The Sisters Brothers

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The Sisters Brothers

by Patrick Dewitt

House Of Anansi Press Inc | May 14, 2011 | Hardcover

The Sisters Brothers is rated 3.8 out of 5 by 5.
Winner of the Governor General's Award for Fiction, the Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize, and the Stephen Leacock Medal. Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, the Scotiabank Giller Prize, the Prix des libraires du Quebec and the Walter Scott Prize. Hermann Kermit Warm is going to die: Eli and Charlie Sisters can be counted on for that. Though Eli has never shared his brother's penchant for whiskey and killing, he's never known anything else. On the road to Warm's gold-mining claim outside San Francisco -- and from the back of his long-suffering one-eyed horse -- Eli struggles to make sense of his life without abandoning the job he's sworn to do. Patrick DeWitt, acclaimed author of Ablutions , doffs his hat to the classic Western, and then transforms it into a comic tour-de-force with an unforgettable narrative voice that captures all the absurdity, melancholy, and grit of the West -- and of these two brothers, bound to each other by blood and scars and love.

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 336 pages, 9 × 6 × 1 in

Published: May 14, 2011

Publisher: House Of Anansi Press Inc

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0887842895

ISBN - 13: 9780887842894

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Reviews

Rated 1 out of 5 by from The worst book I've read in years. I don't want this to sound like one of those rant/reviews in which some hurt person gives a book 1 star write. This book really was terrible. For instance: do I need to read, on many occasions, of the main character's masterbation or his many detailed sightings of his brother's genitals? The actual writing in itself is quite nice but that's where the nice ends. The story is series of encounters that try to be witty and clever but fail because the characters are dull and uninteresting. While a few of the encounters are mildly interesting and entertaining, the whole falls far short of satisfying. The end of the book is an absolute anti-climax. I recommend reading just about anything but this novel.
Date published: 2012-05-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from More Please! It has been a long time since I have loved a book. When I was getting down to the last 20 pages I was disappointed it was ending! It is a funny dark humoured read that had me laughing out loud at one minute then gasping in shock the next. Patrick deWitt, I want to know what happens next. Surely a sequel must be in order. Don't leave us hanging!
Date published: 2012-03-10
Rated 4 out of 5 by from The title of the book caught my eye first---The Sisters Brothers This is a feel good book. Once I started reading I couldn't put it down. Different but good.
Date published: 2012-01-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Quirky western is a real page-turner! I really loved this book - I basically read the entire thing in about 3 or 4 days (which is quick for me). Right from the start, the author engages us in two brothers that make a living killing people for a crimeboss. The story begins as they head out to San Francisco (during the era of the Gold Rush) to take care of their latest assignment. Both brothers are deeply flawed in personality, as you might expect, but they are no less fascinating because of this. The younger brother, Eli, is anxious for a normal life but he feels he must stick with his brother in order to protect him. The story leads us into a series of encounters that the brothers negotiate with varying degrees of success but all of these situations spark your interest into finding out what will happen to them next. It is altogether a very addictive storyline. The ending was a little expected but satisfactory nonetheless. Well recommended.
Date published: 2012-01-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A Western for First-timers This review originally posted at Christa's Hooked on Books --http://christashookedonbooks.blogspot.com/2011/07/review-sisters-brothers-by-patrick.html In the olden days of the gold rush Eli and Charlie Sisters are known (and feared) throughout the land. The two act as hired guns for the Commodore and have been tasked with going to San Francisco and “getting rid of” a prospector called Hermann Kermit Warm. Though this task may seem extreme it's old hat to the Sisters brothers, who are used to killing and stealing to suit their needs. As the reader follows the brothers on their mission they are exposed to the intricacies of their relationship and the volatile nature of the job they've spent their lives doing. Before I say anything about the book itself I just want to give a shout out to this book's designer. I've been taking a book design class these last couple months and I've learned how much thought and work is put into the book's interior. As a result I found myself really appreciating the way this novel was designed. The type used was unique but not obnoxious, it really helped me feel like I was reading a book different than any I've read before. I also loved the part openers, which included beautiful double page spreads. The book even had two intermissions! I nice touch and fitting with the time period and genre. But onto the book itself. I found there wasn't a lot of time devoted to the setting itself. You were given enough to know it was the West and what time period it was, but not much else. What really stood out was the way that DeWitt crafted the two brothers. Eli and Charlie Sisters couldn't be more different. Charlie was a rough character. Jaded and unforgiving, he was not someone you wanted to cross. Eli, though still tough, was a more sensitive and human character, making him the ideal choice for the narrator of the story. I found myself able to picture these two brothers right down to the little details, like their hats and their shoes. Differences aside, the two men were still brothers and like many most brothers they have an up and down relationship. It is amazing all the craziness these two go through together and the fights that they have. But through it all they always have each other's back. And really what else could you want from a brother? The Sisters Brothers is one of the first Westerns I've ever read and it wasn't exactly what I expected. I expected more gun fights, more horse races and chases. More action. That's not to say there wasn't action but it wasn't the focal point of the story. It was barely even there at the climax. Instead what I found was a look at the complicated relationship between two brothers, in a unique and interesting setting. Not what I expected but still a great read.
Date published: 2011-07-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from An incredibly enjoyable book I finally picked up this book after reading several glowing reviews in newspapers, not to mention the GG award. I'm so glad I did. It is a stellar read. The writing is masterly, the story absorbing, the premise unique, and the action non-stop. I would never have guessed that I could enjoy a "Western", but this was among my favourite books over the last few years. Read. This. Book.
Date published: 2012-06-13
Rated 1 out of 5 by from The worst book I've read in years. I don't want this to sound like one of those rant/reviews in which some hurt person gives a book 1 star write. This book really was terrible. For instance: do I need to read, on many occasions, of the main character's masterbation or his many detailed sightings of his brother's genitals? The actual writing in itself is quite nice but that's where the nice ends. The story is series of encounters that try to be witty and clever but fail because the characters are dull and uninteresting. While a few of the encounters are mildly interesting and entertaining, the whole falls far short of satisfying. The end of the book is an absolute anti-climax. I recommend reading just about anything but this novel.
Date published: 2012-05-21
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great Read! I originally picked up this book simply because there was so much hype about it. I typically don't enjoy these kinds of books but thought to myself it can't be that bad if it won the Governor General's Literary Award. The book was awesome. I really enjoyed it. The plot was interesting. It had humour, sadness and suspense all rolled in to one. It's a very good read!
Date published: 2012-05-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Different but amazing! At first I was weirded out by the old-timey writing style, which is not at all how I imagine dirty cowboys to communicate, but the style grew on me and I thoroughly enjoyed it, and would recommend to anyone. A nice easy read with interesting characters and a great plot! Don't miss out! It definitely deserves the awards it has received. Reminiscent of Of Mice and Men. Was sad when it was over!
Date published: 2012-05-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great book! It was really funny and the plot moved. It really didn't disappoint.
Date published: 2012-05-06
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Mixed Emotions I typically don't like westerns, but decided to give this book a try considering all the praise it has been receiving. The book follows the Sisters brother, a hire-for-killing duo, out another hit for the their superior named The Commodore. The story, often at a snails pace, deals with the interesting people they meet along their journey and the internal struggles of one of the brothers, Eli, in their chosen live of profession. The book is written in a poetic fashion that was amusing at first, but quickly became annoying after a bit. I simply did not find the book very interesting. Thus, it took me a long time to read. Nonetheless, I found parts of the book entertaining and often laugh-out-loud funny. Hence, I guess like the main character, I had an internal struggle deciding if I actually enjoyed the book.
Date published: 2012-03-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from WICKEDLY GOOD! I'm not a big western fan, I have read a few western books, but this one has definitely taken the ranks! It was so captivating and detailed! I couldn't put it down, I just had to know what was going to happen. The characters all mesh so well together and the charisma each one has is very gripping. Its one of my new favourites!
Date published: 2012-03-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from More Please! It has been a long time since I have loved a book. When I was getting down to the last 20 pages I was disappointed it was ending! It is a funny dark humoured read that had me laughing out loud at one minute then gasping in shock the next. Patrick deWitt, I want to know what happens next. Surely a sequel must be in order. Don't leave us hanging!
Date published: 2012-03-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Earned all of its praise This book is one of the few I have read that deserves every bit of praise it has earned. It is a quick read, and not once was I annoyed, impatient, or bored. I loved both the main characters and the tenuous, constantly-shifting relationship between them. Even the prose itself is a delight. I loved this book and look forward to reading more from the author.
Date published: 2012-02-21
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good story A very good book with plenty of action, humour and rich characters, especially the reluctant killer and main character, Eli Sisters. He and his brother, Charlie, a less reluctant assassin than Eli, are sent to kill a man for no apparent reason. The two men drift from one deadly situation to another as they search for their prey. And then, as they close in, Eli sort of has a change of heart, and the quest to kill becomes one of survival. Somewhat predictable, because there are virtually no plot twists, and lacking any real excitement in the end, this book still had enough to earn four out of five stars from me.
Date published: 2012-02-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A delightful read! I was very skeptical about reading a western but this book was thoroughly enjoyable. Funny, tragic and touching. The Sisters Brothers is like a really good Cohen Brothers movie.
Date published: 2012-01-31
Rated 4 out of 5 by from The title of the book caught my eye first---The Sisters Brothers This is a feel good book. Once I started reading I couldn't put it down. Different but good.
Date published: 2012-01-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Quirky western is a real page-turner! I really loved this book - I basically read the entire thing in about 3 or 4 days (which is quick for me). Right from the start, the author engages us in two brothers that make a living killing people for a crimeboss. The story begins as they head out to San Francisco (during the era of the Gold Rush) to take care of their latest assignment. Both brothers are deeply flawed in personality, as you might expect, but they are no less fascinating because of this. The younger brother, Eli, is anxious for a normal life but he feels he must stick with his brother in order to protect him. The story leads us into a series of encounters that the brothers negotiate with varying degrees of success but all of these situations spark your interest into finding out what will happen to them next. It is altogether a very addictive storyline. The ending was a little expected but satisfactory nonetheless. Well recommended.
Date published: 2012-01-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Very enjoyable This book was so enjoyable. I never read a western setting book before and I was surprised how much I liked it.
Date published: 2012-01-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Exciting, Gripping, Human Western I can't say that I've ever read a western before, but this one looked so interesting, people have been raving about it, it won all of those awards, and I love to read books by Canadian authors. The cover also intrigued me - I love its simplicity and how striking it is. Even the title captured my attention. I found myself racing through this book. I honestly wasn't sure what to expect but it was compelling, interesting, well-paced and intelligent. So many reviews I have read compare this book to other books and authors and a statement on the genre... I don't know anything about that, I just know that this was an enjoyable, page turning read. This is the story of Eli and Charlie Sisters, brothers who make their living as guns for hire in the 1850s during the gold rush in the Old West. The story is told by Eli, the younger and more sensitive of the two brothers. One of the things that surprised me about this book was how intelligent and well spoken the characters are. The language is fairly formal, not what I expected. I also loved following Eli's thoughts and his discussions with his brother. Eli is fairly self aware and questions many things about his life, what he wants and how they make their living. The book is graphic and violent, but somehow it just fits. The violence is described, but not dwelt upon, the story moves on. This is story about violent people, hired killers, and what they do, along with some of the brutal circumstances of life at that time. Perhaps because it is all described so matter of factly, it doesn't seem overwhelming. There is also the wry sense of humour in this book. Like the violence, the humour is there, a huge part of the book, but not dwelt upon, but it also helps to lighten the tone of what could be a very dark book. It also really adds to the human element of the book. And I think that's what I really liked, the human element. The Sisters brothers are presented with their human flaws, the terror of their name implied and understated. The supporting characters also added a lot, painting a picture of the world at the time. I don't know if this was accurate or not, but I certainly enjoyed it and could barely put the book down.
Date published: 2011-12-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from My Favourite Read of the Year! I was looking for something completely different to read. The Sisters Brothers is just that! I would call it perhaps - comic western noir? It was just sidesplitting fun for me as a reader. I've never read a western and never desired to do so. But The Sisters Brothers is very different from any Western that I've ever looked at. It is really well done. I've read some reviews that mentioned that the language was stilted - but that 's not the case at all. This is a genre bending western and so well done. The Sisters Brothers are a couple of cowboy brothers . Their relationship is sometimes moving and other times they have bouts of jealousy and disagreement. For the most part, Charlie Sister is violent without thought or compunction. Eli is also violent , but much less so than his brother. Eli struggles with his feelings and twinges of conscience, and is relatively introspective.Brother Eli Sister is a sensitive soul who decides to diet to trim down to be more attractive to the women. The entire books is so intelligently written and so much fun, I just loved it. Sisters Brothers is moving, comical, violent - and the writer does it so well!! I'm amazed! Initially I was very uncertain about reading this book but I'm so glad I took a chance . This was a total page turner for me. Sisters Brothers is just fabulous and so refreshing. The ending was the perfect touch
Date published: 2011-11-08
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A Fast Paced, Gripping Read The Sisters Brothers is the story of Charlie and Eli Sisters, two brothers who work as hired guns for a man know only as The Commodore during the California gold rush. Now, if you’re not a fan of westerns, don’t let that stop you from giving The Sisters Brothers a read. I’m not a western fan, I mean I like Young Guns and after much convincing to actually watch it, I loved HBO’s Deadwood, but as a rule I shy away from them. Despite being a western with a set timeline, The Sisters Brothers has a timeless feel to it (as Carey pointed out in the Read With Me discussion). The characters are interesting and relate-able, but not always (or even often in the case of Charlie) likable, which I think adds to the realism of book and is what makes Charlie and Eli really well rounded characters. Patrick DeWitt has a genuine talent for painting pictures with words. In fact, I found that the whole book read like a movie, as if I could really picture how everything would happen on screen as I was reading. I’m not sure if it would read like that for everyone, or if I had the idea of The Sisters Brothers as a movie on the brain as I was reading. Just before I read the book I found out that the film rights were purchased by John C. Rielly’s production company. The chapters in The Sisters Brothers are really short and the story is fast paced, which makes for a pretty fast read. If you’re looking for an interesting, well researched and compassionate book, The Sisters Brothers is for you! I highly recommend giving it a read, and, if you’re anything like me, you’ll want to read it before the movie comes out.
Date published: 2011-10-23
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A Western for First-timers This review originally posted at Christa's Hooked on Books --http://christashookedonbooks.blogspot.com/2011/07/review-sisters-brothers-by-patrick.html In the olden days of the gold rush Eli and Charlie Sisters are known (and feared) throughout the land. The two act as hired guns for the Commodore and have been tasked with going to San Francisco and “getting rid of” a prospector called Hermann Kermit Warm. Though this task may seem extreme it's old hat to the Sisters brothers, who are used to killing and stealing to suit their needs. As the reader follows the brothers on their mission they are exposed to the intricacies of their relationship and the volatile nature of the job they've spent their lives doing. Before I say anything about the book itself I just want to give a shout out to this book's designer. I've been taking a book design class these last couple months and I've learned how much thought and work is put into the book's interior. As a result I found myself really appreciating the way this novel was designed. The type used was unique but not obnoxious, it really helped me feel like I was reading a book different than any I've read before. I also loved the part openers, which included beautiful double page spreads. The book even had two intermissions! I nice touch and fitting with the time period and genre. But onto the book itself. I found there wasn't a lot of time devoted to the setting itself. You were given enough to know it was the West and what time period it was, but not much else. What really stood out was the way that DeWitt crafted the two brothers. Eli and Charlie Sisters couldn't be more different. Charlie was a rough character. Jaded and unforgiving, he was not someone you wanted to cross. Eli, though still tough, was a more sensitive and human character, making him the ideal choice for the narrator of the story. I found myself able to picture these two brothers right down to the little details, like their hats and their shoes. Differences aside, the two men were still brothers and like many most brothers they have an up and down relationship. It is amazing all the craziness these two go through together and the fights that they have. But through it all they always have each other's back. And really what else could you want from a brother? The Sisters Brothers is one of the first Westerns I've ever read and it wasn't exactly what I expected. I expected more gun fights, more horse races and chases. More action. That's not to say there wasn't action but it wasn't the focal point of the story. It was barely even there at the climax. Instead what I found was a look at the complicated relationship between two brothers, in a unique and interesting setting. Not what I expected but still a great read.
Date published: 2011-07-08

– More About This Product –

The Sisters Brothers

The Sisters Brothers

by Patrick Dewitt

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 336 pages, 9 × 6 × 1 in

Published: May 14, 2011

Publisher: House Of Anansi Press Inc

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0887842895

ISBN - 13: 9780887842894

From the Publisher

Winner of the Governor General's Award for Fiction, the Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize, and the Stephen Leacock Medal. Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, the Scotiabank Giller Prize, the Prix des libraires du Quebec and the Walter Scott Prize. Hermann Kermit Warm is going to die: Eli and Charlie Sisters can be counted on for that. Though Eli has never shared his brother's penchant for whiskey and killing, he's never known anything else. On the road to Warm's gold-mining claim outside San Francisco -- and from the back of his long-suffering one-eyed horse -- Eli struggles to make sense of his life without abandoning the job he's sworn to do. Patrick DeWitt, acclaimed author of Ablutions , doffs his hat to the classic Western, and then transforms it into a comic tour-de-force with an unforgettable narrative voice that captures all the absurdity, melancholy, and grit of the West -- and of these two brothers, bound to each other by blood and scars and love.

About the Author

Patrick deWitt was born on Vancouver Island in 1975. He is the author of the critically acclaimed novel The Sisters Brothers, which won the Governor General's Literary Award for Fiction and the Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize and was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and the Scotiabank Giller Prize. He lives in Portland, Oregon, with his wife and son.