September 18, 2011

The Sisters Brothers - Patrick De Witt


The Sisters Brothers is another one of my recent reads from the so far (for me at least) excellent Man Booker Prize shortlist for 2011. This is probably the one book from the list I was least excited about - it has been called a "homage to the classic western" - a genre that isn't really one I would turn to by choice but this book may just have changed my mind...
The Sisters Brothers of the title are Charlie and Eli Sisters - two henchmen working for one of the wild wests powerful boss men, The Commodore. The Commodore has sent Charlie and Eli on their latest mission from Oregon City to the gold fields outside Sacramento to kill Hermann Kermit Warm (got to love that name!) for some indiscretion he has committed against The Commodore.
The story is told by Eli - the more gentle and reflective of the brothers - and it reminded me a lot of the Academy Award nominated film, True Grit, which I watched, and loved, last year. Like True Grit The Sisters Brothers is the story of an actual physical journey but is in some ways more about the emotional and psychological journey that the brothers take while on their horses. I loved the journey I was taken on as a reader and this has made The Sisters Brothers my favourite  2011 Booker Prize book so far.

19 comments:

FleurFisher said...

I am not a lover of westerns either, but I have heard so much praise for this book that I think I must give it a try.

JaneGS said...

This is the book from the awards list I picked out to read, mainly because it was a western! Now I just need to get it and read it. I really liked True Grit too :)

JaneGS said...

This is the book from the awards list I picked out to read, mainly because it was a western! Now I just need to get it and read it. I really liked True Grit too :)

lovely treez said...

I loved this and I haven't even seen the recent version of True Grit although I devoured the book as a young teen. It would make an excellent film too.

Steph said...

I have pretty much no interest in Westerns either, but I do really want to read this one based on all the positive reviews I've read about it!

Bybee said...

Oh, I want this! You had me at True Grit.

Tamara said...

High praise for a 'western' Karen - not like you.. I supose when it comes down to it, it's the strength of the Author's skills that really makes a good book, regalrdless of genre (maybe?). Thanks for reviewing all genres!

Karen said...

Hi Fleur -I would definitely recommend that you give it a try - I hope you are as delightfully surprised as I was!

Hi Jane - I think it you were a fan of True Grit you would enjoy this story too.

Hi Lovely Treez - I knew nothing about True Grit until I saw the recent movie!

Hi Steph - I hope you enjoy this one as much as I did. I'm not sure if it has converted me to being a western lover but I would definitely be more open to giving them a try now.

Hi Bybee - glad I could help!!

Hi T - so, so true! It really is all about the skills of the author and their ability to tell a story.

Buried In Print said...

I know just what you mean: this book is such a mind-changer! Glad to hear that you enjoyed it too.

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This book is violent and endearing. Criminals do indeed have souls and are capable of compassion, and that's what this story is about to some extent. If you like unpretentious westerns or stories about the south, you'll likely enjoy this read.

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