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Die Sisters Brothers

von Patrick deWitt

Weitere Autoren: Siehe Abschnitt Weitere Autoren.

MitgliederRezensionenBeliebtheitDurchschnittliche BewertungDiskussionen / Diskussionen
3,7692872,533 (3.87)1 / 677
When a frontier baron known as the Commodore orders Charlie and Eli Sisters, his hired gunslingers, to track down and kill a prospector named Herman Kermit Warm, the brothers journey from Oregon to San Francisco, and eventually to Warm's claim in the Sierra foothills, running into a witch, a bear, a dead Indian, a parlor of drunken floozies, and a gang of murderous fur trappers.… (mehr)
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» Siehe auch 677 Erwähnungen/Diskussionen

“He stuck his head in the room and said my name but I did not answer. He closed the door and moved to his room and I lay in the dark thinking about the difficulties of family, how crazy and crooked the stories of a bloodline can be.” — Patrick DeWitt, “The Sisters Brothers”

The "difficulties of family" lie at the heart of the crazy and crooked story that is “The Sisters Brothers” (2011) by Patrick DeWitt.

Professional hitmen weren't called that in the mid-19th century. Eli and Charlie Sisters are just hired guns, sent by a wealthy man to eliminate rivals and annoyances. They are good at their job, or at least Charlie is. He can kill easily and without remorse whether he gets paid for it or not. Eli, the novel's narrator, follows his brother because he is his brother, but his heart isn't really in it. He craves the love of a woman and the pleasure of staying in one spot for awhile.

Most of the novel tells of their travails on the road to their target, a man who has discovered a seemingly magical, yet dangerous, way to extract gold from a river. Should they kill him as ordered or go into business with him?

As with DeWitt's later novels, “Undermajordomo Minor” and “French Exit,” “The Sisters Brothers” has enough hilarity to make you think it is a comic novel, while the author actually delivers a serious story about the human struggle to cope with life.

By the end of the novel, the Sisters brothers are quite different men and their relationship has changed dramatically. Reading their story is a pleasurable adventure. ( )
  hardlyhardy | Nov 18, 2021 |
A Western tale, set during the California Gold Rush. Charlie and Eli Sisters are guns for hire. They set out from the Oregon Territory, travelling to San Francisco in search of one Herman Kermit Warm. Herman's death has been ordered by The Commodore.

Along the way Charlie and Eli encounter a whole array of characters, each adding some element of dark comedy to the tale.

I read deWitt's French Exit and I really wanted to love this one as much - I just didn't. It was a decent read. But not worthy of 4 stars.
( )
  JBroda | Sep 24, 2021 |
True Grit meets Pulp Fiction meets Deadwood meets ... Don Quixote?

That makes The Sisters Brothers sound derivative and unoriginal, but what it really is, is a "True Grit meets ..." for 2019. What begins as an ordinary mission of death and retribution to the enemies of their employer, the mysterious Commodore, results in the Sisters brothers, Eli and Charlie, learning things that begin to shake their loyalty, and wonder if they have been misled.

Here's a hint, the Commodore has promised to make them all great again, basking in his reflected greatness. Here's a mild spoiler: he's not.

It's as if two members of Ned Pepper's gang had begun to question their life choices. As if Vincent and Jules had moved on from their earnest discussions of McDonald's Royales to wonder aloud about their motivations, and question their loyalty to their employer. It's as if Don Quixote and Sancho Panza had started to realize that the windmills weren't the only things they they had to worry about.

I enjoyed this immensely. I enjoyed the dynamic between the two brothers, the gentle and uncharismatic Eli, who falls in love with every lady who speaks to him politely and doesn't immediately make fun of him, and who would like to give up killing on behalf of the Commodore, the way a regular person would like to give up candy for Lent (ie, with good intentions, but without much hope of success). And stone-cold killer Charlie, who fancies himself a Commodore-in-training, and considers the trail of bodies that he leaves in his wake to be the natural by-product of that ambition. And the rag-tag assortment of humanity that they encounter during their latest mission on behalf of the Commodore: the fakes, the self-deceived, and the blindly optimistic. One man, who repeatedly crosses their path, is crying so hard, he can't catch his breath long enough to explain why he is crying.

In 2019, I can relate to that. ( )
  maura853 | Jul 11, 2021 |
Adult fiction; western humor. I'm not huge into westerns but I did enjoy this quite a bit--it lives up to the hype and I would certainly recommend. ( )
  reader1009 | Jul 3, 2021 |
A very enjoyable and compelling read that just takes you in as you open the book. It is a real western with its suites of random encounters and its gallery of colourful characters, balanced with a rewarding overarching plot. It does a great job at portraying the life of alternatively mad, wild, bright, cruel, and broken people with tenderness and genuine insight. I loved the voice of the narrator and protagonist, which felt discerning, authentic, and sensitive. Bits of humour, often dark and absurd, made me laugh out loud. The supernatural elements were also interesting and unsettling. Very glad I picked this up! ( )
  lochinb | Jun 3, 2021 |
Sometimes, a novel is like a train: the first chapter is a comfortable seat in an attractive carriage,and the narrative speeds up. But there are other sorts of trains, and other sorts of novels. They rush by in the dark; passengers framed in the lighted windows are smiling and enjoying themselves. You aren't a passenger, you don't care about that destination, and the whole train rumbles on without you.
hinzugefügt von geocroc | bearbeitenThe Guardian, Jane Smiley (Jul 15, 2011)
 
Much has been made, over the last few decades, about the death of the western as a genre. All this talk, however, seems to overlook a single, crucial point: the western was never just a genre....DeWitt not only plays the western straight, he draws from the best. Written with the parsed force of the best of Elmore Leonard, DeWitt’s closest CanLit antecedent seems to be Michael Ondaatje’s The Collected Works of Billy the Kid. The influence comes through not only in his attention to every word, every detail, but also in the deadpan, unflinching depiction of violence, reality elevated almost to the level of ridiculousness...Despite being deliberately and effectively part of a tradition (one can imagine it being written and read a hundred years ago, with a few caveats), The Sisters Brothers is a bold, original and powerfully compelling work, grounded in well-drawn characters and a firm hold on narrative. When they say “They don’t write em like that anymore,” they’re wrong.
hinzugefügt von geocroc | bearbeitenThe Globe and Mail, Robert Wiersema (Jun 24, 2011)
 
Because rather than concerning himself with showboating his period-specific research, deWitt has deliberately flouted the rules of straight-laced historical realism here, to stunning effect. And most importantly, what he does get right are the flawed and jagged hearts of his characters, which is all the real this reviewer needs....What Western is real anyway? Aren’t they all revisions and stylizations of the past? From the kindergarten morals and the ridiculous bloodlessness of Hollywood Westerns, to Louis L’Amour’s pat Harlequin Romances for men, to the populist machismo of spaghetti Westerns and their impossibly slow gun duels, the genre has never registered very high on the reality scale.....The overall effect is fresh, hilariously anti-heroic, often genuinely chilling, and relentlessly compelling. Yes, this is a mighty fine read, and deWitt a mighty fine writer.
hinzugefügt von geocroc | bearbeitenThe National Post, Michael Christie (May 26, 2011)
 
There never was a more engaging pair of psychopaths than Charlie and Eli Sisters, two brothers who kill for hire—and for necessity, and sometimes for the pure, amusing hell of it....So subtle is DeWitt’s prose, so slyly note-perfect his rendition of Eli’s voice in all its earnestly charming 19th-century syntax, and so compulsively readable his bleakly funny western noir story, that readers will stick by Eli even as he grinds his heel into the shattered skull of an already dead prospector.
hinzugefügt von geocroc | bearbeitenMacLeans Magazine, Brian Bethune (May 26, 2011)
 
Nothing in Patrick deWitt’s first novel, Ablutions, a laconic barfly’s lament for a dysfunctional life, could prepare you for his second, a triumphantly dark, comic anti-western; apart, that is, from the same devastating sense of confidence and glittering prose. ...The writing is superb, with each brief chapter a separate tale in itself, relayed in Eli’s aphoristic fashion. The scope is both cinematic and schematic, with a swaggering, poetic feel reminiscent of a Bob Dylan lyric, while the author retains gleefully taut control of the overall structure. ...
hinzugefügt von geocroc | bearbeitenThe Telegraph, Catherine Taylor (May 20, 2011)
 

» Andere Autoren hinzufügen (3 möglich)

AutorennameRolleArt des AutorsWerk?Status
Patrick deWittHauptautoralle Ausgabenberechnet
Aronson, EmmanuelleTraductionCo-Autoreinige Ausgabenbestätigt
Aronson, PhilippeTraductionCo-Autoreinige Ausgabenbestätigt
Chong, Suet YeeGestaltungCo-Autoreinige Ausgabenbestätigt
Stiles, DanUmschlagillustrationCo-Autoreinige Ausgabenbestätigt
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I was sitting outside the Commodore's mansion, waiting for my brother Charlie to come out with news of the job.
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When a frontier baron known as the Commodore orders Charlie and Eli Sisters, his hired gunslingers, to track down and kill a prospector named Herman Kermit Warm, the brothers journey from Oregon to San Francisco, and eventually to Warm's claim in the Sierra foothills, running into a witch, a bear, a dead Indian, a parlor of drunken floozies, and a gang of murderous fur trappers.

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