Nanny Slagg meets an old man of the Dwellers, the humble people who live limpet-like on the outer walls of Gormenghast castle.  Here he greets the castle’s envoy with the deference expected.  The description of his voice suggests a low-frequency booming. 

”Gormenghast,’ he said, and his voice was like the noise of boulders rolling through far valleys.’  

For related metaphors, see one concerning the Countess and another about her cats, from the same book, and an account of the subtle qualities of Odysseus’ voice.

See also our bestellar review of this book, with its lavishly illustrated quote-mosaic, packed with fine phrasing and fresh metaphors.  


Source: Mervyn Peake, Titus Groan, introduction by Anthony Burgess (London: Vintage Books, 1998), p. 79

Photo credit: LUM3N at


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