Review: The Sisters Brothers – Patrick DeWitt

The last time I read a western novel, was um, never, but change is good, so I was thrilled when Trish from House of Anansi hooked me up with a copy of one of the most buzzed about books this fall, Patrick DeWitt’s, “The Sisters Brothers“.

We’re introduced to the notorious Sisters brothers, who are feared by almost everyone one they meet. They are feared because they’re in the business of killing and a run in with these brothers will likely result in your imminent death. They receive instructions from the Commodore to find the red-bearded, Hermann Kermit Warm who lives outside San Fransisco and take his life.

Little is known as to why they are on this journey, they are told that information will become available in due time, but they are to follow through with their instructions. When they set out on their mission to kill, you quickly realize that these two brothers have drastically different personalities. Charlie is an alcohol drinking, violent man who doesn’t ask questions, he’s the type of man who gets things done. However, Eli, the brother who is the protagonist of the story has a reputation that precedes him, he’s only ever known violence, but his passion and instinct to kill is quite different then his brother. The differences among the two collide on almost every single page, however, their differences are also the glue that holds them together. Whether either of them choose to admit it, it’s evident that the two work better as a team when it comes to taking other people’s lives.

There is a strong element of comradery among the two brothers that makes for a wonderful western, fictional, stunning novel. I also am in love with the cover! At first I though the red things on their heads were lips, but I now see that they have one eye open. If you look really closely, you can also see the outline of a skull on the cover of this book, which I personally think is a little bit of genius.

Patrick DeWitt’s “The Sisters Brothers” has and is currently nominated for the following awards:

Man Booker Prize for Fiction
Shortlisted (2011) – Nominated

Scotiabank Giller Prize
Shortlisted (2011) – Nominee

Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize
Shortlisted (2011) – Nominee

Governor General’s Award: Fiction
Shortlisted (2011) – Nominee

***My thanks to Trish for sending me a copy of “The Sisters Brothers” – it was greatly appreciated.***


5 thoughts on “Review: The Sisters Brothers – Patrick DeWitt

  1. Kailana says:

    I know. This is not something I would even consider reading normally, but I do plan to read it at some point to be a bit different because people seem to be enjoying it so much!

  2. Buried In Print says:

    And he has won the Writers Trust Award! I’m glad the work has been so widely recognized; I think what he accomplishes in it looks easy — and it sure reads easy, even if it’s not “your kind of thing” — but that it’s actually hard to maintain a voice like Eli’s for that length of time and engage the reader in his journey.

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