The Sisters Brothers
by Patrick Dewitt


Overview -

A gorgeous, wise, riveting work of, among other things, cowboy noir Honestly, I can t recall ever being this fond of a pair of psychopaths. David Wroblewski, New York Times bestselling author of The Story of Edgar Sawtelle

A masterful, hilarious picaresque that keeps company with the best of Charles Portis and Mark Twain a relentlessly absorbing feat of novelistic art.  Read more...


 
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More About The Sisters Brothers by Patrick Dewitt
 
 
 
Overview

A gorgeous, wise, riveting work of, among other things, cowboy noir Honestly, I can t recall ever being this fond of a pair of psychopaths. David Wroblewski, New York Times bestselling author of The Story of Edgar Sawtelle

A masterful, hilarious picaresque that keeps company with the best of Charles Portis and Mark Twain a relentlessly absorbing feat of novelistic art. Wells Tower, author of Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned

The Sisters Brothers is dark, dark, and funny, both ha ha and strange and you ll love the characters you meet along the way. Tom Franklin, New York Times bestselling author of Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter

Patrick deWitt, a young writer whose stop-you-in-your-tracks writing has snuck up on the world (Los Angeles Times), brings us The Sisters Brothers, a darkly comic, outrageously inventive novel that offers readers a decidedly off-center view of the Wild, Wild West. Set against the back-drop of the great California Gold Rush, this odd and wonderful tour de force at once honors and reshapes the traditional western while chronicling the picaresque misadventures of two hired guns, the fabled Sisters brothers. The most original western since the Coen Brothers re-interpreted True Grit you ve never met anyone quite like The Sisters Brothers."

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780062041265
  • ISBN-10: 0062041266
  • Publisher: Ecco Press
  • Publish Date: April 2011
  • Page Count: 328


Related Categories

Books > Fiction > Westerns - General
Books > Fiction > Humorous - General

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2011-01-10
  • Reviewer: Staff

Dewitt's bang-up second novel (after Ablutions) is a quirky and stylish revisionist western. When a frontier baron known as the Commodore orders Charlie and Eli Sisters, his hired gunslingers, to track down and kill a prospector named Herman Kermit Warm, the brothers journey from Oregon to San Francisco, and eventually to Warm's claim in the Sierra foothills, running into a witch, a bear, a dead Indian, a parlor of drunken floozies, and a gang of murderous fur trappers. Eli's deadpan narration is at times strangely funny (as when he discovers dental hygiene, thanks to a frontier dentist dispensing free samples of "tooth powder that produced a minty foam") but maintains the power to stir heartbreak, as with Eli's infatuation with a consumptive hotel bookkeeper. As more of the brothers' story is teased out, Charlie and Eli explore the human implications of many of the clichés of the old west and come off looking less and less like killers and more like traumatized young men. With nods to Charles Portis and Frank Norris, DeWitt has produced a genre-bending frontier saga that is exciting, funny, and, perhaps unexpectedly, moving. (May)

 
BookPage Reviews

A surprise-packed Western

Readers of The Sisters Brothers will hardly be surprised to learn that it has been optioned for a film. After all, the fast-paced, gun-slinging Western is cinematic in scope, while its terse and comically stilted dialogue is reminiscent of recent film homages like No Country for Old Men and True Grit.

But Patrick deWitt’s follow-up to his acclaimed debut Ablutions is also a thrilling, smart and surprisingly touching read—the kind of book that translates to the big screen precisely because it’s so visual and visceral.

The brothers of the book’s title are Eli and Charlie Sisters, professional hit men who travel the frontier carrying out the underhanded orders of their enigmatic boss, an off-screen baron known only by the name “The Commodore.” At the novel’s start, The Commodore sends them to assassinate Hermann Warm, a man whose crimes neither trouble nor interest the pair. They know only their assignment, and set out from Oregon City in search of their target.

As the brothers make their way through Indian Territory, prospectors’ campsites, noisy whorehouses and finally into the heart of California Gold Rush country, the two emerge as very different men. Charlie, the oldest, is a bloodthirsty alcoholic, content to live by the laws of the Wild West and without remorse for his deeds. Meanwhile, Eli, the novel’s thoughtful and funny narrator, proves a more sensitive soul—exhausted and conflicted by his way of life, befuddled yet entranced by women, self-conscious about his rotund physique and touchingly delighted by his most recent acquisition: a toothbrush.

Though the book is more episodic (think murderous trappers, gold-gathering schemes and encounters with bears) than plot-heavy, it is always compelling and surprising. When the brothers finally come upon their mark, he is hardly what they expected. Luckily they’re in the habit of rolling with the punches—a technique that will cause readers to follow suit.

 
BAM Customer Reviews