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.