Sad Tale of the Brothers Grossbart, The


Author: Bullington, Jesse; JesseBullington
Binding: Paperback
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Publisher: Orbit
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Publication Year: 2009-11-16
ISBN#: 978-1-84149-783-9
Pages: 464
Language: English


When the Brothers Grimm published their celebrated folktales, critics took aim at the inclusion of disturbing material unsuitable for children. Modeled after the grimmest of the Grimm tales, Bullington’s debut about a pair of villainous medieval brothers throws aside any concerns for children from the first chapter, aiming instead at gross-out horror fans. Aside from plundering graves and waylaying strangers, Manfried and Hegel Grossbart’s one consuming interest is crossing plague-ridden fourteenth-century Europe to an imagined Egyptian palace, where their grandfather is hoarding stolen treasure. Along the way, the brothers cross paths with assorted brigands, witches, madmen, and fallen priests, robbing when expedient and killing where necessary. In one escapade, the Grossbarts incinerate the family of a neighboring farmer who mistreated them as children. In another, they befriend a priest who recounts his own horrific adventures during the Crusades. Bullington makes little attempt to cast his protagonists as sympathetic anti-heroes; the Grossbarts are cutthroats to the core. Yet Bullington’s masterfully engaging style marks him as a writer of considerable promise. --Carl Hays