#411 ~ The Sisters Brothers

The Sisters Brothers by Patrick deWitt

Published by: Ecco

Published on: April 26, 2011

Page Count: 336

Genre: Western

My Reading Format: Hardcover purchased for my personal library

Available Formats: Hardcover, Paperback, eBook, and Audiobook

Review from My Bookshelf

Description from the Publisher:

Hermann 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.

I am not a fan of Westerns. It’ s not a genre that captures my imagination. It does remind me of my grandfather. He loves Louis L’Amour, so there is something comfortable about it. I listened to 3:10 to Yuma last year and found myself enjoying it more than I had anticipated. So, when The Sisters Brothers made its splash, I decided to pick up a copy for myself. Then it sat on my shelf until it made its way to the Tournament of Books.

When the roster was announced, discussions popped up on Twitter as they are want to do. It was then that Michelle (@michelleerin), Cassandra (@CassandraNeace) and I made plans to read the book together. I was excited to finally be reading the book, especially with some fun bookish tweeps. In the end, that was pretty much all the excitement I found. While I was interested in Eli’s character and had no  problems reading the book, there really wasn’t anything that grabbed me and wouldn’t let go. When I finished the book, I just wasn’t inspired to talk about much of anything about it.

The Sisters Brothers may not have dazzled me, but I am glad that took a chance on something outside of my comfort zone. It’s never a mistake to give something different a try. I want to thank The Morning News, Cassandra and Michelle for giving me the nudge.


  • At 2012.03.12 07:15, Sandy said:

    Crazy as this sounds, but one of my top 10 ever books is a Western. I know, go figure. Which did teach me to at least try these genres that seem unlikely – I give you lots of credit for that! I think it was Marie that said this would be a top read of the year. I guess that is the beauty of having different opinions. No idea at this point whether I’d like it or not.

    • At 2012.03.12 13:17, Literate Housewife said:

      You definitely need to give new genres a try. Otherwise, how can you speak intelligently about them? Like Leah said below, there wasn’t anything bad about this book, it just didn’t do anything for me. I would be curious to find out what you think about it. I’d be curious to know if it’s a Western thing or just a personal preference.

    • At 2012.03.12 10:26, Kailana said:

      When I finally get around to reading this it will be out of my normal zone, too. I like to do that once in a while, though. It keeps things interesting!

      • At 2012.03.12 13:19, Literate Housewife said:

        I find that when I broaden my reading horizons that it makes me more open to everything I read. I pick up on new themes, etc… That’s worth picking up the book alone.

      • At 2012.03.12 11:20, Leah @ The Pretty Good Gatsby said:

        I had really wanted to love this book. I tend to adore any book even remotely linked to the Booker Prize and, like you, I’ve never really been one for Westerns. This book sounded interesting however, so I gave it a shot. While there wasn’t anything particularly bad about it, there also wasn’t anything I loved.

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        • At 2012.03.12 13:20, Literate Housewife said:

          “While there wasn’t anything particularly bad about it, there also wasn’t anything I loved.” That sums it up perfectly. I like that it was shortlisted for the Booker Prize because I know this book had to be perfect for other readers. It just didn’t hit the target for me.

        • At 2012.03.13 00:07, Cassandra said:

          I’m glad I took a shot on it. And it was different. I don’t think I’ll finish my listen of State of Wonder before their match-up on Wednesday, but I’m going to try to put some more time into it. Wil Wheaton is such a wild-card judge.

          Oh, and you’re welcome 🙂

          • At 2012.03.13 17:02, Ti said:

            I had no idea that this book had anything to do with westerns!! Just goes to show you how much attention I pay to things not immediately on my radar.

            I am following the ToB’s too. Some interesting choices this year. Can’t wait for the Zombie round!

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