The Sisters Brothers

Patrick DeWitt, Ecco, $24.99 (336p) ISBN 978-0-06-204126-5
Dewitt's bang-up second novel (after Ablutions) is a quirky and stylish revisionist western. When a frontier baron known as the Commodore orders Charlie and Eli Sisters, his hired gunslingers, to track down and kill a prospector named Herman Kermit Warm, the brothers journey from Oregon to San Francisco, and eventually to Warm's claim in the Sierra foothills, running into a witch, a bear, a dead Indian, a parlor of drunken floozies, and a gang of murderous fur trappers. Eli's deadpan narration is at times strangely funny (as when he discovers dental hygiene, thanks to a frontier dentist dispensing free samples of "tooth powder that produced a minty foam") but maintains the power to stir heartbreak, as with Eli's infatuation with a consumptive hotel bookkeeper. As more of the brothers' story is teased out, Charlie and Eli explore the human implications of many of the clich├ęs of the old west and come off looking less and less like killers and more like traumatized young men. With nods to Charles Portis and Frank Norris, DeWitt has produced a genre-bending frontier saga that is exciting, funny, and, perhaps unexpectedly, moving. (May)
Reviewed on: 01/10/2011
Release date: 05/01/2011
Genre: Fiction
Hardcover - 431 pages - 978-1-4104-3956-7
Paperback - 336 pages - 978-1-84708-600-6
Open Ebook - 337 pages - 978-1-77089-027-5
Downloadable Audio - 978-0-06-208767-6
Hardcover - 978-1-84708-373-9
Pre-Recorded Audio Player - 978-1-61120-192-5
Downloadable Audio - 978-0-06-208766-9
Hardcover - 330 pages - 978-0-88784-289-4
Paperback - 320 pages - 978-957-13-5553-5
Ebook - 336 pages - 978-0-06-204127-2
Paperback - 336 pages - 978-0-06-204128-9
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Audio book sample courtesy of HarperAudio
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