Saturday, January 7

Book Review: The Sisters Brothers

Title: The Sisters Brothers

Author: Patrick deWitt

Pages: EBook 264

Summary: 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 Sacremento, Eli begins to question what he does-and whom he does it for. With The Brothers Sisters, deWitt pays homage to the classic Western, transforming it into an unforgettable comic tour do force. Filled with a remarkable cast of characters-losers, cheaters, 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 humour, melancholy, and grit of the Old West and two brothers bound by blood, violence, and love

My Rating: 6.75

What I liked/disliked about the book: The book was okay, I'm not big fan of westerns, and I think this book is one that I'd classify as a more contemporary spin on a western, but it wasn't horrible in that regard. It's not a book I would have read, if it weren't for my goal of reading the shortlisted books for the 2011 Giller prize, I took a chance, while the book wasn't great, I didn't hate it either.

Well written and the premise of the story was interesting as the reader follows to outlaw brothers through the Oregon trail to California, but not a lot happens. Certain events happen, but it was written almost blandly, that I was bored with the stories, I wouldn't say I was looking for more excitement, because the book was more character driven than plot, but I wanted more than what I got. It just wasn't exactly what I was expecting and the story didn't capture me or move into something that had me wanting more. The plot went on, the characters came and went, but nothing stuck in my mind as memorable.

I enjoyed reading about the life on the Western trail and it stretched my reading comfort zones, but the book fell short of my expectations. Overall not a bad read, but not great either.

Would I recommend it to read: I would, it was a good book. Not amazing like I expected, but overall I'd probably recommend it to read. Especially those who want to read Canadian Award winners.

What to read next: I'd read the other books on the Giller Prize short list, as well as the Governor's General Award's Short list (and past winners as well).

Challenges: 12 in 12, 100+ Challenge, Alphabet Challenge, Canadian Award Winners Challenge, Canadian Reading Challenge V, Ebook Challenge, New Authors Challenge


  1. One day I will read this... I had it out from the library but didn't get a chance.

  2. I checked my copy out of the library twice. I meant to read it in 2011, but the EBook licence expired on me, so I had to wait on wait list to get it again. I wasn't exactly disappointed with it, but maybe I should have taken it as a sign ;)

  3. Hmm...can't say this would be my cup of tea either but KUDOS to you for giving it a shot! Reading outside the doesn't always pay off but the adventure is ALWAYS worth it. Happy reading!

  4. GMR - Some great words of advice :)