This book has a brilliant title: The Sisters Brothers by Patrick deWitt. The oxymoron continues in the characters, the plot and the language—its poetic style contrasts with the violence of the Old West. It’s a Western but with twists on the genre; the novel has brutality mixed with moments of sweetness and humor.
The main characters are killers with bruised pasts: Charlie Sisters is the epitome of Old West: brutal, money-hungry and cold; Eli Sisters, the narrator of the tale, loves to give away his money, has a soft heart for barmaids, and is questioning his profession and his future. Eli loves his poor excuse for a horse, Tub, and embraces dental hygiene!
The road trip from Oregon City to San Francisco to kill Herman Kermit Warm is a life-changing picaresque romp. The brothers are cursed by an old woman in a shack; they kill a Faulknerian red bear; and they get involved in a get-rich-quick gold scam. Like the main characters in Of Mice and Men, the Sisters Brothers’ plans often go awry.
Go along for the ride and see if you think the Sisters Brothers have true grit.