YongJae, February 22, 2013 (view all comments by YongJae)
Two hired gun brothers sent from Oregon to San Francisco to carry out a killing, but of course things don't go as planned. McCarthy comparisons happening already, but the humour makes it feel more like Portis's True Grit (albeit darker), but with McCarthy's unflinching gaze at violence. Put it on the shelf beside Dexter's Deadwood, & Ron Hansen - best literary western I've read in recent memory.
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lcnance, January 1, 2013 (view all comments by lcnance)
Fantastic historical fiction about two hitmen from California goldrush days. This is one of the only books I read in 2012 that I couldn't put down. Highly recommend.
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.
by Dallas Morning News,
"[The Sisters Brothers] is full of surprises, among them...is the quirky beauty of the language Patrick deWitt has devised for his narrator.... The Sisters Brothers is deWitt's second novel...and is an inventive and ingenious character study. It will make you impatient for the third."
by Outside magazine,
"Funny and strange [and] oddly warm...you'll find yourself ashamedly pulling for the brothers Sisters like you did for Jules and Vinnie in Pulp Fiction."
by Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,
"Sharp and wondrous...[a] funny, oddly moving novel."
by Cleveland Plain Dealer,
"Mesmerizing... The book seduces us to its characters, and draws us on the strength of deWitt's subtle, nothing-wasted prose. He writes with gorgeous precision about the grotesque: an amputation, a gouged eye, a con in a dive bar, a nauseating body count [without] macho brutishness."
by Denver Post,
"Original, entrancing and entertaining."
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."
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 Library Journal,
"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 The Onion AV Club,
"The brothers' punchily poetic banter and the book's bracing bursts of violence keep this campfire yarn pulled taut."
by The Stranger,
"Patrick deWitt's latest novel, The Sisters Brothers [evokes]... a feeling you revel in the re-creation of even more than you would enjoy going back to the original experience at its source."
by Kirkus Reviews,
"DeWitt creates a homage to life in the Wild West but at the same time reveals its brutality."
"[A] thrilling, smart and surprisingly touching read...visual and visceral...always compelling and surprising."
"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 Monday Mag,
"If you're looking for an unforgettable western, grab this one."
by Portland Book Review,
"Portland author Patrick DeWitt has hit on a sure-fire road to success."
by Daily Beast,
"DeWitt's The Sisters Brothers is a glorious picaresque Western; everything about this book is stylish, from its conceit to its cover design making it a truly worthy inclusion on the shortlist."
by The Millions,
"DeWitt's exploitations of the picaresque form are striking, and he has a wonderful way of exercising his comic gifts without ever compromising the novel's gradual accumulation of darkness, disgust, and foreboding."
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.
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