Wednesday, May 4, 2016

One-Yr Book Challenge: The Sisters Brothers

Patrick DeWitt is a relatively new author we could be curious about. “The Sisters Brothers” I believe is his first or second and already one can see the direction the writer is going just with the pun-filled title alone. “The Sisters Brothers” was in the NYT best list, was shortlisted at the Man Booker Prize and won the Governor General’s Award. The book trails the mishaps and spirit of independence of two guns for hire in the once lawless west and what a trip it is. 

Book Review:
Charlie and Eli Sisters are guns for hire in the old west, Oregon to be exact. They are under the employ of an old western gangster known only as “The Commodore.” Their job was to track down a man in San Fransisco named Kermit Warm and kill him, simple as that. During the trek however, the one brother Eli begins to grow somewhat of a conscience and starts questioning his life’s path. Charlie on the other hand, the hot-headed one is hell bent on his task and because Eli is bound to a protective bond for his brother, he strings along. Waggish characters appear all over the story like a soothsayer in a cabin, the sweet bookkeeper dying of the consumption and a special mention to Eli’s ride named Tub, a bilious horse with a bad right eye whose head is bent to the side in order to see what's ahead. I can already see how a horse chase scene would pan out. It’s moments in the book like these where I laughed like I did in “O’ Brother Where Art Thou.”

Unexpected events follow when the Sisters meet their target and the whole affair does not proceed as planned. Alchemy comes into play when instead of an assassination, a collaboration in the search for gold ensues. Mr. Warm has found a formula that is able to visualize gold in the river at a particular time during dusk, why, it is the age of the California gold rush after all.

The dialogue is only a tobacco short of a slapstick comedy and if you read it like how they used to speak in the old west you’ll get the whole experience. While you’re at it, go ahead and pretend spit in a spittoon. There is good continuity and the book’s ending turn symbolic in the vicinity of western tales with a figurative mellow ride towards the sunset for a conclusion. I am not a man but even I can appreciate that. 

Your call if you're inclined to read it.