Cannonball Read IV

A bunch of Pajibans reading and reviewing and honoring AlabamaPink.

Cannonball Read #CBR04 review #16: The Sisters brothers by Patrick deWitt

Cowboys, Indians, the hunt for gold, prostitutes. All the necessary elements for a Western are present in deWitt’s book ”The Sisters Brothers”. A Western in book form, you ask? Well, it worked for me, and I’m not even a Western fan.

Eli and Charlie, a.k.a. the Sisters brothers, are two guns for hire. Their current mission is to find Herman Kermit Warm, who allegedly stole money from the brothers’ employer, the Commodore. Their journey to find him is, predictably, littered with adventures and mishaps, and life-transforming realisations.

It was an amusing, easy read that would make for a fun film if it were directed by, say, the Coen brothers. What felt a bit hollow for me was that the aforementioned life-transforming realisations seemed to come out of nowhere. There is Eli’s desire to find a woman to protect and love; but there is also their callousness when it comes to shooting people. No remorse, no sadness, no meaningful insights that this is wrong. There is no natural progression in the characters, no growing-up. For that reason, the resolution of the book felt unmotivated and anticlimactic.

Despite this flaw, I liked the book and had a great time reading it. It is worth a read.

More of my reviews can be found in my blog.

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One thought on “Cannonball Read #CBR04 review #16: The Sisters brothers by Patrick deWitt

  1. sevenstories on said:

    I must say I don’t agree that there was no character progression considering that Eli goes from being completely controlled by Charlie, to going back home by himself at the end. And the contrast between his attitude to women to the killing, I felt was the key point of the novel and is explained by the way in which Charlie manipulates him and his childlike nature to flip and he talks about the way that the anger feeling takes over him. Eli talks quite a lot about how he feels about the whole thing and I felt like his character progression was subtly and carefully plotted, I felt like DeWitt’s creation of Eli and his voice is outstanding! Whilst it wasn’t a challenging read, I felt like there was a lot of depth and things to really think about if you look under the surface. I heard DeWitt read a section of this and he just brought out so much I hadn’t noticed when I read it, I hope he records the audio book.

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