Customer Reviews for

The Sad Tale of the Brothers Grossbart

Average Rating 3.5
( 21 )
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  • Posted May 5, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Book Review - The Sad Tale of the Brothers Grossbart

    The Sad Tale of the Brothers Grossbart
    Jesse Bullington
    Orbit
    2009
    Trade Paperback
    464 pages
    ISBN: 0316049344

    Its 14th century Medieval Europe and the most despicable human beings to have ever graced the pages of historical fiction are given life and a certain morbid sense of humor by debut author Jesse Bullington. Manfried and Hegel Grossbart are far and away the most evil-incarnate and foul-mouthed creatures to have ever spilled from a pen. Base, sacrilegious, and merciless these men are destined to go down in history as more loathsome than any modern day serial killer, tougher than Vlad the Impaler or a Tarantino character, and in possession of more cons than a flat-broke hustler just before the weekend. And if that alone isn't enough incentive to immediately go out and buy this book then how about this? The story overflows with well-written scenes of abject brutality, acts of unimaginable inhumanity, ill-reasoned religious doggerel, heavy-handed gratuitous violence, demonic possession, blood and guts, gore and grey matter, vengeance, retribution, indifference to the suffering of others, and a smattering of the European countryside which would, under normal circumstances, keep one interested in the exploits of the twin Grossbart's throughout an entire novel. But get this. everything I just mentioned occurs in the first few chapters!!

    The Sad Tale of the Brothers Grossbart is a quick and enjoyable read, full of wonderfully creative exposition, humorous banter, and dialogue loaded with swearing and cursing, both profane and blasphemous. But it also has a feel for the medieval way of life, how people lived and spoke and worshipped and is unlike any other historical fiction I've ever read. The Grossbart's tale will keep you turning pages and will make you miss a lot of sleep. Not only from reading late into the night to find out where the brothers quest next (and who or what they kill) but frightened by the shadows that the story conjures too.

    Plague survivors, pocket philosophers, demon killers, grave robbers, mad monks, demons, witches, and more join the Brothers Grossbart on their quest to "Gyptland" and the fabled graves of kings rumored to be held by their grandfather. But forewarned is forearmed, keep an eye on your purse and a hand on your dagger. Now that I've told you this much here's the kicker... As savage and inhumane as the Grossbart's are what pursues them is much, much worse. And in the end while we are not told of the Grossbart's demise we are left with the feeling that they get what's coming to them. Or so we would like to think.

    Truly inspired The Sad Tale of the Brothers Grossbart is just that, a sad and cautionary story of evil, vengeance, cruelty, and gore and, in my opinion, definitely worth every minute of your time. Mr. Bullington? I'd stand in line for more. (And yes, that's a hint.)

    4 1/2 stars out of 5

    Also, the cover art, a facsimile of a medieval woodcut by Hungarian artist Orosz István, is brilliant.

    The Alternative
    Southeast Wisconsin

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 19, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Be ready for some gruesome scenes and to come across twin brothers that could be the two men you love to hate.

    I have to start off with saying I do love the cover of this book. I thought it was cool being two pictures in one here.

    The writing was a little hard for me to get ahold of at the beginning of the book, but not long into the book I adjusted well. There are different point of views given in the book, but they are not separated out in the reading. In reading along I would come to a paragraph which in the first sentence changed views quickly, but the nice thing was in that first sentence of change it specified whos view you where changing to.

    With each of the characters I came across in the book there was a short story written into the book on them. A few of them told their story as a whole chapter of their own. I enjoyed these short stories. I felt more interested in the short stories at times than the story of the Grossbart brothers. The story of the Grossbart brothers dragged for me many times in the book. But the brothers had very unique views in the book.

    The Grossbart brothers had very distinctive views on Religion, Mercy, and life in general. The brothers seem to be the victims of their narrow view of Religion. Their view of Religion and life seemed to have a personal twist to it. If someone did not see things in the same light as the brothers they figured that person to be a heretic of the religious belief of the Virgin Mary and killed them. Through the book no one seemed to be able to stand the brothers for long, everyone either wanted to kill them or just be away from them.

    One thing I did like through the book was when a character left the brothers presence and went about their way you got a short blip on what happened to that person after they left. This gave a closing to me as a reader to all the characters in the story.

    If you do read this book be ready for some gruesome scenes and to come across twin brothers that could be the two men you love to hate.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 14, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    a humorous over the top of the Alps fantasy thriller

    In 1364 the grim brothers Hegel and Manfried Grossbart, knowing what flows in their ancestral blood, decide to join the family business so they can make a fortune robbing graves. Their plan is to keep robbing graves while they seek their family heaven the Gyptland crypts. On their quest across Europe and the Holy Land, they receive help from the Pope, the Crusades, and especially the Black Plague.

    Along their journey they kill peasants and demons with no regard to either species. Still they march on as grave-robbers and slayers of the innocent and the monstrous. However, as they argue theological dogma, the siblings dodging bodily liquids will learn death can be kinder than life.

    Not an easy read especially on a full stomach, this blood and guts and blood and vomit satirical medieval pilgrimage is a humorous over the top of the Alps fantasy thriller; just don't stay down wind from the slice and dice brothers. The grim brothers Grossbart are a gruesome pair with no redeeming qualities as their seemingly endless road trip is fueled by human liquid logistics, vividly described; sort of a 400 page story line version of the scene from Monty Python and the Holy Grail where the knight keeps fighting as he loses his limbs. For select fans who relish a high body count as the brothers grim learn there is much worse out there than death.

    Harriet Klausner

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 29, 2013

    Awesome

    Great gory book

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 3, 2012

    Gross, unusual and I love it!

    One of my desert island books

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