I’ve always loved westerns, from “Shane” to “True Grit.” You know, the whole elemental thing about the Old West, about character, guts, exploration and true-to-life cynicism about people and their greed, motives and predilictions.
In “The Sisters Brothers” Patrick deWitt takes us in a whole new direction. He merges literary style with good old fashioned western elements of violence and frontier sensibility.
Charlie and Eli Sisters are gunslinger brothers hired by The Commodore to find and kill a thief. Narrated by Eli, the story takes unexpected twists and avoids most of the western cliches. Told beautifully, the novel finds its own niche as a gritty yet literary story that should sit right up there in the pantheon of great westerns. It’s funny, sad, realistic and a joy to read. Atmospheric of the 1850s, The Sisters Brothers is as relevent to our times today as any contemporary novel.