Every Sunday on the Isle of Sark, Mervyn Peake would tell his children stories about pirates, shipwrecks and the Wild West. He illustrated his spontaneous stories with delightfully vivid drawings of the characters in his tales, but never set down words to go with them. Now, decades after Peake's death, world-renowned fantasy writer (and friend of the Peakes) Michael MoorcoEvery Sunday on the Isle of Sark, Mervyn Peake would tell his children stories about pirates, shipwrecks and the Wild West. He illustrated his spontaneous stories with delightfully vivid drawings of the characters in his tales, but never set down words to go with them. Now, decades after Peake's death, world-renowned fantasy writer (and friend of the Peakes) Michael Moorcock has written verses to go with Peake's drawings. The result of this star collaboration - by turns funny, surprising and haunting - is accompanied by an illuminating and touching introduction by Moorcock.Duckworth is publishing The Sunday Books to mark the centenary of Peake's birth, which will be commemorated around the world....
|Title||:||The Sunday Books|
|Number of Pages||:||138 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
The Sunday Books Reviews
When I saw this book I thought, "Mervyn Peake's illustrations; Michael Moorcock's words: what more could you ask for?" The answer is, "Mervyn Peake's words."The illustrations were made by Peake for his children's story times and were not originally intended for publication. That many of them are drawn on line-ruled note paper and that some drawings have "leaked" through from the page beneath just adds to the charm.Some of the drawings are rough sketches, but still clearly "Peake-ian" and worthy of inclusion. For the most part, however, they are really high quality illustrations and they look like they were made for a professional commission.Moorcock's introduction is sweet and, as a friend of Peake and his family, his affection and regard really comes through. There are also some nice photos of the Peake family that I haven't seen before.Regarding the main text, as Peake didn't record the stories he told to his children while making the drawings, Moorcock has written a story to link them together. He's created a pastiche of Captain Slaughterboard Drops Anchor and Letters from a Lost Uncle, but it doesn't quite work. The story feels overly forced to reference the illustrations instead of flowing naturally. I also found a few of the references to contemporary news stories (the banking crisis, rising oil prices, etc.) rather jarring. Annoying because Moorcock is a brilliant writer and should have done this better.So, five stars for Peake's illustrations, three stars for Moorcock's text = 4 stars.As an artefact, the book is very well put together: good quality paper and sturdily constructed. It sits really well in the hand and is a pleasure to read.
This is a lovely looking volume comprising drawings by the writer of Gormenghast that he did to amuse his children when they were young, and not originally for public consumption, which are set to stories by Peake's friend and writer Michael Moorcock. The stories are interesting but are nothing special or groundbreaking but would be the sort of stories that Peake may very well have used with these illustrations. As a result you get the drawings of Peake and the writing of Moorcock so it is really neither a work by Peake, or a work by Moorcock but an amalgamation of the two which works but it might have been better if the stories had been by Peake himself, if only for his wonderful vocabulary.It also has a potted biography of Peake which make him sound like a really interesting character and worthy of a book in its own right.
This book is SO my cup of tea, that I probably can't be rational about it. I love it. I even love the feel of the cloth cover. I might be patting this book for a week or so, and will gradually wean myself from it. The short biography of Mervyn Peake at the start, was enlightening as I had a lot of wrong ideas about the man. The artwork throughout is fascinating, and very of its time, first half of the 20th century. Some of it reminds me of Bloomsbury Group decorative work, and could be something from the walls of Charleston Farmhouse. Some of it reminds me of another book on my shelf from the same era 'Lady Filmy Fern' or 'The Voyage of the Window Box' by Thomas Hennell, illustrated by edward Bawden. There is a raw kind of beauty in this sort of work by artists who have turned to illustration as a diversion, either for themselves or their children.
A great combination of Mervyn Peake's illustrations and Michael Moorcock's well-imagined prose make this a great find for fans of either author. There is a good introduction by Moorcock explaining how he came to write the stories, which are by turn poetic, humorous, and make quite compulsive reading.
Michael Moorcock pieces together dozens of Mervyn Peake's drawings, sketches, and paintings to create a charming children's tale, in the style of the type Peake himself would tell his sons Sebastian and Fabian, as the boys were growing up on Sark in the early '50s.
Great book, I thought the art and story went very well together.