Customer Reviews for

The Sisters Brothers

Average Rating 4
( 113 )
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5 Star

(42)

4 Star

(37)

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(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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  • Posted June 1, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Nothing I did not like about this book

    I passed this gem several times on the shelf before the graphic quality of the cover grabbed me. I was hooked from the first page. The language will remind you of True Grit and the humor crackles crisp. Good ol' Eli Sisters and his horse, women, ailments and dental hygiene. Great Father's Day gift but Mom will want to read it too.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 20, 2012

    This is probably one of the best books I have ever read. It mig

    This is probably one of the best books I have ever read. It might not be the deepest or most formal novel ever but there is something about it that makes you want to read it again and again. I would definitely recommend this book to pretty much anyone!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 4, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Excellent Gold Rush Historical

    The Sisters, Charlie and Eli, are killers by trade. Make no mistake, when people in the Old West hear that they are talking with the Sisters brothers, they quake in terror. Currently, they have been hired by The Commodore, a shadowy powerful man, to kill Hermann Kermit Warm. Why? The Commodore says Warm stole from him. What he stole makes no difference to the brothers, nor if he stole at all. They have been hired to kill him, and kill him they will.

    They set out to find him where he was last reported to be, California. This is California in the Gold Rush days, and the fever has every man desperate to hide what he’s found or to take another man’s stash. That means it is a shoot first, ask questions later environment, and that suits the Sisters brothers just fine. The book follows them on their journey to find their prey, telling of their adventures along the way.

    Charlie is the leader. He has the confidence of the Commodore and is a stone cold killer. Eli will also kill in a second, but has more emotions. He longs to make a human connection and is capable of surprising kindnesses. The brothers fight among themselves but there is never any doubt that they are a cohesive team.

    Once they get to California, they discover what it is that the Commodore believes was stolen from him. Warm is an engineer and has developed a method to make finding gold easier. His crime? He refused to cut the Commodore in on the formula or the profits. Will the brothers cut him down or will they hesitate when they discover Warm is not a thief?

    Patrick DeWitt has written an unsentimental look at the gunslingers, card sharps, prostitutes and prospectors of the California Gold Rush. The reader is immediately transported back to that time, and begins to see how the brothers view the world, even having a sneaking sympathy for them. Although the subject is a bit gruesome, DeWitt actually writes in a humorous fashion, making the horrific seem matter of fact. It was longlisted in 2011 for the Mann Booker prize. This book is recommended for readers of modern fiction and those interested in a fascinating tale.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 22, 2014

    Haunting, quirky western does not disappoint

    This book is haunting and sharp, full of lingering imagery and disjointed, whimsical dialogue (some conversations reminded me of Waiting for Godot, I mean.) Charlie and Eli Sisters are both wonderfully well developed, and they contrast each other in an intriguing, thoughtful way. I haven't read anything this fresh in a long time; tragic, stark and dreamlike, The Sisters Brothers grabbed me right from the beginning, like so many people here. In fact, there were lots of other books I was meant to be reading on a deadline when I figured I would try just the first few pages of The Sisters Brothers. Not to be. I finished up with Charlie and Eli's adventure before properly getting to anything else.
    It's a western about restlessness and greed, loyalty and self-worth, villainy and pity. In the opinion of this internet stranger, it's well worth your time.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 7, 2014

    Perfect contemporary western

    The narrative voice is enthralling, the characters are wonderfully developed, and it's a rollicking adventure of anti-heroes. Prepare to be blown away. Seriously.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 19, 2013

    Highly recommended

    Little Big Man, Lonesome Dove and now The Sisters Brothers...told with great respect to the characters and the reader...

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 17, 2013

    Amazing cowboy gunslinger adventure

    This book was a very quick read for me. Just enough gritty love/manipulation between brothers. I enjoyed this book more than "Ablutions: Notes for a Novel" another deWitt book. "The Sisters Brothers" was much less depressing.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2013

    #1 of my year

    Fantastic book. A gritty western with spirituality and cadence. Distinct voice without pretention. Close to perfect.

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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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  • 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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  • 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 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 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 January 29, 2012

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    Posted July 1, 2011

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    Posted December 19, 2011

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    Posted May 29, 2011

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    Posted September 3, 2011

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