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The Sad Tale of the Brothers Grossbart
Posts Gone By > Grossbart: Flea-Ridden: Chp 12-20

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message 1: by Andrew, Wound Up (last edited Jan 13, 2013 07:37AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Andrew Finazzo (johnyqd) | 343 comments ***Open discussion of Chapters 12-20 below, no spoiler marks needed. Be sure you have read through the end of chapter 20 before reading! Note: if this is your first visit to this topic I recommend you read this post about discussion ideas, then skip down and post your initial response, then read and respond to other people's posts.***

At the very least check in here when you finish chapter 11 and tell us if you are enjoying the book. I'll post specific discussion ideas below, along with some general topics we'll see repeated throughout the book.

Chapter 12 - 20 discussions:

1) If you could make a statement to Father Martyn (with no fear of reprisal from him or the Grossbarts) what would you tell him?

2) What will be the Brothers ultimate downfall? (Legit answer to say they will triumph, but would that be a sad story? Maybe.)

General Discussions:

1) Share your favorite quote(s) from this section.

2) Do you have a favorite or most intriguing character at this point in the novel?

Location reminder

If you are returning to this topic after having continued past chapter 20, here is a plot reminder:

Hegel & Manfried hold steady during a hostage crisis as they wait to set sail.


message 2: by Andrew, Wound Up (new) - rated it 5 stars

Andrew Finazzo (johnyqd) | 343 comments So I waited half a month between reading and posting this. I wonder why I made question 1? Well, fair is fair so let me go dig up an answer!

Martyn: If you truly have convictions just break from the church and start your own branch. I doubt Martyn's level of conviction as he is over accommodating to the Grossbarts.

Downfall: Of all the characters we've met so far I suspect Al-Gassur will lead to the biggest problems.

Quotes: Of course my Kindle deleted all my marked quotes. I can't win. This section had some fantastic bits: the birth of the twins, the road popes, and Hegel's murderous actions.

"Enigmatically, neither said much but they exchanged a look that bespoke volumes. At least, Martyn hoped for enigmatically rather than drunkenly, and prayed the volumes would be worth reading once he learned the language."

"You been consortin with shit-takers, which is fittin in light a your shitty nature."

Character: Hegel & Manfried continue to captivate me. Bursting with character and wit!

Indrid Cold | 4 comments Admittedly, I approach the Chapter 12-20 discussion after having completed the entire book. My answers will be somewhat tainted with knowledge of the future.

Martyn: Martyn is the new kid at a large high school who has arrived with no friends, no self-confidence and an aching, empty hole where his sense of belonging should be. Martyn is wandering through the halls with his pegged pants and rolled-up t-shirt sleeves, desperate to find somebody who thinks his T&C Surf Designs "Thrilla Gorilla" shirt is still cool. Martyn happens to stumble upon the smoking crowd (Grossbarts) huddled together and spewing about how right they are about everything and how the establishment blows. Martyn, with a nose for reading people and survival, tells a tale that the Grossbarts want to hear and quickly picks up smoking. Martyn, with no one else to turn to and nowhere to go, starts wearing a Dead Kennedys shirt (probably purchased at Hot Topic), a trenchcoat and some ripped, black jeans.

Once made a fixture with the Grossbarts he realizes, despite his professions to the contrary, the smoking crowd may not be where it is at (this is noted when Martyn understands when the Grossbarts are to be swindled for their horse and cart in exchange for the trip to Venezia and his blanching at the brothers' murderous actions with the boatmen and the town prior).

All of this being said, my question to Martyn would be, "Who are you really and what were your true beliefs before you met the Grossbarts?"

DOWNFALL: I know what the ultimate end is for the Grossbarts but it is in line with what I believed while reading through this book. There is no outcome guided by a benevolent hand or other force of destiny or curse. The book is a rousing story controlled by nothing but the violence of man and the random chaos of the universe.

QUOTES: Pretty much any conversation in the book involving the Grossbarts.

CHARACTER: I find myself very intrigued by the character of Barousse. I think one book or more could be filled with the tale of his life prior to the Grossbarts making their appearance in it. Sadly, we get no thorough back story, only hints and allegations.

message 4: by Michelle, Overrun By Pets (last edited Mar 06, 2013 10:35AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Michelle Finazzo | 281 comments Martyn, you are operating under several delusions, including that you are not ex-communicated from the church, that you were actually "married", and that you can on a whim decide when you want to act as "Martyn the monk" vs. "Martyn the man". If such a thing existed during this period of time, you should seriously consider seeking mental health care, particularly for continuing to travel and align yourself with the Grossbarts.

I always felt the Brothers Grossbart would eventually make it to 'Gyptland', but would find it not at all what they expected. Also, having accumulated so much bad karma along the way, a happy ending is in no way an option for them.

Favorite Quotes: .."shrugging off the memory of Nicolette like the unwelcome embrace of a drunken relative."

"For two days solid Hegel confused Martyn with the Virgin Herself, usually frightening the priest but occasionally convincing him that he was indeed the Bride of God."

"They wrestled for the better part of an hour, such commonplace scrapes the source of their prowess in combat with others less Grossbart than themselves. A knocking on the door disturbed their fracas."

"My hair's gone, the priest's been shot full a more shafts than a fair-haired whore come harvest, and we's in no mood to explain our own righteous fuckin actions at arrowpoint, so calm your dogs!"

I've been looking forward to meeting Captain Alexius Barousse since the Grossbarts found themselves resposible for returning his supernatural paramour. I particularly enjoy Barousse's line of questioning upon meeting the Grossbarts for the first time "Are you assassins?", "Have you brought poison to my table", "Do you mean to kill me?" and the Grossbarts honest replies. I also like his intricate escape plan that starts near the end of this section.

Favorite words: diabolist, ichors, seraphim, licentious, bitchswine, anathema, Homunculi, grapesipper, haubergeons, mendicant, loquacious, clandestinely, rictors.

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