My review of Jesse Bullington's The Sad Tale of the Brothers Grossbart appears today at Strange Horizons.  Some of you may recall that Grossbart received one of the dishonorable mention slots in my summary of 2009's worst reads, and though I stand by that judgment as it relates to my own reading experience, my review is somewhat more ambivalent--possibly the most ambivalent I've ever written.


Foxessa said…
This sort of approach in fantasy seems to be subgenre of its own -- or at least a close sibling to what some call gritty fantasy.

Sort of wrought from the so-called ground breaking of Tarantino and Dexter in movies and television, and maybe John Barnes's Kaleidoscope Century in SF?

Yet, you enjoy Dexter, the tone of which also slips around.

Myself, my mileage finds these kinds of works morally repellent, which means little, other than though I will read or watch them as much as I can stand, in order to get an informed response, I, lordessa save my Lutheran forged soul, I judgmentally loathe them.

But perhaps I'm missing something. Grand Guignol Theatre has always been with us, after all. And often it was real life, with public tortures plus executions.

Love, C.
There was a comment mentioning Dexter on SH as well. As I say there, I think that there's a difference between it and The Brothers Grossbart in that Dexter does feel to me like a moral show. As monstrous as he is, the main character recognizes his monstrousness and seeks to curtail it. In his own way, he is striving towards morality, something the Grossbarts never do.

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