Gormenghast Read-Along Review: Titus Groan

This spring, I read the Gormenghast series. Did I love it? Did I hate it? I don’t know. I only know it’s lodged in me forever now, like an inoperable tumour that will certainly kill me. Since my read-along was scattered over a lot of twitter threads and since I have now locked my twitter, I thought it best to gather the whole journey for you here. (‘Best for who?’, you may ask.) The following are my tweets, unless otherwise noted. Think of it as something like an epistolary novel. Only shite. Relive the process of discovery with me!!


  • @MollyRKatz: this is my conclusive proof Prunesquallor has a fake woke twitter account


Me: damning, irrefutable.

[We would like to retroactively apologize to Dr Prune, a soft man who did not deserve this.]

  • Kickstarter to give Gormenghast to the National Trust who’ll fucking clean it.
  • This book is so frustrating I’ve spent 100 pages like ‘what if soap?’
  • No one warned me reading Gormenghast was gonna throw up this Dido/Aeneas cave thirst trap scene jiggly jesus

[Jurassic Park gif of man slowly putting on his glasses]



  • I hope this fuckferret trips.



  • Peake is just fucking with me now



  • The Earl of Gormenghast: I’m the night owl!! 🌚🦉
    me: *extremely cheating to the 4th wall even though I am reading a book*
  • I’m sorry he’s the death owl sorry everybody
  • Making Molly choose her Dream Date: Willie Collins vs Mervyn Peake.


And that’s what patriarchy feels like.

  • Mescaline is a hell of a drug


  • Nah babe, this sentence sucks, wyd?


  • You know, Petherbridge would have done well for Prunesquallor.
  • Right so we’ve now had a solid 2 pages on how Peake does not personally like summer, it is not his favourite season, no. Things I could have guessed for £200, Alex.
  • Peake is a basic goth news at never in this timeless netherworld which mirrors society and also his dark soul
  • ‘The fat man moved like an obese woman’ Melvyn stop ✋🛑
  • Oh that fuckin death owl is back. Ca-caw motherfuckers. 💀🦉
  • Get a job, Sepulchrave. 💀🦉  is not a real job it’s like Innovation Disruptor. 
  • Listen buddy I have depression too&once I lost all the data on my laptop it was real sad but I didn’t become a 💀🦉about it or any weak shit like that.
  • Whelp idk how that ho died. Did he jump? Did birds eat him alive? Did he just decide to do it&clock out, no cause necessary? Bye, somehow. I guess.
  • What colour is any given object in Titus Groan?

8% Grey

0% Still grey

25% somehow rancid jewel tone

67% Shouldn’t be grey: is

  • I have £1 on baby Titus growing up to schtupp Keda’s conveniently-aged daughter. [A/N I am NEVER wrong.]
  • You may not like my grotesquely distended jiggling pale body, but this is what Peake Performance looks like.


Bone Swans, by C.S.E. Cooney (review)


C. S. E. Cooney’s Bone Swans collects four previously published short stories and one purpose-built novella. The book won the World Fantasy Award in 2016. Every story demonstrates solid craftsmanship, and I do not like any of them. In part this is my fault, and yet I don’t believe a mere mismatch is wholly to blame.

Read full article here.

The Worst Witch (2017 tv series) (review)


In the (ongoing) 2017 CBBC series The Worst Witch, Mildred Hubble is the only girl at the prestigious Cackle’s Academy who hails from a non-witching family. She squeaked in to the school, and due to her unusual background she struggles to catch up with classmates whose lives have been inundated with magic since their births. Mildred is sweet and far from stupid, but she’s also a tiny disaster-magnet who stumbles from one catastrophe to the next. Her best friends, Maud Spellbody and Enid Nightshade, help see her through, while causing a few problems of their own. Mildred adores Cackle’s and the general camaraderie of the girls, which even her on-going feud with a classmate, the insecure and thus obnoxious Ethel Hallow, can’t spoil for her. The members of the teaching staff have their own dramas, and all the characters get caught up in the seemingly perpetual struggle to defend the school against forces that would repossess it, outright destroy it, or subject it to a much-needed magical Ofsted inspection.

Read full review here.


Ronja, The Robber’s Daughter (review)


Ronja, the Robber’s Daughter is an anime series based on the book of the same title by Astrid Lindgren, the beloved Swedish children’s author most famous for her Pippi Longstocking books. The title character grows up in a remote fort deep in the forest, the darling of her father Mattis’s band of robbers. The forest contains a variety of fantastical creatures, animals, and significant environmental threats, but the greatest, most plot-shaping dangers arise from people: Mattis’s feud with another robber chieftain and both clans’ long war with the forces of law and order. After initially distrusting Birk Borkason, the opposing clan leader’s son and heir, Ronja befriends and becomes very close to him. The two children vow to treat one another as brother and sister, and when they choose to uphold that vow over the objections of their families, the children must strike out on their own and survive in the woods as best they can.

Read the full article here.

Paddington 2 (review)


One night at after-work drinks, a developer on my girlfriend’s team announced without any irony that “Paddington 2 is sick.” “It’s like, really political,” he continued approvingly, his East London accent coming on especially strong a few beers in. Indeed, Paddington 2 is both sick and thoroughly political from start to finish. If the first film was “fuck UKIP, the children’s movie,” Paddington 2 maintains an unimpeachable level of craft, reinforces this stance and pushes itself to think and to say yet a little more.

Read full article here.