Thursday, 12 June 2014

Book Review: The Sisters Brothers

The Sisters Brothers

I recall buying this book about a year ago.  In paperback of course, since I have to buy most of my books that way given my predilection to quantity.  The author is originally Canadian, though now lives in Portland Oregon and the book is a winner of both the Governor General's Literary Award and the Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize.  I undoubtedly heard about it on CBC radio or read a review in the Globe and Mail.  I don't recall what was said in the review to make me buy it but at first glance it certainly isn't something I would pick up.

The Sisters Brothers, are two brothers named Charlie and Eli Sisters.  Hired killers in the American west during the Gold Rush, they are en route to find a man they have been hired to kill  and this is the story of how that unfolds.  It is told by Eli, a complicated character who will both endear himself to you one minute and shock you the next.  The book is a masterpiece of black humour, human psychology and gripping story telling.

My favourite  blurb of praise for the book comes from The Winnipeg Review:
"The Sisters Brothers practically holds a Colt to your head and growls: read me"

Never in a million years would I read a western.  But quick, go and check to see if Hell hath frozen for I  just did and loved it!

 You can check it out on Good Reads where you will of course find people who loved it and who hated it.

And also look at the author's site


  1. I honestly would have picked this up just by the cover! Lol! This seems right up Kyle's ally, so I think that I might have to pick it up for him! I am also a CBC radio addict.

  2. This was one of our book club selections. I really loved it (the beavers! Ack!), and really was charmed by how we got into Eli's head. If you liked this, look for "The Hawkline Monster" by Richard Brautigan - a hard-to-find western gothic horror from the 70s - it is amazing.

    1. Yes those poor beavers! Thanks for the recommendation; I will have a look for it online. Powell's perhaps.


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