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Patrick DeWitt

The Sisters Brothers

Patrick Dewitt The Sisters Brothers
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Main description:

Shortlisted for the Booker Prize

Hermann Kermit Warm is going to die. The enigmatic and powerful man known only as the Commodore has ordered it, and his henchmen, Eli and Charlie Sisters, will make sure of it. Though Eli doesn't share his brother's appetite for whiskey and killing, he's never known anything else. But their prey isn't an easy mark, and on the road from Oregon City to Warm's gold-mining claim outside Sacramento, Eli begins to question what he does for a living–and whom he does it for.

With The Sisters Brothers, Patrick deWitt pays homage to the classic Western, transforming it into an unforgettable comic tour de force. Filled with a remarkable cast of characters–losers, cheaters, and ne'er-do-wells from all stripes of life–and told by a complex and compelling narrator, it is a violent, lustful odyssey through the underworld of the 1850s frontier that beautifully captures the humor, melancholy, and grit of the Old West and two brothers bound by blood, violence, and love.

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“…gritty, as well as deadpan and often very comic…DeWitt has chosen a narrative voice so sharp and distinctive…it’s very narrowing of possibilities opens new doors in the imagination.”

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“[A]n odd gem...that has one of most engaging and thoughtful narrators I’ve come across in a long time....The novel belongs to the great tradition of subversive westerns...but deWitt has a deadpan comic voice and a sneaky philosophical bent that’s all his own.”

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“[T]here’s something cinematic about Mr. deWitt’s unadorned prose style, which at first made this reader do a double-take—can this be serious?—only to continue flicking the pages with pleasure.”

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“[THE SISTERS BROTHERS] is full of surprises, among them…is the quirky beauty of the language Patrick deWitt has devised for his narrator.... THE SISTERS BROTHERS is deWitt’s second novel…and is an inventive and ingenious character study. It will make you impatient for the third.”

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“A bright, brutal revision of the Western, The Sisters Brothers offers an unexpected meditation on life, and on the crucial difference between power and strength.”

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“A feast of delights in short punchy chapters.... Deliciously original and rhapsodically funny, this is one novel that ropes you in on page one, and isn’t about to ride off into the sunset any time soon.”

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“A gorgeous, wise, riveting work of, among other things, cowboy noir….Honestly, I can’t recall ever being this fond of a pair of psychopaths.”

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“A masterful, hilarious picaresque that keeps company with the best of Charles Portis and Mark Twain, The Sisters Brothers is a relentlessly absorbing feat of novelistic art.”

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“At once dark and touching, The Sisters Brothers has something on every page to make you laugh. Patrick deWitt has given us a gift, reimagining the old west in a thoroughly original manner. Readers are all the better for it.”

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“By turns hilarious, graphic and meditative, The Sisters Brothers hooked me from page one all the way to 300 — and I could have stayed on for many more.”

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“DeWitt’s exploitations of the picaresque form are striking, and he has a wonderful way of exercising his comic gifts without ever compromising the novel’s gradual accumulation of darkness, disgust, and foreboding.”

Review quote:

“DeWitt’s THE SISTERS BROTHERS is a glorious picaresque Western; everything about

“A gorgeous, wise, riveting work of, among other things, cowboy noir…Honestly, I can’t recall ever being this fond of a pair of psychopaths.”
—David Wroblewski, New York Times bestselling author of The Story of Edgar Sawtelle

“A masterful, hilarious picaresque that keeps company with the best of Charles Portis and Mark Twain…a relentlessly absorbing feat of novelistic art.”
—Wells Tower, author of Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned

The Sisters Brothers is dark, dark, and funny, both ha ha and strange…and you’ll love the characters you meet along the way.”
—Tom Franklin, New York Times bestselling author of Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter

Patrick deWitt, a young writer whose “stop-you-in-your-tracks writing has snuck up on the world” (Los Angeles Times), brings us The Sisters Brothers, a darkly comic, outrageously inventive novel that offers readers a decidedly off-center view of the Wild, Wild West.  Set against the back-drop of the great California Gold Rush, this odd and wonderful tour de force at once honors and reshapes the traditional western while chronicling the picaresque misadventures of two hired guns, the fabled Sisters brothers. The most original western since the Coen Brothers re-interpreted True Grit—you’ve never met anyone quite like The Sisters Brothers.

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