When I first heard of The Sisters Brothers, I knew this was a book which I wanted to read.
Written by Patrick deWitt, originally from Vancouver, the book has gained great popularity and notoriety by making the short list for the 2011 Giller Prize and winning the Governor Generals Award for Fiction.
"Hermann Kermit Warm is going to die. The enigmatic and powerful man known only as the Commodore has ordered it, and his henchmen, Eli and Charlie Sisters, will make sure of it. Though Eli doesn't share his brother's appetite for whiskey and killing, he's never known anything else. But their prey isn't an easy mark, and on the road from Oregon City to Warm's gold-mining claim outside Sacramento, Eli begins to question what he does for a living–and whom he does it for."
This is a never boring story of two brothers, Charlie and Eli Sisters, hired killers who are off on a long journey to California as ordered by their boss, someone only known as the Commodore. Much of the story is of the adventures they have along the way, with the people they meet. The brothers are hard men with little regard for the lives of others. The story is full of brutality, comedy and tragedy.
The story is told in first person, a style that usually I don't care for, but really works well here. Much if the story is the relationship between the two brothers and Eli's thoughts of the life he has led and where it might be going.
I am a fan of westerns and this one is done quite well. It is an easy read, one which I found it hard to put down. I put it in the same class as Lonesome Dove, which won the Pulitzer Prize in 1985. A great western, and fabulous read.