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.
©2011 Patrick deWitt (P)2011 HarperCollins Publishers
“…gritty, as well as deadpan and often very comic…DeWitt has chosen a narrative voice so sharp and distinctive…it’s very narrowing of possibilities opens new doors in the imagination.” (New York Times Book Review)
“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.” (Washington Post)
“[T]here’s something cinematic about Mr. deWitt’s unadorned prose style, which at first made this reader do a double-take—can this be serious?—only to continue flicking the pages with pleasure.” (Wall Street Journal)
This book is wonderful. It is funny and lighthearted at times but, at others, reverent and dark. Its narrator is wholly sincere and brooding and an unwitting poet. The story is fun to read and is written in hypnotic prose. Yet, its reflections on life, death and human nature possess a melancholy and accuracy that is entirely profound. It is riveting and one-of-a-kind.
This reminded me of a Coen brothers story. The characters quirky and merciless in some aspects and the banter simple yet sharp.
I enjoyed this book, it can be a little slow but the characters make up for it.
The story was a well developed one for as short as it was. The characters were interesting and the ending relatively satisfying.
The narration was excellent. Volume levels and clarity were some of the best I have heard on Audible. The characters were distinct and there personalities realized by the narrator.
Was a great little book killers and whores and blood and and all that cowboy stuff. Strangely endearing and full of humor￼
I was turned onto this book by Ben Fowlkes and Chad Dundas, two journalists with a podcast (CME, if you nasty).
I really enjoyed the story and characters but I felt the narration by Pruden really coloured my experience of the book. The book is first person narrative and Pruden's speech is slow and deliberate. Check the audio sample. It's somewhere between John Wayne and Tonto. And maybe Data from TNG... I'm uncertain Pruden can use contractions.
At first I thought this might be a character choice but having listened to samples on other Pruden narrations I know it isn't - this is just the way Pruden narrates. Slow. And deliberate.
It makes everything sound like either a simpleton is saying it or it's being addressed to a simpleton. Which colours the characters of a fictional story, especially when it's in first person narrative.
Early on in the book I was expecting there to be a reveal that the protagonist/narrator had been dropped on his head as a child but once I realised it wasn't a deliberate choice discussed with the author to make the main character sound simple my understanding of the story and characters was much clearer.
While there is a naivety to the main character he is not a simpleton and neither are the majority of the characters in the book, although Pruden voices them in that same slow, deliberate way.
I think the book would be a good read. It's a misleading listen.
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