daligrip, December 16, 2009 (view all comments by daligrip)
The Sad Tale of the Brothers Grossbart is Engrossing...Emphasis on the Gross. The Vile twins are anti-heros of the first degree, slashing and farting and bleeding and freezing and barfing (not to mention bickering and wrestling in a murderous, brotherly kind of way) from Germany through Venice and on to Gyptland.
The book opens with a particularly vile revenge murder- a farmer who thrashed them for stealing turnips many years ago is forced to watch as the brothers kill his family and torch the farm- and only goes down hill from there...but shortly, you are rooting for them!
Fans of the Brothers Grimm who especially like the versions where the "bad ends" are left in will find this particularly enjoyable.
The tale is also notable for it's twisted theological discussions, and I defy any one to read the complete version of that which is abridged on the inside jacket with a straight face.
The book is populated by brigands, thieves, witches, demons, monsters, mad priests and a multitude of innocent victims, all painted in close, deft, strokes.
I especially warn against taking this book on a cruise if you are even mildly prone to seasickness. It will push you over the edge.
All in all, a fine read. For a...certain type.
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I recommend this book with trepidation, though I enjoyed the dark, cruel humor within. My wife put it down after reading the first couple chapters, deterred by the graphic cruelty of the titular brothers Grossbart. A thick-skinned reader, one who finds the squelch of bodily fluids to be chuckle-inducing, may find hours of enjoyment in this nasty little book. So read on and enjoy the nasty, brutish, and ultimately short adventures of the brothers Grossbart!
by Christian Benito
by Burnside Genre Team,
The Sad Tale of the Brothers Grossbart is a hilariously vile folktale that follows the murderous and debauched Grossbart twins as they grave-rob their way across medieval Europe, leaving behind a trail of blood and vomit. Darkly funny, but not for the squeamish.
by Burnside Genre Team
"Publishers Weekly Review"
by Publishers Weekly,
"With liberal inclusion of vomit, gore and turnips, Bullington's bizarre debut follows two monstrous siblings across 1364 Europe and the Middle East as they seek ever-richer graves to rob. The Crusades, the papal schism and the Black Death all make appearances, as do the obligatory witches, priests and knights. In addition to robbing, torturing and murdering innocent peasants, the brothers dispatch demons and imitation popes while debating theology and the nature of mercy, e.g., finishing a victim off rather than leaving him for the crows. The mix of grimmer-than-Grimm fairy tale tropes, spaghetti Western dialogue ('Yeah, can't suffer no traitorous churls to keep on bein traitorous') and medieval history is striking and often funny, but it may not be compelling enough to keep readers slogging along with the brothers' endless travels and copious letting of bodily fluids." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
by Kirkus Reviews,
"Whether readers enjoy this amusing, skillfully distasteful experience depends on the strength of their stomachs and the extent of their tolerance for intimate acquaintance with unpleasant characters. Discomfiting, disgusting and at times as grotesquely pleasurable as picking at a scab."
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