Search This Blog

Monday, December 5, 2011

The Sisters Brothers

The Sisters Brothers
Patrick DeWitt
Ecco, 2011

Eli and Charlie Sisters are hired gunmen who have been commissioned to find and kill Hermann Kermit Warm, with Charlie as lead man for the first time in their history together. Eli, the younger brother, does not much care for this turn of events, especially when they run into problems along the way. As the brothers deal with an attacking red-heared bear with a bounty on its head, a double crossing saloon owner and his murderous cohorts, a contact that vanished, plus various characters who thwart their progress along the way, Eli and Charlie come to some conclusions about their chosen lifestyle.

The rough and tumble Old West comes to life in this darkly comic, sometimes gruesome and often violent western novel. Poor Eli has decided during this job that he lost the taste for killing. Charlie has his work cut out for him to keep Eli to task, but he knows what to say to fire Elie up to killing. Charlie, on the other hand, has a taste for brandy that often derails their schedule, so Eli has time to spend with a local woman or with his broken down horse. There's a sadness and wistfulness to Eli and Charlie's story, an unspoken wish that their lives had taken a different route but it's just too late to make any changes. As we learn, however, it's never too late to choose differerently, especially when things don't go exactly as planned. As you can tell, this is a different kind of Western novel. It may appeal to those of us who don't normally pick one up.


Other novels by this author:
Ablutions: notes for a novel (2009)

Other titles you may enjoy:

Appaloosa by Robert Parker (2005)
Arriving in a small nineteenth-century western town where the sheriff has been killed and the residents are at the mercy of a renegade rancher, lawmen Virgil Cole and Everett Hitch face an adversary who works by playing psychological games.

The Hot Kid by Elmore Leonard (2005)
Having made his name by killing notorious bank robber Emmet Long, Deputy U.S. Marshal Carl Webster embarks on a dangerous search for Jack Belmont, the son of an oil millionaire who dreams of becoming Public Enemy Number One.

Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry (1985)
Former Texas Rangers leave their unsuccessful cattle business when they hear of good opportunities in newly opened territory.

No comments:

Post a Comment