Eyes like lakes

Eyes like lakes

A surprising simile: lake-like eyes reflecting the sky.  Something touching too about the contrast of apparently wide open eyes, and a face that resembles a rocky, ugly landscape. ‘His eyes were almost transparent as though in a country of ugly hills one were to...
Blank as a wall, wall as a blank

Blank as a wall, wall as a blank

The identical twins Ladies Cora and Clarice aren’t just lookalikes, but also one another’s echo chambers.  They live in their own quarters of the rambling pile of Gormenghast, driving themselves round the bend with thirst for ‘power’ and its...
Dark and small

Dark and small

What a powerful simile, conveying something inward-turning and dangerous through its vivid portrayal of cranial size as a small, corroded bullet. His skull was dark and small like a corroded musket bullet. For other bullet related metaphors and quotations, see Adam...
Reasoning in vain

Reasoning in vain

A convincing form of fruitlessness, as it’s hard to imagine a pious vulture.  The sister in question is an awkward customer, not easy for her entirely reasonable brother to reason with.’One glance at his sister was sufficient to make him realize that to...
Don’t stand there staring…

Don’t stand there staring…

A colourful way to deter someone from staring at you and, in case of need, to insult your staff.  Stenching mules. Mervyn Peake’s Gormenghast books are not only an imaginative masterpiece but also a ready sourcebook of new and inventive invective. Your cursing...
As expressionless as …

As expressionless as …

Mervyn Peake’s Gormenghast trilogy is packed with original metaphor and simile.  In Titus Groan, the first book, I noted two similes for ‘expressionless’, both appropriate, though I think I prefer the second. See also his description of a blank...
Rain like remorse

Rain like remorse

Mervyn Peake’s Gormenghast has a lot of weather, giving an overwhelming impression of dismal, dank, damp, darkness of cloud, storm and rain. Here a storm rages until it exhausts its own anger and then just pours remorse onto the earth. ‘They had waited...
A sky of rags

A sky of rags

A marvelous view of a heavily clouded sky; you can imagine vast firmament rags being saturated with water by a giant hand, before being crumple-stuffed into the welkin.’… and above the blurred outline of the Twisted Woods the sky was choked with crumpled...
Fuchsia and ruby

Fuchsia and ruby

A gift from the eccentric but kind-hearted and protective physician to the young daughter of the Earl and Countess of Gormenghast, slightly neglected by her parents for being but a girl, and having a certain shyness and feistiness.A striking description for the big...

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