Kindle Edition, 232 pages
Published September 24th, 2015 by Booktrope Editions
I finished this book weeks ago, but couldn’t motivate myself to write a review until now. Partly due to being behind on schedule and life being a demanding dildo, but also because I had no idea what to write about it? This book was such a struggle to get through and honestly; I can’t put my finger on the exact reasons. I love absurd humour, I love fantasy, I love medieval stories, and it’s only 232 pages for crying out loud. Yet it still felt like a total drag to me.
“The Dolorous Adventure of Brother Banenose is the ideal novel for mature readers with juvenile senses of humor who enjoy satire, sex, knife fights, theosophy, bestiaries, sorcery, and some history thrown in for good measure.
This tale focuses on the comic misadventures of a 14th-century Franciscan monk known as Brother Banenose, who dreams of becoming a saint. Unfortunately, he is afraid of being martyred. Even less fortunate, Brother Banenose inadvertently inspires murderous rages in many people he meets in the outside world, including a family of relentless barbarians.
When he learns that a precious relic has been stolen from his monastery, Brother Banenose sets off to recover it. Along the way, he strikes up questionable friendships with some less than pious individuals including a sultry witch, a fraudulent swineherd, a warrior maiden, and a soothsayer who can only foresee doom. His quest leads him to The Idyllic Land Of Bliss, which happens to be beset by both a menagerie of fantastical monsters and the Black Death. The situation grows even more perilous once the Holy Office of the Inquisition arrives in town.
If you were to put The Decameron, The Name of the Rose, and The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle into a blender and hit frappe, you would wind up with something resembling The Dolorous Adventure of Brother Banenose. Original paintings by the author are included.“
“Hey, O emaciated one! Quit standing in mine path or mine voluminous axe shall cleave thy moustachioed countenance in twain!”…”Thy very stench offends mine august nostrils!”
I would like to say that this is how the story starts. It doesn’t, though. It’s a quote I found at around six percent into the book, and it is very depicting when it comes to the rest of the story. I don’t know about those of you who happen to have English as their first language, but as a non-native English speaker, I have to say the semi-medieval style doesn’t make this an easy read!
The synopsis up here describes the story better than I ever could have done myself, but I’m going to try to add a little more to it anyways.
So brother Banenose is a monk who leaves his precious abbey of The Hidden Pox to go and visit his cousin who lives in The Idyllic Land of Bliss. On his journey, he encounters several obstacles which really delay the whole trip yonder. There’s an evil gold stealing gnome, tiny fairies having sexy time in a bush, a pig specialist, a Bear-Boy, and a female demon named Fairuza who likes to fornicate with pretty much everything that moves (including an antlered unicornish beast) but loves Stephfi, a Marauderatrix, the most. Somewhere along the way, a reliquary in the form of the hangnail of Christ (or even better: the foreskin of Christ) is stolen by a monkey. Brother Banenose and some of the strange people/creatures he encounters on the road become travel buddies and go after the monkey to retrieve the reliquary.
Heck of a story isn’t it?
For some reason, Stephfi speaks German most of the time. I happen to understand German very well, but if you don’t, I can only imagine how bothersome this must be because there are no translations in the book. And then there’s the missing out on some funny stuff like Stephfi saying:
“Warum muss es immer Manticores sein?”
(Why does it always have to be manticores?)
which is a cool reference to Indiana Jones.
There are some Monty Python references as well and, let’s face it, this entire book is inspired by Monty Python and the Holy Grail. I believe it’s trying a bit too hard at times even when it comes to the humour. I did laugh a few times and I truly think the idea behind The Dolorous Adventure of Brother Banenose has some promise to it, but…try less hard and, for the love of the Holy Hangnail of Christ, make it more readable.
I’m giving it two brownies, meaning it was an ‘okay’ read. If you’re into silly Monty Python humour and don’t mind not understanding German or Old English, you should definitely give this book a go (be quick about it though because it won’t be for sale anymore after tomorrow!*)
A copy was generously provided by Booktrope via Netgalley in exchange for an honest opinion.
Links to the book:
*Due to Booktrope shutting down at the end of this month, you can only get a new copy of this book until tomorrow (a.k.a. May 31, 2016, will be your final opportunity to acquire it). After that, it’ll most likely turn into a reliquary. Without a publisher, the eBooks &paperbacks will go out of production.