66. The Sisters Brothers: Patrick DeWitt

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Narrated by Eli, the younger of the two siblings in the book’s title, The Sisters Brothers tracks the journey across the Wild West to carry out another killing for their boss, the Commodore. The brothers, softer more naive Eli and the hard brutish Charlie, make their way to California where their target has discovered a chemical method to make gold prospecting more successful. En route, Eli’s experiences with a strange old woman, a prostitute, a beautiful bookkeeper, a young boy and an old horse, amongst others, make him reassess his life and his horrible career.

This is an interesting though perhaps not entirely enjoyable read. It is written in Eli’s voice which is straight and plain, I usually like my prose with a bit more ‘ornamentation’. There are some darkly comic incidents but it’s denouement is (*spoiler*) rather tragic. I do like a western, and all the typical elements are here, but if you’re expecting a John Wayne type of story like a fairy tale you might be disappointing.

4 stars

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