Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Book Review: The Sisters Brothers

Image from Amazon
I was initially intrigued when I read this review of The Sisters Brothers by Patrick deWitt by Lawrence Wayne Markert. He said "Patrick deWitt’s second novel, “The Sisters Brothers,” reads like several different types of novel at once. The Western serves as its core. He owes something to Charles Portis, author of “True Grit”, but his novel is not merely derivative. DeWitt’s many levels and story lines form a wickedly funny and innovative novel that amounts to an adventure using various genres and forms of narration." One of my all time favorite books and movies is True Grit, so I thought I better put this book on my reading list. I will admit I was also drawn to this book because of the cover art. There was just something about it that made me want to pick it up.

Eli and Charlie are the Sisters brothers and both are feared hit men working for a corrupt and powerful man. The story begins as the brothers are in pursuit of a man who crossed the boss. After a long and difficult journey, during which Eli gets attached to his one eyed horse Tub, they reach their destination. Much to their surprise they find the targeted man missing, with only a journal left behind. The journal tells an incredible tale of the targeted man's invention which will change the course of history. I won't ruin the end, but the brothers head off into the wilderness to find their man, and to see his invention.

The story is told through the perceptive of Eli Sisters, the quiet and thoughtful brother who begins to reconsider his lifestyle. He begins to dream of a quiet life, one without murder and mayhem on the dusty trail. He struggles with the task set before him and desires to justify his actions. He desires to please his brother but endeavors to remain true to himself. This conflict is something that I think everyone struggles with at some point. I loved the humor and the inner dialog of Eli. I grew up on John Wayne westerns and will always love stories of the frontier. This is definitely a book I would recommend to another reader, even if they are not a lover of the Western genre.

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