Today marks exactly a decade since Orbit published my debut novel, The Sad Tale of the Brothers Grossbart. November 16, 2009 feels like a lifetime ago, but I remain immensely proud of this book. It’s not the novel I would or even could write now, but that’s how it should be—texts are like tattoos, time-stamping who we were at a certain moment in our lives.
Tempting though it is wax on about what a long weird trip it’s been, in the spirit of the Brothers themselves I’ll keep it quick and honest. I never expected this novel to sell. Even after it sold, I never expected it to connect with readers the way it did. And I certainly never expected to make a cameo along with my bearded boys in The Witcher 3.
But I’m grateful for it all. A mighty thank you to everyone who helped along the way, including those who ran screaming from the tome, telling anyone with ears or eyes to avoid it at all costs. We all play our part.
I leave you with this phenomenal piece of idolatry by the artist Bazuzu, evidence that the Grossbart Heresy is alive and well even after all these years. Outside, the wind is howling. I better go join it.
Curiosity Tried to Kill The Cat. The Cat Killed Curiosity Back
Does Hegel’s name reference the philosopher Hegel’s theory that history is building towards a narrative conclusion? If so, is this a statement of irony given the utter chaos of the Grossbarts’ world and the novel’s ultimately nihilistic climax?
Would that I could claim such clever motivation! Hegel was indeed named for Hegel, but not by me—in the dark ages of the early aughts, I ran a roleplaying game where my buddy David played a proto-Hegel character. An honest handle for an honest man.
Great book. I first read it at night by torch in a tent in the middle of the woods in the highlands of Scotland. Epic stuff man. Keep on keeping on. I’ve even grown a beard now.
I hope you read it aloud for the edification of everything skulking around outside your tent. Very pleased to hear about the beard—a judicious use of hard-won experience points!