Long live the Western.  Author Patrick DeWitt brings fresh verve to a classic genre in his new novel.  It is told from the first-person perspective of Eli Sisters, one half of a hired gun team.  They’ve set out to find and kill Hermann Kermit Warm (ironically, the name of a famed art director in early German film) at the behest of the enigmatic “Commodore,” who seems like a sort of Keyser Soze pulling strings from an unseen corner.  Still, the brothers are very good at what they do, and make pretty good money doing it.  They cross the old west on horseback, have run-ins with gamblers, gunslingers and girls and reach their quarry just in time to join in on some prospecting for gold.  
What makes the book so enjoyable is the easiness of the tone.  Eli’s thoughts and description are uncomplicated.  He is not, however, simple-minded.  He has internal dialogues about morality and external arguments on philosophy with other characters.  And of all the strange people we meet on their journey, Eli certainly displays the most kindness.  It is his forgiving view that allows us, the readers, to forgive brother Charlie, or at least understand him.  It is very open and human, which is what a Western should be — strip away the urban constricts, leave a man to the elements and see what becomes of him.
Though not precisely a comedy, there are as many funny moments as their are awkward ones, and somewhat violent ones.  It is a Western, after all.  (Note: Animal lovers should be warned there  are some graphic descriptions of veterinary surgery.)  There is also a fun hint of steampunk in the prospecting scenes when they learn their mark has developed an unusual technique for finding gold deposits.  
It’s fun, adventurous and a great summer read.  And it’s about to get even more fun!  The great folks from HarperCollins did a limited run printing of the fantastic cover art by Dan Stiles (see the art at the top of this post).  Each is numbered and signed and one can be YOURS.  All you have to do is leave a comment below, with your email address. You can get extra entries by posting a mention to your blog, Facebook or Twitter.  Just be sure to send me a link in the comments.  The contest will end Monday, June 6, 2011 at 10:00pm EST.  I will choose a winner at random.

 US only, please. [THIS CONTEST IS NOW OVER.] 



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Thanks to the folks at HarperCollins for the review copy, and for offering a poster for this giveaway.

Watch the fun, animated book trailer here:
 

ISBN: 9780062041265; ISBN10: 0062041266; Imprint: Ecco ; On Sale: 4/26/2011; Format: Hardcover; Trimsize: 6 x 9; Pages: 336; $24.99; Ages: 18 and Up; BISAC1:FIC000000

5 thoughts on “REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: THE SISTERS BROTHERS by Patrick DeWitt”

  1. Thanks for entering! Our winner (chosen by Random.org) is Michael Powell! Michael, I will email you directly to get that poster on its way. Keep an eye out here for more giveaways to come.

  2. Got a link to your blog from Goodreads. I'll definitely enter the contest, and I'll be reading your reviews, too (didn't read this one all the way through since I haven't finished the book yet). Thanks!

    -Michael Powell
    powellmichaeld@gmail.com

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