The Sisters Brothers: Book summary and reviews of The Sisters Brothers by Patrick Dewitt

The Sisters Brothers

A Novel

by Patrick Dewitt

The Sisters Brothers by Patrick Dewitt X
The Sisters Brothers by Patrick Dewitt
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  • Published in USA  May 2011
    336 pages
    Genre: Historical Fiction

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Book 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.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. With nods to Charles Portis and Frank Norris, DeWitt has produced a genre-bending frontier saga that is exciting, funny, and, perhaps unexpectedly, moving." - Publishers Weekly

"It's the concluding pages, however, that give the novel its surprising integrity and power. It becomes, in effect, a different kind of novel, profoundly literary, and devoted to serious philosophical meditation." - Library Journal

"DeWitt creates a homage to life in the Wild West but at the same time reveals its brutality." - Kirkus Reviews

"DeWitt assembles a host of motley characters for this romping adventure while presenting a good character study in Eli, a narrator who's as likely to pontificate on the trouble with horses as to describe a gunfight." - BookList

"A gorgeous, wise, riveting work of, among other things, cowboy noir…. Honestly, I can't recall ever being this fond of a pair of psychopaths." - David Wroblewski, bestselling author of The Story of Edgar Sawtelle

"A masterful, hilarious picaresque that keeps company with the best of Charles Portis and Mark Twain, The Sisters Brothers is a relentlessly absorbing feat of novelistic art." - Wells Tower, author of Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned

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Reader Reviews

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Malca

Sisters Brothers
This is not your traditional western. Yet it has many of the characteristics of the genre, e.g. language, dark vs light, romance of the west, etc. It also has a lot of laugh-outloud humour, a characteristic not usually associated with westerns. Highly recommended for fans of literary fiction.

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Author Information

Patrick Dewitt Author Biography

Photo: Danny Palmerlee

Patrick deWitt is the author of the critically acclaimed Ablutions: Notes for a Novel, as well as The Sisters Brothers, which was short-listed for the Booker Prize, and French Exit. Born in British Columbia, he has also lived in California and Washington, and now resides in Portland, Oregon.

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