Sunday, September 9, 2012

The Sisters Brothers by Patrick DeWitt

I picked this up as an audiobook from the library not really sure what to expect only knowing it was nominated for the 2011 Booker Prize. Although I'm not a huge fan of Westerns, I do like them occasionally but am only familiar with Cormac McCarthy, whose books I love. Patrick deWitt's The Sisiters Brothers is similar in style and scope with the added benefit of a smattering of dark humor. The publisher's description, though, claims that it is a 'comic tour de force', which I think might be a little overstated. It is more about adventure and quirky characters than it is about humor. But I did enjoyed it enough to wonder what the author will be working on in the future.

Herman Kermit Warm is going to die. The enigmatic and powerful man known only as the Commodore has ordered it, and his henchmen, Eli and Charlie Sisters, will make sure of it. Though Eli doesn't share his brother's appetite for whiskey and killing, he's never known anything else. But their prey isn't an easy mark, and on the road from Oregon City to Warm's gold-mining claim outside Sacramento, Eli begins to question what he does for a living - and whom he does it for.

With The Sisters Brothers, Patrick deWitt pays homage to the classic Western, transforming it into an unforgettable comic tour de force. Filled with a remarkable cast of characters - losers, cheaters, and ne'er-do-wells from all stripes of life - and told by a complex and compelling narrator, it is a violent, lustful odyssey through the underworld of the 1850s frontier that beautifully captures the humor, melancholy, and grit of the Old West and two brothers bound by blood, violence, and love. (HarperCollins)


Sim said...

Hmmm, I'm not usually a western fan either but your review has whet my appetite for this one.
And that cover? That is one of the most striking book covers I've seen in a long, long time. LOVE!

Trish said...

It is striking, isn't it? I hope you get a chance to give it a try. I'd be interested to hear what you think.

Laura said...

Aw, I loved this book so much! I found it hilarious, and also oddly touching at points. And I've never read a Western!

Trish said...

Yes, there were some touching moments but I don't think I got all of the humor, though.