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Die Sisters Brothers by Patrick deWitt
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Die Sisters Brothers (original 2011; edition 2012)

by Patrick deWitt, Marcus Ingendaay (Übersetzer)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
2,4972142,434 (3.87)1 / 585
Member:lintschi33
Title:Die Sisters Brothers
Authors:Patrick deWitt
Other authors:Marcus Ingendaay (Übersetzer)
Info:Manhattan (2012), Gebundene Ausgabe, 352 Seiten
Collections:Your library, EBook, Skoobe
Rating:****
Tags:ebook, skoobe, western, gelesen

Work details

The Sisters Brothers by Patrick deWitt (2011)

  1. 80
    No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy (derelicious)
  2. 40
    Doc by Mary Doria Russell (Citizenjoyce)
    Citizenjoyce: Gunslingers and philosophy populate both books.
  3. 40
    True Grit by Charles Portis (ShelfMonkey)
  4. 30
    Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry (whymaggiemay)
    whymaggiemay: Both have a wonderful, authentic flavor of the old west.
  5. 20
    Streets of Laredo by Larry McMurtry (Limelite)
  6. 10
    Twilight by William Gay (tandah, tandah)
    tandah: Not as dark as 'Twilight' but it is a violent western road trip and both very well written.
  7. 10
    The Many Deaths of the Firefly Brothers by Thomas Mullen (VictoriaPL)
  8. 10
    The Ox-Bow Incident by Walter van Tilburg Clark (ocgreg34)
  9. 10
    Close Range by Annie Proulx (Cecilturtle)
  10. 00
    Frog Music by Emma Donoghue (sturlington)
  11. 00
    Woe to Live On by Daniel Woodrell (alanteder)
  12. 00
    The Whip by Karen Kondazian (Anonymous user)
  13. 01
    The Antagonist by Lynn Coady (bookwormjules)
    bookwormjules: Part of the 2011 Giller Short-list
  14. 13
    Half Blood Blues by Esi Edugyan (bookwormjules)
    bookwormjules: Part of the 2011 Giller Prize Short List
  15. 03
    The Man Who Fell in Love with the Moon by Tom Spanbauer (Limelite)
    Limelite: Both these Westerns turn the genre on its ear. "Not John Wayne's Old West."
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English (209)  Dutch (2)  Italian (1)  Danish (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (214)
Showing 1-5 of 209 (next | show all)
Particularly fun on audio. I plan to read more of this author's books. Well written, great characters described very well, funny story, some emotional meat, and plenty of subtle humor. ( )
  KathyGilbert | Jan 29, 2016 |
Eli and Charlie are infamous gunslingers in the employ of a powerful man, known only as the Commodore. This time the job takes them to California, which is full of fools following the Gold Rush, to find a man who has crossed their employer (or so the Commodore says). Sounds simple enough; they are professionals after all. And so they set off from Oregon City to San Francisco, encountering on their way a witch, a couple of bears, a dead Indian, a house full of drunken “ladies,” a murderous gang of fur trappers, and a frontier dentist who introduces them to the wonders of dental hygiene (with a toothbrush and some mint-flavored tooth powder).

DeWitt has written a wonderful take on the traditional Western. I am by no means an expert on the genre, but I really enjoyed this book. The book reminded me a little of the comic crime capers of Donald Westlake. The main reason I don’t give it more stars is the narration by Eli. He admits that he’s never really shared his older brother’s appetite for drinking and killing, but he’s never known anything else and he is devoted to Charlie. He relates the story with a nearly flat affect, if that’s possible to do in writing. In some places this device works wonderfully to lend humor to the tale (as in the aforementioned encounter with the dentist), but much of the time I found myself just wondering when I was going to really get engaged in the story. I was curious about what was going to happen, but I didn’t really care what was going to happen. Still, I’m glad I read it and I might recommend it, especially to my brother and others who love Westerns.
( )
  BookConcierge | Jan 13, 2016 |
Either a 3 or a 4. First person narrative. All well-reviewed books these days seem to be first person. Don't they teach the glories of third person in writing classes any more. This is probably more of a 4. Quite complex tone and story. Veers back and forth between serious and comic. A take on the western. And who knows what. Glad to have a story that moves into the bay area. Time spent there the last year. And then back to Oregon. Not bad. I'd definitely recommend. Liked this more in the end than a number of the other books that got press as Booker finalists this year. Not so serious. And yet lots of fun. And very extreme characters. Almost like a Dickens or some such. Strong effect. No lingering place in the narrative. I enjoyed that. ( )
  idiotgirl | Dec 25, 2015 |
The Sisters Brothers by Patrick deWitt

First off, I love the cover art by Dan Stiles!

In The Sisters Brothers by Patrick deWitt, Eli and Charlie Sisters are notorious killers from Oregon working for "The Commodore" as guns for hire. They travel to California during the 1851 gold rush to kill their latest target, Hermann Kermit Warm. These two brothers are as different as night and day. Charlie is a cold-blooded killer who longs for power. Eli is a more sensitive type who would like to settle down to a simpler life. The book is narrated by Eli and his descriptions of random occurrences during their travels symbolize the deep misgivings he is having about his choices in life.


"My very center was beginning to expand, as it did before violence, a toppled pot of black ink covering the frame of my mind, its contents ceaseless, unaccountably limitless. My flesh and scalp started to ring and tingle and I became someone other than myself, or I became my second self, and this person was highly pleased to be stepping from the murk and into the living world where he might do just as he wished. I felt at once both lust and disgrace and wondered, Why do I relish this reversal to animal?"

This book is a violent and darkly funny romp through the old west. It's s not a book for everyone but it is fresh and different. Although I wasn't thrilled with the treatment of most of the animals in the book, I did enjoy the story. There were times while I was reading that I pictured a Quentin Tarantino movie. Chances are if you like those, you will like this book. ( )
  sherribelcher | Dec 17, 2015 |
Fantastic story. ( )
  daysmoregray | Dec 2, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 209 (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.
 
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.
 
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.
 
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
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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
We can all of us be hurt, and no one is exclusively safe from worry and sadness.
The creak of bed springs suffering under the weight of a restless man is as lonely a sound as I know.
Here is another miserable mental image I will have to catalog and make room for.
To me, luck was something you either earned or invented through strength of character. You had to come by it honestly; you could not trick or bluff your way into it.
What would the world be, I thought, without money hung around our necks, hung around our very souls?
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:03 -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

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