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The Folly of the World Paperback – December 18, 2012
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"Every page is saturated with wickedness and mischief. Bullington's fans will be happy to see him bring his trademark dark humor, gritty detail, and loopy characters into a new gruesome landscape."―Publishers Weekly
"Delightfully grim"―Interzone (UK)
"This is both a cleverly entertaining story and a fascinating exploration of the human psyche."―britishfantasysociety.co.uk
About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
In both of his previous books, The Sad Tale of the Brothers Grossbart and The Enterprise of Death, Jesse Bullington went to great lengths to defy our expectations in every way. His characters were immoral, his language was foul, his violence was graphic, and his subject matter was often nauseating.
His fans will be pleased to know that The Folly of the World is full of the same decadence, degeneration, and gut-wrenching twists and turns we've come to know and love. The Folly of the World proudly carries the Bullington torch of depravity, but it's applied in a more focused, less liberal manner -- like using guided missiles instead of napalm.
The characters in The Folly of the World are as you would expect from Jesse Bullington -- flawed, violent, and disturbed -- but this time he has taken extra care to build a backstory that lets us understand why they turned out that way. Empathy can be a cruel tool for an author to wield. This was done so well that I was horrified to find myself actually feeling sorry for these despicable people. Readers who didn't like The Sad Tale of the Brothers Grossbart because of the characters may feel differently about this novel.Read more ›
Most of the gritty, morbidly humorous story of betrayal, identity theft and revenge takes place in the island town of Dordrecht (Rhine-Meuse delta in the Low Countries), in the wake of the havoc wreaked by the St. Elizabeth flood of 1421, where the intrigues plaguing the hostile factions of Hooks and Cods, which culminated in the historical battle at Brouwershaven in January 1426 (vaguely referenced on pp. 331-42), serve as a background.
True to form, the writer paints flesh and blood characters with dubious motivations and questionable deeds, the chief of which is the odd trio of a male couple consisting of the noble-born, manipulative Jan Tieselen and his paranoid, thugish lover Sander Himbrecht of humble origin, and an unbridled lass named Jolanda, who was purchased from her wretched purple dye-maker father on account of her swimming/diving skills to function as a "submarine draft animal" (p. 209) in retrieving a precious ring - the only one I could occasionally empathize with. As much as context allows, those in the secondary cast are also well fleshed out, including a brief appearance from none other than the infamous Gilles de Rais (pp. 280-90) before he went bonkers.
A major gripe of mine, however, is that the larger, middle bulk of the plot could not hold my attention as intensely as did the first part (up to p.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Love the characters and their messed up relationships. I wish there was more explanation of the supernatural elements. Read morePublished 2 months ago by JFioriClemente
Bullington shocks and shocks and shocks, but never disappoints. I was waiting for the fantasy/magical aspect of this book to jump out at any given point and began to realize that... Read morePublished 3 months ago by KishODeath
The first 200 pages are simply amazing. The book tends to drag a bit after that, but the ideas and general theme is spot on. I really enjoy Jesse Bullington's work. Read morePublished 5 months ago by R. Hicks
After "The Enterprise of Death" and "The Sad Tale of the Brothers Grossbart," I reallywent into this one prepared to like it more than I ended up doing. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Peyote Coyote
Jesse Bullington is a talented writer and I have enjoyed his previous two books. This was my least favorite of the three, but that is like choosing between blonds, brunettes, and... Read morePublished on July 10, 2013 by Obe
While I have enjoyed this, and Bullington's other offerings... The Brothers Grossbart is sort of the best one so far. Read morePublished on June 19, 2013 by Porter Woodward
This story starts off strong, peters out and picks up again at the very end. And I was surprised with the ending, I thought I was at the end of a chapter (not the end of the... Read morePublished on May 9, 2013 by SirFatty
I picked this book up from the Ali Al Salem airbase MWR swap rack on the strength of opening it to a random page and liking the style. Read morePublished on April 30, 2013 by Dean F.