Saturday, 24 December 2011
Book on Trial #10: The Sisters Brothers
Title: The Sisters Brothers
Author: Patrick deWitt
Genre: Western, assassins, action, gold rush America, black humour, satire, fiction.
Recommended For: Western lovers; people who love humour in their fiction; people who like making fun of traditional Westerns; fans of True Grit; Canadians; award-winning book readers; mature content and themes.
Sentence: I sentence Patrick deWitt to toothbrush-clean smiles, but also the ability to avoid being mauled by fifty jobless prostitutes.
Review: This may be one of the stranger “serious”, award-winning books I’ve read. I know many people claim similarity to Blood Meridian and True Grit, but it’s almost like deWitt is making fun of the stereotypical-ness of this Western scenario.
The story hones in on Charlie and Eli Sisters (who are obviously brothers) and their plot to assassinate a Mr. Warm for the Commodore. While they are feared and clearly try to display a lack of empathy, due to their ruthlessness and aptitude for killing; Eli seems to actually be a little bit compassionate; even towards his burdensome horse, Tub. Charlie, on the other hand, appears to be a cold-hearted drunkard, but even cracks in his beastly personality make an appearance every once in awhile.
If the reader goes in expecting an epic western story out of this very short and simple novel, they will be disappointed, because there isn’t one. It’s certainly hilarious and has its quirks, but it’s almost like drowning in the misfortunes and “ups” and downs of these two brothers.
It eventually leads to their proposed “last job”, which goes horribly wrong in some hilarious and unfortunate ways.
Overall, it was a well-written story, with some much-needed humour that I find nationally acclaimed novels are lacking these days. It’s a break from my more depressing reads of this year. Although not without it’s own depressing message (to me anyway): being an assassin during the California gold rush (1850s) sucks ass.#sisters #brothers #dewitt #canadian #cowboys #assassins #blood #meridian #cormac #fiction #giller #booker #man #nominee #hilarious #humor #humour #books #book #short #change #eli #charlie #kill #kermit #warm #gold #rush #1850s #patrick