• The Sad Tale of the Brothers Grossbart

  • By: Jesse Bullington
  • Narrated by: Christopher Lane
  • Length: 14 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 19-07-10
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio
  • 3.5 out of 5 stars 3.6 (25 ratings)


The year is 1364. Hungry creatures stalk the dark woods of medieval Europe, and both sea and sky teem with unspeakable horrors. There is no foulness, however, no witch nor demon, to rival the grave-robbing twins Hegel and Manfried Grossbart. This is their tale, sad but true.
©2009 Jesse Bullington (P)2010 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
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Critic reviews

"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." (Booklist)
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Regular price: £16.59

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Margaret on 05-11-10

Wasn't sure, but loving this!

I don't know if I'd have picked this book up in a shop, but I'm really glad I got it. I'd describe it as slightly nauseating, hilarious and really well narrated. I love the characters and can't wait to finish it. I will definately listen to it again.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Martin on 23-08-10

Fine Black humour

This book has some pretty unpleasant main characters, who from the outset do some pretty unpleasant things. Their first evil deed is among the worst in the story, I was a little worried about how bad they were going to get after that one but it made the rest seem not all that bad!

I found after that point I was laughing, lots, at some of the scrapes they got into and people they met along the way, particularly the books only sex scene, which is just hilarious :)

Not for the faint hearted, but if you like black comedy and are not offended by bad language, violence, sex, blasphemy and all those sorts of things you will love this book and laugh a lot. Wish I could listen to it for the first time again it was unlike anything I have heard or read and would like more.

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2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Steve on 06-03-11

Very well written.

This book was a departure from my normal likes, but it was worth the time I spent listening. The author took two really despicable people, and made them fun to follow along with. They have little or no redeeming qualities, but this story kept me interested to see what they would do next. I liked the ending, and felt it was the only true way to end it. The only reason why I gave it 4 stars out of 5 was the length and the plot dragged in a few spots, but don't let that stop you from dropping a credit for this book.

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Ambrose on 27-02-12

Best Listen Since Eco's Baudolino

If you could sum up The Sad Tale of the Brothers Grossbart in three words, what would they be?

Funny Epic Tragedy

What did you like best about this story?

The characters managed to stay just this side of unbelievable. The Grossbarts, in particular, managed to somehow be ridiculous and yet cogent at times. Being an amateur medievalist myself, I always enjoy tales set in those times, but especially when the authors seem to capture the mind of the medieval, without apology.

The Brothers have a twisted but surprisingly consistent theological bent that really drives them and the story along. Bullington manages to make them seem sincere in their beliefs, at times even likable, so that you have to remind yourself (or Bullington does it for you) that they are terribly depraved.

In the longer parts of their travels, he uses clever techniques to give you a sense of the monotony and duration without making the story itself feel that way. He doesn't shy away from telling the tale in all its grotesquerie, and it adds a bit of realism to an otherwise fantastical story.

And to end with the beginning, the introduction in itself was quite amusing and does a fine job of getting you in the right frame of mind for the tale to come.

What does Christopher Lane bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

His highly imaginative voices really bring the characters to life; I doubt they'd be so memorable without his reading. Every so often I would wonder just how much of the reading was his interpretation and how much was actually in the text.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

The book that probably shouldn't be made into a film.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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