The Sad Tale of the Brothers Grossbart: On audio

fantasy book review Jesse Bullington The Sad Tale of the Brothers   Grossbart audiofantasy book  reviews Jesse Bullington The Sad Tale of the Brothers GrossbartThe Sad Tale of the Brothers Grossbart by Jesse Bullington

I was rather excited about The Sad Tale of the Brothers Grossbart coming out on audio. After all, Robert and Rebecca rated the book so highly, though Greg reported that he couldn’t finish it (read their reviews above). I usually tend to agree with Greg’s assessment of books we’ve both read, but since Robert and Rebecca reported that the writing quality was so high, I thought I could muster up the stomach to stick this one out… Not so.

It’s true that The Sad Tale of the Brothers Grossbart is excellently written and the audiobook is excellently performed by Christopher Lane who was given ample opportunities to show off his skills. But the only parts of The Sad Tale I liked were those in which no action occurred — when the brothers were sitting around arguing with each other about philosophical topics such as Christianity (e.g., is it cannibalism to take communion, how Mary could have been a virgin, etc.). These blasphemous conversations were truly clever and funny, as were the brothers’ regular assertions that they were good Christians and their illogical justifications for their reprehensible behaviors.

But other than these bright (sort of) moments, the rest of the plot was full of horrid violence, lots of gross bodily emissions, and various other unpleasant items. I’m sure I had a look of disgust on my face the whole time, with occasional bursts of laughter during the dialogue.

I quit half way through chapter 7 when I realized that I was just not enjoying myself. However, I wouldn’t want to steer others away from this clever book, because I think it was unique and well written and likely to be enjoyed by those with more fortitude than me. And for them, let me recommend the excellent audio version of The Sad Tale of the Brothers Grossbart.

The Sad Tale of the Brothers Grossbart — (2009) Publisher: Hegel and Manfried Grossbart may notconsider themselves bad men — but death still stalks them through the dark woods of medieval Europe. The year is 1364, and the brothers Grossbart have embarked on a naïve quest for fortune. Descended from a long line of graverobbers, they are determined to follow their family’s footsteps to the fabled crypts of Gyptland. To get there, they will have to brave dangerous and unknown lands and keep company with all manner of desperate travelers — merchants, priests, and scoundrels alike. For theirs is a world both familiar and distant; a world of living saints and livelier demons, of monsters and madmen. The Brothers Grossbart are about to discover that all legends have their truths, and worse fates than death await those who would take the red road of villainy.

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KAT HOOPER, who started this site in June 2007, earned a Ph.D. in neuroscience and psychology at Indiana University (Bloomington) and now teaches at the University of North Florida. When she reads fiction, she wants to encounter new ideas and lots of imagination. She wants to view the world in a different way. She wants to have her mind blown. She loves beautiful language and has no patience for dull prose, vapid romance, or cheesy dialogue. She prefers complex characterization, intriguing plots, and plenty of action. Favorite authors are Jack Vance, Robin Hobb, Kage Baker, William Gibson, Gene Wolfe, Richard Matheson, and C.S. Lewis.

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  1. I do enjoy reading reviews that oppose ones that I’ve done, but I enjoy even more reading ones that agree with mine, especially from a reviewer like Kat. :)

  2. This is at least the second time this has happened, Greg. Same thing happened with Midwinter. Next time you say you don’t like a book, I’m staying far away from it!

  3. Well you know what they say about “great minds”. :)

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