Leif's Reviews > The Sad Tale of the Brothers Grossbart

The Sad Tale of the Brothers Grossbart by Jesse Bullington
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's review
Nov 29, 2009

liked it

Well, saying I "liked it" should be qualified. The discerning reader will note that there is a small asterisked warning on the back of the book, near the bottom. I quote: *Contains strong language and scenes of graphic violence*

Yes. Yes it does. Parents, lock up your children.

Children, hide under your beds.

The Grossbarts are coming.

But really, drama aside, Bullington does a great job of uniting setting with discourse, which is to say, he makes a point to reintroduce the body into the narrative. And it's all there, all the bodily functions, not conspicuously - as in, juvenile scatological jokes - but rather quite matter of fact. You thrust a sword through someone and their bowels void. Deal with it. Vomit and urine course through the pages just as do blood, mayhem, and atrocity. And it's not slapstick, thankfully. If it was it would be unbearable. As it is, it simply exists. Just as the Grossbarts are simply horrid - which is not to say they are monochromatic villains. But they are disgusting, rapacious, and so twisted to appear, occasionally, straight. There they are, the narrative implies, deal with it.

All of which makes for a wonderful read, really. However it becomes a bit of a meandering tale, a sin only regrettable as the story doesn't pull itself together by the end. Things just simply spiral out of control, although Bullington tries frantically to cut away as many loose strings as he can. This criticism aside, however, the atmosphere is (though pungent) worth your while.

If you have the stomach, that is.
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