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25 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Fast Paced and Gripping Read
The Sisters Brothers is the story of Charlie and Eli Sisters, two brothers who work as hired guns for a man know only as The Commodore during the California gold rush. Now, if you’re not a fan of westerns, don’t let that stop you from giving The Sisters Brothers a read. I’m not a western fan, I mean I like Young Guns and after much convincing to actually...
Published on Oct. 23 2011 by lexyvs

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27 of 31 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good but not Booker good.
Set in 1851 right in the middle of the California gold rush, the novel tells the story of two infamous brothers Charlie and Eli Sisters who set out on a mission by the commodore from Oregon City to apprehend and kill Hermann Kermit Warm.

The chapters are short and the pace is brisk as the brothers drink, swear, trick and shoot their way west in pursuit of their...
Published on Aug. 13 2011 by Paolo


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27 of 31 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good but not Booker good., Aug. 13 2011
By 
Paolo (Toronto) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Sisters Brothers (Hardcover)
Set in 1851 right in the middle of the California gold rush, the novel tells the story of two infamous brothers Charlie and Eli Sisters who set out on a mission by the commodore from Oregon City to apprehend and kill Hermann Kermit Warm.

The chapters are short and the pace is brisk as the brothers drink, swear, trick and shoot their way west in pursuit of their quarry encountering a witch, an orphan and a prospector gone mad in the solitude of his work.

The narration of Eli Sisters is in a evocative cowboy patter and the description of the fairly frequent violence is vivid the effect being to put you in the saddle as they slaughter their way across the west toward California but it's not for the feint-hearted.

It's an entertaining yarn, the relationship between the younger Eli and the elder Charlie is an intelligent mix of admiration, jealousy and competition and the vivid prose is a real highlight. It is very light reading and I went through it in a couple of days without really trying. My judgement is that it's good but not booker good and I can't see this one getting through to the longlist.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An Anything Can Happen Western-style Novel, Nov. 28 2011
By 
Ian Gordon Malcomson (Victoria, BC) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Sisters Brothers (Paperback)
This is one of the strangest and wildest novels I have ever read. With all its twists and turns and bizarre outcomes, I don't know how to classify it other than to call it a modern spoof about the legendary West, encased in an anything-goes, cowboy style. While one part of me finds the adventures of two hell-raising brothers bent on doing their thing as hired guns a compelling and a sometimes amusing read, another part takes issue at the often awkward and loose way in which they are told. The account of Eli and Charles as gun-touting, adventure-seeking hitmen doing the bidding of a local `mafia' boss comes with plenty of peculiarities that make it fast-paced, unpredictable and something larger than life. One, complicating the lives of these two murderous bounty-hunters is that Eli and Charles are brothers who really care for each other, a quality that one doesn't generally associate with contract killers. Two, their quest appears to be a never-ending journey into the wilds of the Oregon Territory to kill someone they have never met. The reader will take three-quarters of the book to discover who their quarry really is. Three, along the way, obstacles will emerge that require both ingenuity and good fortune to overcome and stay the course. Four, in the end, our two gunslingers will accomplish their mission only to realize that the venture has been so much more than originally anticipated. Decent men and women have been killed; trust has been broken; and life has virtually been taken to the edge. On all these points, deWitt has done a reasonable job in composing a readable novel. But, in creating this torrid-paced, thriller of a novel, the author may have taken some significant literary short-cuts to get art to imitate life. For instance, the story hurls ahead with breath-taking speed as it tries to wow the reader with a big-moment, crazy story. What results in the end is a plot that has too many gaps, too many improbable moments, and too many stock characters. Throw in the extensive use of the modern idiom and you have a novel that, while imaginatively conceived, is poorly planned and rendered. In no way, does it even remotely come close to being in the same league as Cervantes' "Don Quixote".
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25 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Fast Paced and Gripping Read, Oct. 23 2011
This review is from: The Sisters Brothers (Hardcover)
The Sisters Brothers is the story of Charlie and Eli Sisters, two brothers who work as hired guns for a man know only as The Commodore during the California gold rush. Now, if you’re not a fan of westerns, don’t let that stop you from giving The Sisters Brothers a read. I’m not a western fan, I mean I like Young Guns and after much convincing to actually watch it, I loved HBO’s Deadwood, but as a rule I shy away from them. Despite being a western with a set timeline, The Sisters Brothers has a timeless feel to it (as Carey pointed out in the Read With Me discussion). The characters are interesting and relate-able, but not always (or even often in the case of Charlie) likable, which I think adds to the realism of book and is what makes Charlie and Eli really well rounded characters.
Patrick DeWitt has a genuine talent for painting pictures with words. In fact, I found that the whole book read like a movie, as if I could really picture how everything would happen on screen as I was reading. I’m not sure if it would read like that for everyone, or if I had the idea of The Sisters Brothers as a movie on the brain as I was reading. Just before I read the book I found out that the film rights were purchased by John C. Rielly’s production company. The chapters in The Sisters Brothers are really short and the story is fast paced, which makes for a pretty fast read. If you’re looking for an interesting, well researched and compassionate book, The Sisters Brothers is for you! I highly recommend giving it a read, and, if you’re anything like me, you’ll want to read it before the movie comes out.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars This book did not live up to it's hype., Feb. 5 2012
This review is from: The Sisters Brothers (Paperback)
I bought this book because it was a prize winner. I did not see why. The wonder of it eluded me.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Blah!, Feb. 2 2012
By 
A Little Flower (Sh Prk, AB Canada) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Sisters Brothers (Paperback)
The publishers review reads 'Patrick] DeWitt has produced a genre-bending frontier saga that is exciting, funny, and perhaps unexpectedly, moving', however I found this book was not the least bit exciting, rarely funny, hardly moving and yes... unexpected in a weird sort of a way. I am reminded that when a book comes with a long list of awards it is hardly ever a really good read. Some parts of the book were quite gruesome and the rest was mostly just boring. I did finish reading the book, and the last part of the book centered around a rather unique idea (regarding gold prospecting) but it was not a book that I would recommend to anyone.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Well Written, Jan. 19 2012
This review is from: The Sisters Brothers (Paperback)
A beautifully written evocative tale. But I didn't like it. The dialogue and interior monologues are witty and intuitive, the descriptions are fantastic but as a story, I didn't care for it much. As other reviewers have stated, there is a lot of violence in this tale and my stomach turned with the treatment of the horse. The book is about a long journey and the return to home as many books are but in the end I felt "so what." I would read this author again as he is indeed talented, maybe it was just a case of the subject matter not being to my taste.
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3.0 out of 5 stars strange but entertaining, July 29 2014
I had to try to get into this book a couple if times. The start of the story seemed so foreign to me that I couldn't continue. Once I understood the complex relationship between the brothers I was able to enjoy the book more. I truly liked the book but feel many questions remain unanswered. What of the protection/ curse? What was its import to the story? The ending seemed anti climactic as well. It might require another solid read to find these answers, or to determine there are none to be had. Strange but entertaining.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars really disliked this book!!!, Feb. 12 2012
This review is from: The Sisters Brothers (Paperback)
this was a Christmas gift and I wish they hadn't bothered--it bored me nearly out of my mind-I find it difficult to believe that people found it funny--I didn't even smile once!! I read in the Star this morning that it's number 1 on the fiction list--I guess there is something very wrong with my thinking but I love to read and I would never pass this book on to any of my friends --perhaps I should get to a good bookclub to hear how other folks found it both funny and a great read!
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Major Disappointment, Jan. 1 2012
This review is from: The Sisters Brothers (Paperback)
I asked for this book for Christmas after reading too many golden reviews. Yes, it clips right along but it is astoundingly gratuitously violent. Well, lots of books are, but this tortures a horse for no reason that I can discern except a few thrills and chills for the heartless or benumbed. I like to stay abreast of upcoming writers but this guy is no Larry McMurtry, who can write about the violence of the time and make you care about why as well as love the story. I dont usually shy away from violent stories but would never recommend this one to anyone with a love of animals.

The best thing about the book is that the graphics are swell. And the writer is technically promising; maybe next time he will find something more valuable to say.
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3.0 out of 5 stars It's Okay, June 7 2014
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This review is from: The Sisters Brothers (Paperback)
I was not enthrall by the book and did not really enjoy it. I was disappointed as it was on an award list. I should find a book from the same author and read it, instead of dismissing him.
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The Sisters Brothers
The Sisters Brothers by Patrick Dewitt (Paperback - Sept. 15 2011)
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