William Baker's Reviews > The Sisters Brothers

The Sisters Brothers by Patrick deWitt
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's review
Apr 10, 2012

liked it
Read from April 10 to 11, 2012

Almost through with this one.

I'll edit this after finishing.



I'll do three stars on this one. I won't go into a whole synopsis of the book. That has been done quite a lot already. I'll do a pros and cons approach.

It is readable and moves along well. The two main characters and a few others are complex and well developed. The plot is simple and the adventure is ample. It reads quickly.

The main character is quite interesting and well presented. At first I thought that the writer was trying to engender sympathy with his portrayal of this vicious and heartless murderer. But on closer examination I don't believe he was. I believe that DeWitt was showing us that Eli wanted to think of himself as a sensitive and honest person, displeased with his position in life. Eli wants to see himself as just a regular person drafted into an unpleasant profession by family and happenstance. When in fact Eli, and the reader, know that this is a false portrayal and actions defy this self deception. Eli has few redeeming qualities and is little more than what everyone who meets him or knows of him thinks he is, a cold hearted murderer. Even his own mother is leery of him and his brother. I thought the Eli character was genius and excellently done.

The cons of this well thought of book are plenty, IMO.

It is largely dialogue. I for one got tired of the constant talk.

It is almost devoid of decent human emotion. Peoples death and misery is treated very coldly indeed. Not only by the brothers but everyone. It is appallingly heartless.

I am not a fan of the whole 'black humor' thing. I don't think death is all that amusing.

It is gory and graphic. I had to skip parts like the horse losing it's eye. Not a fan of the gore, especially when treated so lightly as supposed 'humor'.

It is too random. The brothers meet quite a few people and have sub stories with them and they disappear suddenly. Even Charlie basically disappears in a way at the end, after his accident. He's still there, but only ancillary to the story from that point on. It is like the plot is to move from one random event to another.

Anyway, it is a highly entertaining and readable book. Don't think I will be watching the movie if it every comes out, though.

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