Crime Humour Literary Fiction

The Sisters Brothers – Patrick deWitt

28 October 2019
The Sisters Brothers Book Cover The Sisters Brothers
Patrick deWitt
Granta Books (Uk)

Shortlisted for the 2011 Man Booker Prize, deWitt's dazzlingly original second novel is a darkly funny, offbeat western about a reluctant assassin and his murderous brother.


The Sisters Brothers is an exceptional novel that is absorbing and delightfully original. While it’s a traditional Western with cowboys and gold-mining, it feels like a retelling with a modern atmosphere. The writing style is lyrical and the dialogue flows so effortlessly with its satirical interweaving of humour, brotherhood, loneliness, intrigue and murder.

The two Sisters brothers, Charlie and Eli are hitmen for the Commodore, who has contracted them to assassinate Hermann Kermit Warm. They are both remorseless killers but Eli wants to try new things and dreams of a different life, perhaps opening a store, settle down with a female – any female – such a sweet guy. His volatile and less sensitive elder brother, Charlie, doesn’t have the same outlook. While they are both psychopaths, with a lack of emotional attachment, their witty and entertaining exchanges create significant empathy.

There is nothing predictable about the storyline and we watch the two brothers wondering what encounter will happen next. While we know the main plot from the outset, it’s an interesting undulating route they navigate through the story, either planned or unplanned.

It was a joy to just lift this book, let the words flow and be captivated with a really engrossing story. The chapters are short and punchy, underpinning a good solid pace to the story. I would highly recommend reading this book.

Peter Donnelly

Founder of The Reading Desk, supporting readers, authors, publishers and book industry. Top Reviewer on Amazon, Goodreads, and NetGalley

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