Jen Fabico's Reviews > The Sisters Brothers

The Sisters Brothers by Patrick deWitt
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's review
Apr 29, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: 2012-50-book-pledge, adventure, western, family, took-me-longer-than-usual-to-read
Read from March 04 to 16, 2012 — I own a copy

The Sisters Brothers by Patrick deWitt is book no. 16 in my 2012 Reading Challenge of 50 books.

After hearing many rave reviews of this highly revered Canadian book back in 2011, I finally decided to pick up my own copy of it. Not knowing exactly what to expect, asides from a grand epiphany, I stared for a long while at this intimidating cover wondering about the title: The Sisters Brothers. Little did I know, what I once thought were stylized lips were actually the red one-eye-open devil stare of two brothers with the last name of Sisters. And that's when everything began to fall into place.

The Sisters Brothers is a Western tale told in a contemporary manner of two brothers: Eli and Charlie Sisters - two of the Commodore's top and most trusted henchmen. Their entire lives, especially Charlie, have involved nothing but violence, so naturally, a career in assassination was no real surprise. Their goal within the novel: to kill Hermann Kermit Warm, for no other reason except for the fact that the Commodore wants him dead. They get paid well and it is their job --their job is not to ask questions or weigh the situation on a scale of morality, but that is exactly what Eli begins to do within the novel, leaving conflict, distrust and an unusual method of bonding for the Sisters brothers.

Taking me a longer period of time to finish this book, I found myself on a a different type of adventure. As much as the Sisters brothers were on a mission to complete another assassination, I found myself taking a spiritual journey unlike any other I have been on before. The pace was quite slow, almost unmoving as I found myself reading at the same pace as a dehydrated horse would trot: slow --exerted from all of the fictional hardships and patient, because the sun would continue to rise and fall at the horizon just like any other riding day. I found myself empathizing with Eli, caring for the most mundane situations, wanting to save the world amidst my wrong doings - helping my horse, helping children and women. I witnessed firsthand as a murderer changed his life and helped change his pessimistic brother's life. And perhaps that is truly what this book is about: slow changes, small attempts and eventually reaching what your heart truly recognizes as home.

I haven't much to say regarding this book as I viewed it more of a spiritual journey -- for me and for the brothers. I didn't notice the change until I finished the book and took a couple days away from it but as I revisit it now, I am clearly able to recall the events that truly struck me as a reader. The events were not so much as the shocking horrors or the thrilling moments but more of the everyday decisions that Eli chose to make, no matter how far it was from what he was supposed to accomplish. It is true, that this book is not the typical book which I would usually read, but I found myself enjoying in nonetheless.

Overall, I am giving this book 3.5 out of 5 stars. And do not let this mediocre rating hinder you from reading this book. I strongly recommend it and will be sharing it with another fellow reader tomorrow.

So there you have it! 3.5/5! Book no. 17 to my 2012 Reading Challenge is The Hypnotist's Love Story by Liane Moriarty. And unofficially, I have to admit that I have chosen to bump it up the reading list due to its intriguing title.

Until next time!


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Reading Progress

03/10/2012 page 86
26.0% "I've heard it been said and it seems to be happening to me as well. There is something about the writing style that forces you to slow down and enjoy the Western-ness."
03/16/2012 page 273
84.0% "I miss Tub. I can't believe they had to take his eye out with a spoon."
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