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The Sad Tale of the Brothers Grossbart Paperback – November 16, 2009
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"The Glamourist" by Luanne G. Smith
A spellbinding novel of bloodlines, self-discovery, and redemption by the author of The Vine Witch. | Learn more
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- Item Weight : 13.9 ounces
- Paperback : 464 pages
- ISBN-10 : 9780316049344
- ISBN-13 : 978-0316049344
- Dimensions : 5.76 x 1.25 x 8.16 inches
- ASIN : 0316049344
- Publisher : Orbit; Original edition (November 16, 2009)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #456,615 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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And while it does have that sort of Grimm's Fairy Tale vibe to it, which it seems to obviously be striving for, its overall horror though is amplified with the grotesque descriptions of sex and violence. Plus, on the historical side of things, the book is really missing the mark - particularly in the dialogue. There are some jarring anachronisms (like "truckin'") and just a general vernacular that doesn't work with the time period at all. With all the gore, it just gets repetitive after a while, too. I like the twin language of the brothers, but they just aren't easy characters to root for. While I don't hate them, I don't particularly like them either... It hooked me past my 50 page cutting off point, but I can't say that I am really enjoying it as I continue reading... it just drags on... and on...
And with a cast of characters this large, you would think at least one of them would be likable! Or even fun to hate, but none of them are developed enough to feel anything for them all! The perspective shifts a lot too, which just makes it harder to connect with any of them! And some of the shifts are mid-paragraph! Not just shifts that align with the chapters! In the end, with less than a hundred pages left, I am just setting this one aside - the gross imagery and few moments of humour between its awful characters and directionless plot are all adding up to me not caring about this at all. I like the cover a lot, but I really feel like I have been wasting my time struggling to get this far into it! What a disappointment!
I did thoroughly enjoy the story despite the writing style. The Brothers Grossbart are horrible human beings, but one cannot help but hope they are successful in their many adventures. Interesting choice of heroes in this story: should one root for the murdering, disgusting, foul, and heretical brothers OR the mutant, evil, vengeful witch and her equally horrendous creations and all of the other unpleasant characters? The only objection I have to this story is the ending. There were several portions of the early part of the book that could have been shortened to allow for a less-rushed ending. While reading, I could not help but think that I had invested all of this time to enjoy (?) the Brothers' adventure only to be hurried along through the ending. A great battle scene near the end was described in great deal, but seemed to just piddle out. I was expecting more of a catharsis. I suppose having an expectation that the Brothers would see the errors of the ways was not realistic. While I cannot say I was expecting the typical change-of-heart of the main characters, I was expecting a big bang, not a little poof.
If 3 1/2 stars was an option, I think that would be the better choice (so, I rounded up). The story was great. The writing-style, not-so-much. One last bit by way of suggestion to you, the reader . . . this is not a bedtime story. I am a before-bed reader and can honestly say there was more than one night when the characters and imagery in this tale crept into my dreams.
Top reviews from other countries
Welcome to the brutal and warped world of Hegel and Manfried. The brothers Grossbart.
Somewhat unhappy with their lot they set off to take their profession (grave robbing) to sunnier shores (Gyptland). Of course there is nothing to stop them indulging in a spot of score settling, thievery, murder and thuggary along the way. Not that they let this low down behaviour dissaude them of the view that they are doing the work of the virgin Mary! The explanation of this is best left to the brothers, but trust me it is darkly hilarious!
Along the way they come accross witches, demons, an alcaholic priest and a deranged sea Captain. If you decide to undertake this journey with them be prepared to be amused and horrified by turns or sometimes at the same time. As Manfried and Hegel earn your loathing and begrudging respect!
This is the kind of book where anything can and will happen. It's graphic and at times deeply shocking. I read the first chapter in a series gasps and profanity and most of the books I read are pretty blood splattered. There is ultra violence, sex, religeous sacrilege and the very strongest language. So you might want to avoid this if you are the kind of person who writes outraged letters to the Daily Mail.
The story is a dark comedy/horror that is not without excitement as well as shocks and laughter.
What is more remarkable is that this highly original and brilliant book is a debut novel. I will be awaiting with great interest and quite a lot of impatience for Jesse Bullington's next offering. This a stunning peice of work!
I couldnt put the book down, I really wanted to know what happened next, not because I was particularly invested in the repulsive main characters, it's just a compelling story. The setting is rich and fantastical, a medieval Europe containing witches, demons and monsters. It was fun and exciting and I thought the writing style was perfect, although the story did feel rushed toward the end. It's not something I'd recommend to everyone but it's certainly different and I'm glad I read it.
Personally I would recommend Memoirs of A Gnostic Dwarf (David Madsen) , which is the only book I can think of to compare this to.
Brilliantly detailed characters with beautifully described scenery. You should read The Enterprise of Death as well.