- Audio Download
- Listening Length: 8 hours and 52 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Whole Story Audiobooks
- Audible.co.uk Release Date: 6 Oct. 2011
- Language: English
- ASIN: B005TJV9WU
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank:
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The Sisters Brothers Audio Download – Unabridged
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Audio Download, Unabridged
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Top Customer Reviews
Firstly, a word of warning...this is not a pretty novel, it's set back in the 1850s during the California Gold Rush when men were men and horses didn't have whisperers. There are scenes of cruelty, to both animals and humans, so best to move on if this would detract from your reading enjoyment.
It is 1851, the Californian Gold Rush is in full swing and our narrator, Eli Sisters, hired killer, is accompanying his older brother Charlie on an eventful journey from Oregon to Sacramento, to track down and kill one Hermann Kermit Warm. Their quest has an epic feel to it as they encounter a range of wild and wonderful characters en route, think Don Quixote meets the Coen and Blues Brothers with a dash of Cormac Mc Carthy thrown in for good measure. Yet, it doesn't seem derivative and ends up being a really fresh, original piece of work - defying categorisation.
Eli is a psychopath with a (slight) conscience and therein lies the conflict between the brothers. Even as he relates their latest killing in his usual deadpan tone, you know his heart is no longer in it and he longs for a different life, even suggesting opening a store - Charlie is not particularly open to the idea... Their story is compelling but unsettling, dark but humorous and so cinematic, you can just visualise their adventures rolling onto the big screen.
A very special novel which will entertain a wide range of readers including those biblio-butterflies who like a change of genre every now and then.
The novel is narrated by Eli Sisters, one half of the notorious Sisters Brothers, murderous enforcers for an unseen crime baron called 'The Commodore'. Eli and Charlie are travelling to California, to track down Herman Warm. Warm has irritated their employer, and Eli and Charlie have been dispatched to ensure he doesn't do it again.
The period and setting are well constructed. deWitt conveys the openness of the wild west well, but what really stands out is the sense of lawlessness. Unlike most depictions of the Gold Rush era deWitt's contains no glamour; it is survival of the fittest. The strongest takes what it wants from the weak, and the weak die. The motto of almost everybody in the book is 'Get rich or die tryin'.
The novel's characters, particularly Eli, are well drawn. Charlie is a ruthless killer, Eli is on the surface a brute; violent and quick to anger, but he has another side. Eli is a dangerous man, but he is also a thinker, and he does not like what he has become. The novel explores his inner turmoil as he tries to transcend his circumstances and lead a better life. Although the style, settings and characters are entirely different, I found 'TSB' curiously reminiscent of 'Great Expectations'.
The story essentially follows Eli's pitiful attempts to change.Read more ›
We follow the brothers as they travel and meet people along the way and in towns. Charlie is fearless and brutal, whilst Eli seems more thoughtful and wants to change his life. His voice is clear and funny and the book is a real page turner. The brothers have multiple encounters along the way, some violent, until they reach San Francisco and must then track down the mysterious Hermann Kermit Warm. What they do to try and find him and the consequence of this lead to the denouement of the book, which I won't spoil.
This book is extremely well written, funny, intelligent, thought-provoking, philsophical and also what seemed to me to be a faithful recreation of the gold rush atmosphere. I felt as though the dialogue was authentic and there are nice turns of phrase. I could picture scene after scene and I think this reflects well on the author's skills.
If you are not sure about whether to buy this book, I urge you to do so as I don't think you'll be disappointed.
This is a really entertaining book, funny, macabre and has some really quite touching moments (the teeth brushing & Tub the horse stand out for me). The language of the time is beautifully and very skilfully employed and it says things both dark and also very uplifting about human beings. It's crying out for the Coen Bros. to make it into a film. Buy it, borrow it, read it in one sitting, you won't regret it.
And if Mr DeWitt can manage reproduce this brilliance over a number of books, I can imagine him being quite a notable 21st century author.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I enjoyed the book, that had been recommended by several friends. The tone, the serious, slightly stilted way in which Eli tells the story is almost hypnotic, has a slow musical... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Robert S. Bowden
The 'story' revolves around the relationship between two brothers. The canvas that allows that relationship to be painted harsh and violent. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Lizzie
an extremely entertaining tall tale set in goldrush America. it is brilliantly written and has intriguing, engaging characters (if in a very dark way - expect some violence) i paid... Read morePublished 1 month ago by rosie123
Absolutely brilliant story, would make a fab film! Quite 'Django-esque'!Published 1 month ago by Susie
Not my favourite DeWitt book, but enjoyable and worth a read.Published 2 months ago by Darryl Bell-Baggie
Patrick deWitt's superb debut, Ablutions (2009), introduced him as an excellent writer of style and story. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Garry Pope
A good point is that the language used by deWitt is clear and understandable. He doesn't put too much pathos in it, nor he is artificially cold. Read more
Not really my cup of tea. OK if you like reading about amoral contract killers who ride about murdering all and sundry and so full of mindless animal cruelty I ended up wanting to... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Coobagal