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Book Title: Figures of Speech|
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Reader ratings: 3.2
The author of the book: Mervyn Peake
Date of issue: August 11th 2003
ISBN 13: 9780763621766
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 699 KB
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The eccentric talent of the legendary Mervyn Peake figures prominently in FIGURES OF SPEECH, a playful series of drawings that challenge the reader to guess what familiar saying each picture portrays.
"We give no table of contents here, for to do so would spoil your pleasure," wrote author-illustrator Mervyn Peake when this quirky book was first published in 1939. "Each drawing represents a particular Figure of Speech." Following were twenty-nine drawings, identified only by number: a couple with their noses on fire; a gentleman cutting pages from a book; a tropical explorer resting his heels inside water glasses. Revealed in a key at the end were the "figures of speech" the drawings portrayed (in this case, "burning their bridges," "cutting a long story short," and, of course, "cooling his heels").
Now this idiosyncratic volume has been lovingly reissued, its original black-and-white drawings set against colorful panels. Whether enjoyed simply for its witty, intriguing, and masterly pictures or used as a game book with family or friends, Figures of Speech will delight devoted followers of Mervyn Peake and everyone else who loves visual puns.
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Read information about the authorMervyn Laurence Peake was an English modernist writer, artist, poet and illustrator. He is best known for what are usually referred to as the Gormenghast books, though the Titus books would be more accurate: the three works that exist were the beginning of what Peake conceived as a lengthy cycle, following his protagonist Titus Groan from cradle to grave, but Peake's untimely death prevented completion of the cycle, which is now commonly but erroneously referred to as a trilogy. They are sometimes compared to the work of his older contemporary J.R.R. Tolkien, but his surreal fiction was influenced by his early love for Charles Dickens and Robert Louis Stevenson rather than Tolkien's studies of mythology and philology.
Peake also wrote poetry and literary nonsense in verse form, short stories for adults and children ("Letters from a Lost Uncle"), stage and radio plays, and Mr Pye, a relatively tightly-structured novel in which God implicitly mocks the evangelical pretensions and cosy world-view of the eponymous hero.
Peake first made his reputation as a painter and illustrator during the 1930s and 1940s, when he lived in London, and he was commissioned to produce portraits of well-known people. A collection of these drawings is still in the possession of his family. Although he gained little popular success in his lifetime, his work was highly respected by his peers, and his friends included Dylan Thomas and Graham Greene. His works are now included in the collections of the National Portrait Gallery and the Imperial War Museum.
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