The Sisters Brothers

The Sisters Brothers

Book - 2011
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When a frontier baron known as the Commodore orders Charlie and Eli Sisters, his hired gunslingers, to track down and kill a prospector named Herman Kermit Warm, the brothers journey from Oregon to San Francisco, and eventually to Warm's claim in the Sierra foothills, running into a witch, a bear, a dead Indian, a parlor of drunken floozies, and a gang of murderous fur trappers.
Publisher: London : Granta, 2011.
ISBN: 9780062041265
Characteristics: 328 p. ; 22 cm.


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Jun 19, 2018

John C. Reilly and Joaquin Phoenix star as the Sisters Brothers in the upcoming movie adaptation. You'll want to read the novel before seeing the movie. One of my favorite books of 2011 (really--I can't believe it was that long ago!) :)

This is one of the books that got me reading Westerns; the others were Doc: A Novel and Epitaph both by Mary Doria Russell.

Jan 16, 2018

Patrick DeWitt's "The Sisters Brothers" is not unlike the westerns by Cormac McCarthy. It's written well; its dark; and it is often humorous.

Vero_biblio Dec 22, 2017

Follow this dumb hitmen duo across the Far West, and you’re guaranteed to chuckle along the way.

Nov 06, 2017

Unusual juxtapositions grabbed my attention and kept me page-turning – properly correct language of a century and a half ago uttered without the bat of an eye in the midst of blood baths and gunned down bodies; grittily real warts-and-all characters, one of whom is a sensitive, introspective type who gains insight along his hired-gun way; humour and gentleness that comes at a reader-cringing moments of violence. de Witt develops his two main characters masterfully with copious dialogue (as if he were laying the groundwork for a screenplay), and the plentiful details of their journey make for high realism … never mind the historical facts. I was fully engaged.

SCL_Justin Aug 05, 2017

Patrick DeWitt’s western, The Sisters Brothers is, for me, a lighter version of a Cormac McCarthy novel. An acquaintance of mine had it pushed to her as a hilarious, funniest book ever kind of thing and it set her up for immense disappointment. I mean, it is funny but in a dry, dark, taking horrible things seriously kind of way. I can’t remember if the Coen brothers comparison is on the cover of the book (mine was an e-copy) but it’s funny in the Fargo way, not The Big Lebowski.

In any case the story is about a couple of bounty-hunting brothers (whose last name is Sisters, which makes this another addition to the collection of books that cause misreadings of their titles based on imagined apostrophes – my favourite other example being Vernor Vinge’s Rainbows End) going down from Oregon to San Francisco to kill a guy. There are crappy horses and merciful decisions and badass gunfighting (badass in the brutal “there ain’t nothing honourable about shooting a man” kind of way), and it definitely fits in the picture of the time painted by Deadwood or Unforgiven.

I liked it, but anyone selling it as a funny book is emphasizing the wrong aspects, I think. It’s a story of brutality and masculinity. And it has a great cover.

tuscany1 Apr 29, 2017

Eli & Charlie Brothers are professional killers who work for The Commodore. Good story, well written and the relationship between the brothers is at times both amusing and sad. A grittily realistic western.

SquamishLibraryStaff Sep 29, 2016

I'm sorry I waited so long to read this book, as it was one of the most entertaining novels I've read in years. The plot is gripping and lightning quick, and Eli has to be one of the best narrators of all time. Suspenseful and laugh out loud funny, it's as if the Coen brothers wrote a novel. I haven't read many westerns, but that wouldn't be the case if they were all as witty as The Sisters Brothers.

Sep 22, 2016

A good story that keeps you intrigued till the end. Well structured, well paced (even if a bit slow), but I guess it reflex the time of the story.

Aug 22, 2016

This is a Western in appearance, but it is more of a "noir" genre-wise. The dialogue is sparse, with dribbles of horror and drops of humor. Some of the chapters held me rapt, and others I couldn't wait to finish. I enjoyed the narrator, Eli's, internal debate with himself as to whether he should continue as a killer-for-hire and his gradual love for his dud of a horse, Tub. But there was more pages of less compelling material than I cared for.

Jul 17, 2016

This was a nice easy read. I was itching for a western and this appeased the itch for a time.

I found it a little difficult to become invested in the characters and the story on the whole with the very point-by-point narrative from the point of view of a fairly simple character. The first half of the book feels like a series of journal entries without much depth, but they eventually tie together and it was entertaining enough that I read it through with a couple of laughs along the way.

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Jun 21, 2012

KatrinaCB thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over

Jun 18, 2012

smichal thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over

Jun 12, 2012

Nutty thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over


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Jul 11, 2012

"They arrived unhungry and remained so."

Jun 12, 2012

“I thought, When a man is properly drunk it is as though he is an a room by himself--there is a physical, impenetrable separation between him and his fellows.”

Jun 12, 2012

“...but I could not sleep without proper covering and spent the rest of the night rewriting lost arguments from my past, altering history so that I emerged victorious.”


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