Friday, April 22, 2011

The Sad Tale of the Brothers Grossbart by Jesse Bullington

The Sad Tale of The Brothers Grossbart - Jesse Bullington (Orbit - 2009)

I must admit that I am a sucker for good-covers, though I am aware of that age-old cliche that judging a book solely on its artistic representation can prove to be a waste of time as well as hard-earned money -- and let's face it, in this day and age hard-earned money is definitely something not to waste. However, when a book does come along with such an alluring design what other indicators does one have that such a book might prove interesting? After all, if the publishing company was willing to spend money on not only the book/author but the cover/artist as well -- especially during these trying times for publishing houses -- then perhaps it is alright to judge a book by its cover?

As such, how could one possibly ignore The Sad Tale of the Brothers Grossbart by Jesse Bullington when their (the reader[s]) eyes fall upon this illustrious cover? What appears to be a skull eventually comes into visual clarity as a pseudo-mish-mashing seek-and-find -- the skull is actually two men standing side by side, with satchels and shovels, whereabouts various artifacts are strewn. So yes, I was drawn towards this novel. I studied its cover for awhile before finally flipping it over to the back whereby I was intrigued by the synopsis and the tag-line: "We ain't thieves and we ain't killers, we's just good men been done wrong" (Bullington).

So, without any further inquiry into the matter I purchased the novel by newcomer Jesse Bullington at full retail price, taking a chance that the story wouldn't disappointment -- seeing as the cover didn't. I must say it was a gamble which paid off, but not handsomely so. While I did enjoy the story overall, and absolutely loved the characters (the brothers as it were), I grew rather bored of the novel about three-fourths of the way through. It wasn't as if I trudged through the book, finding it boring or taxing, but rather I found the scenes and themes inane. It was as if the adventure never stopped, but not in a fantastical way (i.e. epic adventures and long journeys), but rather in an overtly redundant way. It's almost as if the book could have ended several chapters earlier, or lasted several chapters longer.

The story was just the same scenario one after another. The brothers travel, the brothers face a foe, the brothers triumph. But for what? What are its morals or themes? There were religious contemplations, as well as pondering philosophically on justice and righteousness, but did such postulations deserve to last as long as they did; or for that matter end so abruptly? In the end, a better conclusion could have been reached one way or the other. Instead, what we're left with is a story a third of the way into the book which doesn't wrap-up until a few hundred pages later, adding nothing new but more dialogue conversing the same moral questions over and over and over and over and over with an overabundance of expletives. However, I am left to wonder if that's not the sad tale of the Grossbart . . . that life is monotonous, no matter what monsters you may face?

Overall, I liked the book and found it an enjoyable read and would recommend it to any fan of fantasy seeking monsters, gruesome battles, medieval history, religious inquires, and a lot of f___ing expletives.

Suffice it to say . . . Good Book, Good Read.


  1. "...and a lot of f___ing expletives."

    Ain't that the f___ing truth! ;)

  2. The cover *is* awesome and would make a good wall print or t-shirt. I probably won't read this though as the premise may frustrate me as it frustrated you. Thanks for posting.

  3. Sounds like my kind of f___ing book.