HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

The Sisters Brothers by Patrick deWitt
Loading...

The Sisters Brothers (original 2011; edition 2012)

by Patrick deWitt

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
2,1081943,119 (3.87)1 / 519
Member:relah
Title:The Sisters Brothers
Authors:Patrick deWitt
Info:Ecco (2012), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 336 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:2012

Work details

The Sisters Brothers by Patrick deWitt (2011)

19th century (29) 2011 (22) 2012 (46) 2013 (20) audiobook (16) book club (18) booker prize shortlist (26) brothers (67) California (64) Canadian (37) Canadian fiction (18) Canadian literature (25) ebook (37) family (17) fiction (296) gold rush (80) historical (18) historical fiction (92) humor (48) Kindle (35) murder (21) novel (32) Oregon (34) read (37) read in 2011 (31) read in 2012 (32) to-read (102) unread (17) USA (22) western (237)
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

English (189)  Dutch (2)  Italian (1)  Danish (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (194)
Showing 1-5 of 189 (next | show all)
This book could have been really cool...I thought it was going to be a black comedy adventure story that made you laugh AND cry, but it was just pretty bland. I could tell what the author wanted to/thought he was doing with it, but it just wasn't fully realized. ( )
  abbeyhar | Jul 23, 2014 |
This book could have been really cool...I thought it was going to be a black comedy adventure story that made you laugh AND cry, but it was just pretty bland. I could tell what the author wanted to/thought he was doing with it, but it just wasn't fully realized. ( )
  abbeyhar | Jul 23, 2014 |
This book could have been really cool...I thought it was going to be a black comedy adventure story that made you laugh AND cry, but it was just pretty bland. I could tell what the author wanted to/thought he was doing with it, but it just wasn't fully realized. ( )
  abbeyhar | Jul 23, 2014 |
3.5 stars

It is the mid-1800s and Eli and Charlie Sisters are brothers who kill for a living. They are hired by the Commodore to kill someone in California, so they are travelling from their home in Oregon City to do so.

This was good. I wasn't sure if I was going to like it or not, being a western (of sorts) and an award-winning book, but I did. It was fast to read (I read it in a day), and it was an easy read. I liked the first half of the book better, while they were travelling (and their encounters along the way), versus after they arrived in California. The “intermissions”, I thought, were a bit odd, though. I suppose there was some purpose to them, but I didn't really get it. ( )
  LibraryCin | Jun 15, 2014 |
Charlie and Eli Sisters are hired guns working for the Commodore. They travel from Oregon City to Sacramento to kill a man named Warm. On the way they meet a variety of old west characters all desperate and searching for a better life.

Eli is a thoughtful and compassionate narrator who isn’t happy with the life of a killer. He is bound to his brother Charlie by a childhood tragedy. Charlie cares more for drink, money, and whores than Eli does. It becomes evident that those things don’t matter to Eli who is constantly giving away his money to the hopeless people he meets as they travel. He even keeps riding a poor old dying horse as they journey into California because he just can’t give up on him.

I knew the tone of the book I was going to be reading from this line near the beginning referring to Eli’s horse Tub:
“I was often forced to whip him, which some men do not mind doing and which in fact some enjoy doing, but which I did not like to do; and afterward he, Tub, believed me cruel and thought to himself, Sad life, sad life.”
The line is full of pathos; it is a tragically funny statement. In fact that is how I would describe this whole book; tragically funny.

The novel is about Eli’s journey to self-discovery. In the end he discovers who he is and where he belongs. It follows the path of “The Hero’s Journey”; call to adventure, supernatural aid, challenges, transformation, atonement, and return.

I enjoyed reading this novel. It is very well written and a surprisingly quick read. The nature of the book reminded me of Thomas Berger’s “Little Big Man.” It is peppered with very strange old west characters. Right after I finished reading it my husband and I re-watched “The Outlaw Josie Wales” and I was struck by some of the same types of characters.

If you enjoy westerns from the 1960s and 1970s when movies and books were moving toward gritty reality and away from the mythology of plucky pioneers, and cowboys fighting off nasty Indians then you will like this book. If you are fond of reading books where the main character goes through a transformation and becomes a better person in the end then you will appreciate this book. Finally, if you read dark humor you will find this book entertaining. ( )
1 vote craso | May 31, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 189 (next | show all)
Sometimes, a novel is like a train: the first chapter is a comfortable seat in an attractive carriage,and the narrative speeds up. But there are other sorts of trains, and other sorts of novels. They rush by in the dark; passengers framed in the lighted windows are smiling and enjoying themselves. You aren't a passenger, you don't care about that destination, and the whole train rumbles on without you.
added by geocroc | editThe Guardian, Jane Smiley (Jul 15, 2011)
 
Much has been made, over the last few decades, about the death of the western as a genre. All this talk, however, seems to overlook a single, crucial point: the western was never just a genre....DeWitt not only plays the western straight, he draws from the best. Written with the parsed force of the best of Elmore Leonard, DeWitt’s closest CanLit antecedent seems to be Michael Ondaatje’s The Collected Works of Billy the Kid. The influence comes through not only in his attention to every word, every detail, but also in the deadpan, unflinching depiction of violence, reality elevated almost to the level of ridiculousness...Despite being deliberately and effectively part of a tradition (one can imagine it being written and read a hundred years ago, with a few caveats), The Sisters Brothers is a bold, original and powerfully compelling work, grounded in well-drawn characters and a firm hold on narrative. When they say “They don’t write em like that anymore,” they’re wrong.
 
There never was a more engaging pair of psychopaths than Charlie and Eli Sisters, two brothers who kill for hire—and for necessity, and sometimes for the pure, amusing hell of it....So subtle is DeWitt’s prose, so slyly note-perfect his rendition of Eli’s voice in all its earnestly charming 19th-century syntax, and so compulsively readable his bleakly funny western noir story, that readers will stick by Eli even as he grinds his heel into the shattered skull of an already dead prospector.
 
Because rather than concerning himself with showboating his period-specific research, deWitt has deliberately flouted the rules of straight-laced historical realism here, to stunning effect. And most importantly, what he does get right are the flawed and jagged hearts of his characters, which is all the real this reviewer needs....What Western is real anyway? Aren’t they all revisions and stylizations of the past? From the kindergarten morals and the ridiculous bloodlessness of Hollywood Westerns, to Louis L’Amour’s pat Harlequin Romances for men, to the populist machismo of spaghetti Westerns and their impossibly slow gun duels, the genre has never registered very high on the reality scale.....The overall effect is fresh, hilariously anti-heroic, often genuinely chilling, and relentlessly compelling. Yes, this is a mighty fine read, and deWitt a mighty fine writer.
 
Nothing in Patrick deWitt’s first novel, Ablutions, a laconic barfly’s lament for a dysfunctional life, could prepare you for his second, a triumphantly dark, comic anti-western; apart, that is, from the same devastating sense of confidence and glittering prose. ...The writing is superb, with each brief chapter a separate tale in itself, relayed in Eli’s aphoristic fashion. The scope is both cinematic and schematic, with a swaggering, poetic feel reminiscent of a Bob Dylan lyric, while the author retains gleefully taut control of the overall structure. ...
 

» Add other authors (5 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Patrick deWittprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Chong, Suet YeeDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stiles, DanCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
Voor mijn moeder
For my mother
First words
I was sitting outside the Commodore's mansion, waiting for my brother Charlie to come out with news of the job.
Quotations
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
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 Sacremento, Eli begins to question what he does-and whom he does it for. With The Brothers Sisters, 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, 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. (ARC)
Haiku summary
The Sisters brothers?
Guns for hire, but Eli
Fancies a job change.
(passion4reading)

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0062041266, Hardcover)

Shortlisted for the Booker Prize

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:35:43 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

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.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 6 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
14 avail.
623 wanted
6 pay4 pay

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.87)
0.5 2
1 10
1.5 4
2 25
2.5 8
3 150
3.5 116
4 351
4.5 93
5 154

Audible.com

Three editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

See editions

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 91,483,475 books! | Top bar: Always visible