6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
A Personal Favourite,
This review is from: The Sisters Brothers (Paperback)
This has come up as our next book group read which I am more than glad about as this is one of my personal favourites. Personally I think Patrick deWitt was robbed of the Booker in 2011; this book really should have been the winner. Anyway, to the story, this is a picaresque Western, but really there is so much here that you do wonder how the author manages to condense this into a book of this size.
It is 1851 and the notorious Sisters brothers, Charlie and Eli, are about to ride out of Oregon City on another job for the Commodore, taking them into California. The notoriety of these brothers precedes them as they ride out to enforce the Commodore’s plans, but will the Sisters brothers manage to add another notch to their legends? Narrated by Eli Sisters we are guided through their journey. What soon strikes you is that although many people refer to these two brothers as psychopaths or sociopaths after reading this, they don’t really fall that comfortably into either category, and although they show tendencies you do feel like that being friends with the Sisters brothers would be much better than other real people I can think of.
Filled with humour there is so much more here, as the brothers start to question what they do for the Commodore, after all are they being that righteous, or are they being used to increase someone else’s power base? With the comedy here this is also bittersweet, and very thoughtful. What immediately strikes you here is the language, which is very polite really and older than the period would warrant, after all there should be quite a bit of cursing and swearing here which there is not, giving it a slightly surreal feeling. We don’t know whether this is because Eli doesn’t like cussing, or whether people really spoke like this in the course of their travels.
This I am sure will give us lots to discuss at our next book group meeting, and I would think that this book would make a good book for most book groups to get to grips with. I don’t think anyone will be able to keep a straight face at what happens in a hut that they believe has been cursed by a witch, or when Eli and a woman clean their teeth together. Perhaps Eli could be onto something here, with the rise of STDs perhaps instead of sex on the first occasion we could all brush our teeth together. Actually perhaps you should forget that as I think Patrick deWitt may have invented a new fetish. Very easy to read, and not that long to get through this will make you laugh and also at the same time make you think, and is well worth reading.