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Born and raised in rural Pennsylvania, Jesse Bullington spent his childhood alternating between deep pine woods and rich libraries. He holds Bachelor degrees in both History and English Literature from Florida State University.THE SAD TALE OF THE BROTHERS GROSSBART is his first novel.
With liberal inclusion of vomit, gore and turnips, Bullington's bizarre debut follows two monstrous siblings across 1364 Europe and the Middle East as they seek ever-richer graves to rob. The Crusades, the papal schism and the Black Death all make appearances, as do the obligatory witches, priests and knights. In addition to robbing, torturing and murdering innocent peasants, the brothers dispatch demons and imitation popes while debating theology and the nature of mercy, e.g., finishing a victim off rather than leaving him for the crows. The mix of grimmer-than-Grimm fairy tale tropes, spaghetti Western dialogue ("Yeah, can't suffer no traitorous churls to keep on bein traitorous") and medieval history is striking and often funny, but it may not be compelling enough to keep readers slogging along with the brothers' endless travels and copious letting of bodily fluids. (Nov.) Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.
A remarkable novel...brilliantly written - Jeff VanderMeer
Hegel and Manfried Grossbart, two brothers in medieval Europe, are ugly, cruel, stupid, filthy, heartless, and murderous. But they have a certain moral code of sorts, boundless fortitude, and a blundering sense of adventure, which leads them to encounters with various witches and demons, each more hideous than the last. This debut novel is like the unexpurgated Grimm's fairy tales, as imagined by Chuck Palahniuk. Bullington has a great appreciation for the folklore, and readers will enjoy the evocative writing-if they can stomach the author's appetite for the bizarre. Verdict A zestfully grotesque adventure; not for the squeamish or faint of heart.-Jenne Bergstrom, San Diego Cty. Lib. Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.