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The Sisters Brothers: A Novel | [Patrick deWitt]

The Sisters Brothers: A Novel

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....
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Publisher's Summary

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

What the Critics Say

“…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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (371 )
5 star
 (103)
4 star
 (166)
3 star
 (77)
2 star
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1 star
 (9)
Overall
3.9 (315 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Story
4.2 (315 )
5 star
 (136)
4 star
 (123)
3 star
 (44)
2 star
 (4)
1 star
 (8)
Performance
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  •  
    Chris Reich Northern, CA 05-24-13
    Chris Reich Northern, CA 05-24-13 Member Since 2005

    Business Physicist and Astronomer

    HELPFUL VOTES
    693
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    292
    128
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    138
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    Performance
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    "Odd and Amusing"

    While I was not wowed by this book, I did enjoy it. The story is quirky and the wit dry as the high desert.

    Some of it was rather predictable, some just not that interesting. But if you want a break from business books, self-improvement manuals or vampire novels (yawn), here you go. While not a page turner, it will keep you amused.

    Recommend? Sure, I recommend it!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Roy Sagle, ID, United States 04-23-13
    Roy Sagle, ID, United States 04-23-13 Member Since 2013

    Reader and long-distance commuter.

    ratings
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    5
    4
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Modern Western"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    This is an odd western, not traditional cowboy fare. It is the type of story that could become a Tarantino movie one day.


    Would you recommend The Sisters Brothers to your friends? Why or why not?

    I think it will be a hit with a narrow slice of listeners, those who enjoy good writing but read/listen for more than entertainment. Those just seeking entertainment may be left cold.


    Which character – as performed by John Pruden – was your favorite?

    Of course, the protagonist.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    This is a Tarantino movie waiting to happen.


    Any additional comments?

    I would have given it 3.5 stars, if it were possible.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anna Genoa, IL, United States 04-04-13
    Anna Genoa, IL, United States 04-04-13 Member Since 2008

    I love books.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    3
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    Story
    "Excellent!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Absolutely! It is an engaging story and wonderfully narrated.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I loved the "flowery" language. It completely set the mood and tone of the book in an effective way. It made the funny bits funnier and really helped me stay immersed in the story.


    If you could take any character from The Sisters Brothers out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    Eli. The duality of him was completely fascinating. He was loyal, and funny, and and thoughtful, and a killer.


    Any additional comments?

    I'd recommend this to anyone. Regardless of your genre preference, I think this is a story most people would enjoy.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rachael A Ryan Watertown, CT USA 01-30-13
    Rachael A Ryan Watertown, CT USA 01-30-13 Member Since 2012
    ratings
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    2
    2
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    Story
    "A really fun read and poignant too!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes I would recommend this book beucase I found it was laugh out loud funny. It was also dramatic and had an interesting plot. I liked some of the historical details about life in the West during the Gold Rush. It also was a poignant story about two brothers and their choices in life.


    What other book might you compare The Sisters Brothers to and why?

    One of the reasons why I really liked this book is I have never read anything else like it.


    Have you listened to any of John Pruden’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I have not


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No because I like to savor books.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael kansas city, MO, United States 10-29-12
    Michael kansas city, MO, United States 10-29-12 Member Since 2007

    Say something about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    21
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    55
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    "loved this western"

    i tell all my friends about this story.. i really liked it.. i recommend this if you like a bit of gunslinger lingo wrapped up in a good story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bianca L. Guzman Hacienda Heights, CA United States 08-27-12
    Bianca L. Guzman Hacienda Heights, CA United States 08-27-12
    ratings
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    2
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "This book was okay"
    What did you like best about The Sisters Brothers? What did you like least?

    It was kind of funny the way they dealt with killing people--but it was not a great read.


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    Adequately enough


    Was The Sisters Brothers worth the listening time?

    Not really


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Colorado Springs, CO, United States 08-23-12
    John Colorado Springs, CO, United States 08-23-12 Member Since 2011
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    39
    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "Wonderfull character study. Loved the language..."
    Where does The Sisters Brothers rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Near the top. I love old western fiction and this is one of the best.


    What other book might you compare The Sisters Brothers to and why?

    It's really different than most western books I've read. It's dry humor is appealing and the situations are believable and compelling. The narator is top notch.


    Have you listened to any of John Pruden’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No. But now I'll look for others.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Memphis, TN, United States 08-13-12
    David Memphis, TN, United States 08-13-12 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
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    4
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    "Western Pulp Fiction"

    Excellent, well-narrated. Very interesting characters and an unusual perspective much like Pulp Fiction.Good representation of Gold Rush setting.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer BROOKLYN, NY, United States 07-31-12
    Amazon Customer BROOKLYN, NY, United States 07-31-12 Member Since 2012
    ratings
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    23
    3
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    Story
    "Great story I hope there's a follow up"
    What did you love best about The Sisters Brothers?

    The narrator did a great job capturing the different styles of each brother. And I loved the noir style the author used in this cowboyesque book.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Eli Sisters was my favorite. He was the more quiet, kind hearted one that was looking out for his brother more than his brother even knew.


    Have you listened to any of John Pruden’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    This is my first, but definitely not my last.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes in fact it only took me two days to listen too because I couldn't turn it off.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tom Fort Worth, TX, United States 07-12-12
    Tom Fort Worth, TX, United States 07-12-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The Best Western I Ever Read"

    I don't have good luck with westerns and I was nervous to pick this up. Something about the idea of the story, and the awesome cover art, drew me to this book (I ended up listening to the audio book). I ended up really enjoying it.

    Eli and Charlie Sisters area infamous killers for "The Commodore". They are just on another job when things begin to change for Eli. The story is told in Eli's voice as he and his brother travel on this errand from Oregon Territory to Sacramento. Eli has never really had the killer personality, in fact, he decides he wants to own a clothing shop. The brothers have a series of encounters on this journey that begin to drive a wedge between them, at least professionally, and Eli realizes he cannot continue the life he finds himself in. He finally understands that he has always done what his older brother needed him to do and never pursued his own desires.

    I am not one to look for deep meaning or hidden symbolism in literature. I always hated the part of English class where we read a book and tried to decipher the authors intentions. I always wondered how many authors were pulling their hair out as they watched high school kids butcher their stories. I like a good read with characters that I can care about and an entertaining plot and story line. The Sister Brothers provided that. There are some truly laugh out loud moments and some excellent dialogue and in the end I was concerned for these two killers.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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