Customer Reviews for

The Sisters Brothers

Average Rating 4
( 112 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(42)

4 Star

(36)

3 Star

(18)

2 Star

(11)

1 Star

(5)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

A riot

What a peculiar story this was. At first, I won't lie, the western theme was not a huge selling point for me. Hesitation was rampant. As soon as I started reading, however, I fell in love with the entire setting.
The book is mainly an adventure story. Since the charact...
What a peculiar story this was. At first, I won't lie, the western theme was not a huge selling point for me. Hesitation was rampant. As soon as I started reading, however, I fell in love with the entire setting.
The book is mainly an adventure story. Since the characters are killers hired by a mysterious man call the Commodore, the reader expects lots of action, lots of gun-slinging scenes, but there aren't many of those at all. If any. And that's what makes this book work so well, it breaks away from every stereotype. The characters are rugged yet vulnerable, with a penchant for depression and melancholy. Eli, the narrator, has a soft spot for his handicapped horse and Charlie, Eli's brother, has a need to be the leader at all times.
Their misadventures were hilarious. Nothing seemed to go right for the two brothers. The bond between them is well developed, with the usual ups and downs that siblings experience, only with guns and horses added to the mix. Some scenes had me laughing out loud at the madness. At moments it felt like a comedy skit.
Don't make the mistake of not picking this book up because of the seemingly cowboy-ish theme, this is definitely a book to own and enjoy.

posted by Valca85 on June 20, 2011

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Most Helpful Critical Review

9 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

Good book, but . . . eh

I really like this book, but towards the end it gets kind of . . . eh. It sets up an interesting relationship between two brothers employed as wild west hit men. We meet interesting characters and situations on a long journey. Moral dilemmas are explored. But then it tu...
I really like this book, but towards the end it gets kind of . . . eh. It sets up an interesting relationship between two brothers employed as wild west hit men. We meet interesting characters and situations on a long journey. Moral dilemmas are explored. But then it turns kind of western sci-fi and everything goes to heck in a hurry until it ends kind of . . . eh. Everything feels kind of rushed through once the premise is crafted. I think this should have been a longer book, or better yet a series of books. Too late now, and what do I know anyway? So, I kind of wishy washy recommend it.

posted by TheAnonymousDude on August 4, 2011

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Sort by: Showing 21 – 40 of 112 Customer Reviews
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  • Posted November 26, 2012

    Great Western - even if you don't like Westerns

    I'm not normally a fan of westerns. That said, if there were ever a book that would convert me to the genre, The Sisters Brothers is it! From the very clever cover, to the head-turning title, I was drawn in. The narrator of the tale, Eli Sisters and his brother Charlie are hired guns. They have been sent by "The Commodore" to find someone, get back what was stolen from him, and of course, make sure this thief is not left in a position to steal again. (Or so we believe). The actual tasking is only slowly revealed as the brothers go from place to place looking for their prey, and defending their honor and lives in the meantime. Their adventures bring us a panoply of characters at once dastardly, colorful, and utterly lovable. They are just so much fun!

    Yes, there is violence, and much of it is probably gratuitous, but it is told from the viewpoint of the times. The dashing, daring-do of their antics and the wild-west scenarios are splendid. There's definitely a movie buried in here. Yet, while the action scenes are well written, with just enough detail to paint clear pictures, but not too graphic to sicken, it is the dialogue between the brothers, their victims, and their cons, that is either "roll on the floor laughing " funny, or so philosophically sophisticated that you almost have to stop and say "Wait.....did they really talk like that?" I reflected that many educated men of that era had the "classics" as their text books, so the rather archaic and complex grammar and vocabulary did in fact come naturally to them. It just sounds a bit over the top at first.

    It's definitely a book about violence, about vengeance, and about revenge, but it is also a book about self-knowledge, reflection, and forgiveness. I'm not sure I'd call the ending redemptive, but it certainly was more than appropriate to the story. Even if you've never been a western fan, give this one a try. Think Hawaii 5-0 in the gold mining territory of Northern California.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 30, 2012

    A comical tale of two brothers

    This is a comical portrayal of two brothers out to make a killing for hire. They end up hating the job and almost losing their lives for an unattainable fortune. The laugh - out - loud situations they get into and the people they meet along the way make for an entertaining read. I did not care for the author's writing style and I felt a little bogged down with his elaborate descriptions of people and places.

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  • Posted August 27, 2012

    Great Book!

    A friend of mine with dubious taste recommended this to me so I gave it a read and I'm glad that I did.

    It's a little harsh at times, the content, not the writing, but I really enjoyed it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 10, 2012

    Unexpected story

    Great characters and a good story. Some violent moments but still worth reading!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 24, 2012

    Extremely disappointed

    Why did he bother to write this?

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 20, 2012

    Bad guys to enjoy

    Eli and Charlie Sisters are not nice men. Eli tells the story of their employment as hitmen in the old west. Sometimes by order of their boss, but sometimes on their own, they take others’ lives cheaply. That’s deplorable, which makes it kind of odd to enjoy them as characters and actually find some appealing qualities in them. The story moves from Oregon to the Gold Rush via San Francisco during Gold Rush times. There are also modest flashbacks to the Sisters brothers’ past which explain to some degree how they became what they are. There are vast fortunes at play frequently in the story and men whose values are maybe even worse than the brothers’. In some ways this is an adventure story of the brothers’ searching for a man as their job. Given the moral depravity of more than a few characters, this rather surprised reader found the novel to be entertaining and flow well, with the brothers’ characters well developed. There is obviously violence here, but fairly little gore. I’m glad I read it and think that if you’d like something a bit off-beat, you might, too.

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  • Posted April 24, 2012

    Great read with many twists. The writing was at first hard to fo

    Great read with many twists. The writing was at first hard to follow but quickly turned into an endearing language of thoughts and words between two brothers who were not nearly as different as they seemed on the surface. It was written from brother Eli’s perspective who appeared to be the more sensitive hired killer, who loved his broken down one eyed horse and was a bit obsessive about his dental hygiene. The author brought it all together nicely at the end with a surprising bonding between the most unlikely characters.
    It was a choice of one of my book club members and one I would have never picked on my own. I recommend it highly

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 22, 2012

    Great Writing

    This book was one enjoyable read. The book rates right up there with True Grit. The author managed to make me smile and grimace at the same time. His characters are human and flawed which makes them perfect to read about. Loved it.

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  • Posted February 18, 2012

    Nothing to write home about

    Apparently not my style of humor because I found very little to even smile about. I found it somewhat ridiculous, but kept reading to the end for some reason - maybe just hoping I would magically "get" it. Many better books out there.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 4, 2012

    irony and iron-y strong

    quirky and compelling. It stayed with me for awhile. I liked it. had to read it twice.

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  • Posted February 3, 2012

    A Gobsmacking read.

    I haven't read a book like The Sisters Brothers in a long time. There was so much to enjoy: the voice of the storyteller, the total unpredictability of the tale and the crazy story itself. Loved it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 30, 2012

    Gunslingers and the California Gold Rush

    A quirky little book, but a good read! A different kind of western, takes place during the California Gold Rush.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 29, 2012

    Quirky but very intresting

    Very good read. The prose is magical in places through out.

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  • Posted January 25, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Western

    The Sisters Brothers is about 2 brothers who are hit men. The setting is a western. My interest in the story didn't happen right away. The two brothers are very different but both very violent. The story does go back into their childhood giving us insight into how their characters were developed.
    (2 out of 5)

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  • Posted January 15, 2012

    not recommended

    I was very disappointed. The plot was bad. i.e. kills 5 men and 5 horses for an axe that wasn't needed. People were killed without reason. And the author tried to show how nice and misunderstood the brothers were. And the end was bad also.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 15, 2012

    so so

    Hard to follow story - didn't flow

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 8, 2012

    Amazingly written

    I couldn't put this book down. The characters were well developed and I love the writers style. I am not usually a reader of westerns but this one was truely great. Give it a try. You wont be sorry.

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  • Posted October 26, 2011

    good book

    A well written story, certainly worth of Giller Prize consideration and even first prize. Buy it and enjoy the read

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 10, 2011

    If you liked the TV series *Deadwood*, you will love this book

    Eli and Charlie Sisters are hired killers.
    Story takes place during the California Gold Rush, in and around an overpriced, amoral, brutal, dirty and depressing San Francisco.

    I did not like Deadwood, so I only appreciated parts of the story (Eli's ongoing quest to find personal meaning and fulfillment in his life) and the fact that it was very well written.

    My husband, who did like Deadwood, could not put it down or stop recommending it to everyone he knows.

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  • Posted September 21, 2011

    Quirky Western

    This book would be perfect for fans of movies by David Lynch or the Coen Brothers. It is a western in the sense that it takes place in the Western United States and the main characters ride horses, but it does not carry the theme of idealizing the noble frontiersman, a la John Wayne. The story is told from the perspective of hired gunslinger Eli Sisters - a man who is thoughtful and reflective, unlike his more violent and manipulative older brother Charlie -Eli's partner in mis-deeds. Author deWitt fills his novel with odd characters and unusual encounters as the Sisters Brothers travel to San Francisco to kill Hermann Kermit Warm at the direction of their boss, The Commodore. I really enjoyed this book. It had a quick pace and interesting turn of events.

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Sort by: Showing 21 – 40 of 112 Customer Reviews
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