The Sad Tale of the Brothers Grossbart - Jesse Bullington The Sad Tale of the Brothers Grossbart is gory, violent, and filled with more than enough profanity to give my grandmothers simultaneous heart attacks. The very first page is a snippet of conversation analyzing the word “fuck” and it only gets better from there—or worse, depending on your prospective. Irreverent, offensive, and downright disgusting in parts, this book certainly isn’t for everyone.

I, on the other hand, loved it. Any book that has a warning on the cover--contains strong language and scenes of graphic violence—is a book well-deserving of a place in my extensive library. Seriously, check the back of the book, right down at the bottom with an * to mark the spot.

If the reader can see past the extensive use of expletives and overabundance of carnage, Jesse Bullington offers a story full of dry humor and fantasy fueled by a knowledge—and corruption—of folklore that’s rather impressive. Entire sections are laugh-out-loud funny, while others are over-the-top with thoroughly detailed bloodletting and other such nastiness, and the reader needs to be prepared for the switch back and forth, not to mention the occasional blending of the two.

Fair warning: if you’re enjoying yourself, you will laugh at things that normally would horrify you. It’s okay. You’re not alone.

The Grossbarts themselves are not the type of main character that one can easily relate to—or at all. While they’re the rollicking shoulders the reader is riding on, they’re not likable, they’re certainly repugnant, and they’re beyond the kind you love to hate, to the point where you’re not sure whether to cheer them on for the sake of the book or hope for their death. In the end I was doing both, and if I hadn’t enjoyed them so much despite their vulgarity, I would’ve felt the ending wasn't nearly enough to compensate for the extent of their crimes.

Others reviewers have complained about the “deep” conversations between brothers dragging down the story, and they’re right. Philosophical debate from supposedly uneducated men of a violent bent isn’t necessary, and it’s only amusing the first half down times. After that it gets old and the urge to skim over those parts is strong. This didn’t bother me enough to affect the overall enjoyment factor, but it certainly bogged down the progression of plot and clumsily interrupted the action, which is what Bullington does best here.

Thoroughly enjoyable, if you like this sort of thing. If you’re squeamish, easily offended, opposed to extreme violence, or in general just a wimp, draw a circle around yourself to keep the Grossbart demons at bay.