Book Review: The Sisters Brothers

I’m not one for westerns, but I added Patrick deWitt’s The Sisters Brothers to my list after reading Read Next’s review earlier this year. I just now got around to reading it…

This was one of the more fun books I read all year. Some of the dry one-liners  are laugh out loud. And I’ve never felt so bad for a horse in all my life, though this also made me want a horse. I admit. That’s kind of weird. The book is set in the Old West during the time of the California gold rush and follows the exploits of Charlie and Eli Sisters, two hired guns with a reputation for dirty killings. These two brothers are out doing the bidding of a very powerful man when things start to change for them and they start plotting how to best ensure their survival with all of the double and triple-crossing going on.

No bones about it – this is a violent book. But then how could the lawless West be any different? What’s interesting are all of the tender and contemplative moments that the author has peppered the story with to help draw the characters’ changing lives out and the readers in.

The whole way through you never know how it’s going to end. Ride of in the sunset? A duel at sunset? Gunned down in the back, payback for any one of the dozens of murders these two have committed?
It was a brutal time and these guys were neck deep in it. But it’s worth following all of the way through, to the end, to see just how far their killer instincts and brotherly allegiance will get them.

A very unique story for 2011 and I’m glad I read it. I am giving this one 3 out of five stars.

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