THE SAD TALE OF THE BROTHERS GROSSBART
The Brothers Grossbart -- Manfried and Hegel -- are murderous, foul-mouthed and thoroughly unpleasant SOBs, and they're the stars of Bullington's debut novel. Almost Rabelaisian in tone, this book is certainly not for everyone, and readers looking for an inoffensive experience should go elsewhere. Overall, the book feels slightly precious and overly impressed with its own cleverness, but Bullington is definitely a promising new writer of the fantastic.
It's 1384 and the Brothers Grossbart return to their home village to discover that their mother is dead. Having entered the family business of graverobbing, they decide to make their way to Gyptland, where the tomb of the Infidel is rumored to be. Along the way, they encounter many terrible creatures, monsters, demons and witches that inhabit the dark woods of their homeland. (ORBIT, Nov., 400 pp., $14.99)