KK, February 27, 2012 (view all comments by KK)
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Niki, January 23, 2012 (view all comments by Niki)
Did you like True Grit? If you did, then you will be blown away by this wryly funny noir western. The book follows Charlie and Eli Sisters (the notorious hired-gun team known as the Sisters Brothers) as they make their way from the Oregon Territory into San Francisco for a job. Hijinks ensue.
They are men of few words, but, O, what words they are. The voice from our narrator Eli is so singular and fresh, that his musings (be they internal or ex-) inspire re-re-re-reading. The situations and story, too, are cinematic. Rich in detail and well-plotted, the book moves along at a steady clip.
Best book of the year!
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Kathleen Ryan, January 19, 2012 (view all comments by Kathleen Ryan)
Although "The Sisters Brothers" has been recommended by many, I want to add my praise. Dark, funny, thought provoking---this is a great read if you've somehow missed it.
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Jon matthew, January 4, 2012 (view all comments by Jon matthew)
The Sisters Brothers was my favorite fiction of 2011. It's a terrifically entertaining read, full of plot twists and turns and funny as hell, and it's a western to boot, a genre rarely visited with such wit and originality. Patrick deWitt is brilliant, and his novel was one of the brightest reading experiences I've had in a long, long time.
This entertaining and heartbreaking story is told by a fabulous narrator, Eli Sisters. Eli and his brother Charlie are hired killers in late 19th-century Oregon and California, and this is the tale of their final job.
by Doug C.
Where to start with this strange little book? The Sisters Brothers are a pair of killers-for-hire: Charlie, the hard-boiled pragmatist of the pair; Eli, the reluctant, sensitive softy. Assigned their next hit, the pair begins a long and winding journey which leads them in a wildly atypical direction: they befriend their "hit" and events diverge from the normal sordid path. Packed with quirky, dark humor and razor-sharp character studies, The Sisters Brothers presents an unusual treat: a pair of killers with whom you cannot help but sympathize. Just embrace the peculiarity here. Offbeat, idiosyncratic, and odd, this is one novel you won't soon forget.
"Review A Day"
by J. David Santen Jr., The Oregonian,
"Two men in the employ of a man known as the Commodore have been sent to California to kill a prospector.
'It turns out, and I don't know why this is, and have at times wished it were not so, but yes — we had or have an aptitude for killing,' Eli Sisters says, as he explains how he and his brother Charlie found their vocation, for which they are feared far and wide.
These are the title characters in Portland writer Patrick deWitt's new novel, The Sisters Brothers, set in Gold Rush-era 1850s." (Read the entire Oregonian review)
by Publishers Weekly,
“A masterful, hilarious picaresque that keeps company with the best of Charles Portis and Mark Twain, The Sisters Brothers is a relentlessly absorbing feat of novelistic art.” (starred review)
by David Wroblewski,
“Both homage to the classic Western and knife thrust to its dark underbelly, this novel has a quirky, deadpan exterior and a hard-beating heart; we come to see how men die and how the brotherly bond shifts but holds.... I was intrigued by page one.”
by Library Journal,
"DeWitt has produced a genre-bending frontier saga that is exciting, funny, and, perhaps unexpectedly, moving."
by Wells Tower,
“DeWitt creates a homage to life in the Wild West but at the same time reveals its brutality.”
by Gil Adamson,
“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.”
by Kirkus Reviews,
“A bright, brutal revision of the Western, The Sisters Brothers offers an unexpected meditation on life, and on the crucial difference between power and strength.”
by Charles Bock,
“Patrick deWitt’s narrator — a hired killer with a bad conscience and a melancholy disposition — is a brilliant and memorable creation.”
by Time Out New York,
"Wandering his Western landscape with the cool confidence of a practiced pistoleer, deWitt's steady hand belies a hair trigger, a poet's heart and an acute sense of gallows humor...the reader is likely to reach the adventure's end in the same shape as Eli: wounded but bettered by the ride."
by Philadelphia City Paper,
"Cinematic, wry and mannered.... Just as much as The Sisters Brothers is about a killing, it's also about the difficulty of holding on to or setting aside all the things a killer has to convince himself of to make his life palatable."
by Boston Globe,
"A feast of delights in short punchy chapters.... Deliciously original and rhapsodically funny, this is one novel that ropes you in on page one, and isn't about to ride off into the sunset any time soon."
by Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,
"Sharp and wondrous...[a] funny, oddly moving novel."
"Thrilling...a lushly voiced picaresque story...so richly told, so detailed, that what emerges is a weird circus of existence, all steel shanks and ponies, gut shots and medication poured into the eyeholes of the dying. At some level, this too is a kind of revenge story, marvelously blurry."
"By turns hilarious, graphic and meditative, The Sisters Brothers hooked me from page one all the way to 300 — and I could have stayed on for many more."
by The Onion AV Club,
"The brothers' punchily poetic banter and the book's bracing bursts of violence keep this campfire yarn pulled taut."
by Austin Chronicle,
"A twisted delight...Familiar, yes, but never not fresh. Also: creepy and sometimes inscrutable, gory with multiple amputations, rollicking and wistful and roundly winning."
by Washington Post,
"Weirdly funny, startlingly violent and steeped in sadness... It's all rendered irresistible by Eli Sisters, who narrates with a mixture of melancholy and thoughtfulness."
"[A] thrilling, smart and surprisingly touching read...visual and visceral...always compelling and surprising."
by Roanoke Times,
"A wickedly funny and innovative novel."
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