitants of the island range fromthe formidable Miss George in her purple busby to the wanton, raven-haired Tintagieu, 'five foot three inches of sex'. Mr Pye, however, is prone to excess and in the increasingly personalised struggle between good and evil, excess is very nearly his downfall.
Mervyn Peake was born in 1911. He is perhaps most famous for the 'Gormenghast' trilogy which were published between 1946 and 1959 - Titus Groan, Gormenghast and Titus Alone. He has also written a book for children, Captain Slaughterboard Drops Anchor and several volumes of poetry. He was also a gifted book illustrator. He died in 1968.
©1953 Mervyn Peake (P)2013 Audible Ltd
I became a big fan of Peake after reading the Gormenghast trilogy.
This book, while is still full of Peake's characteristic descriptiveness and elegant prose, lacks the depth and imagination of Gormenghast (read that instead!). A pleasant, light read, but nothing special.
"not the minor work i was expecting."
sailor sailor sailor!
Thorpe the painter, he is such a beautiful idiot.
that would be spoiling
though it does not have the epic sprawl of the gormenghast books i still found the book really enjoyable. i think its peake most playful book, the humor is typically him both biting and tender and there is a distinct satirical edge about island life. its surprised me that i did not know much about the book but i guess gormenghast overshadows much of his other work.
"And the moral of this story is...?"
Meryvn Peake's quirky tale of one man's mission to swamp an island with love. It is an entertaining treaty on the perils of being over-bearingly good and trying to mould others into your own image. Set on Sark, an island in the English Channel familiar to Peake, the island and the lives of its inhabitants is beautifully captured in all their grotesque glory.
To some degree one can see elements of Peake's more famous Gormenghast trilogy creeping in; the isolated community, the sense of time standing still, the warped and exaggerated characters, even the tragicomic death.
Read with appropriate reverence by Maxwell Caufiield, this is a gentle entertainment in an increasingly stressful world.
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