The Sisters Brothers by Patrick deWitt


Audiobook.  First, I must say it’s unusual that a book set in the 1850s in Oregon City and California was chosen for the shortlist of the Man Booker Prize.  But who could resist a story about two brothers named Sisters, especially two brothers who are hired killers and speak formal, if awkward, English.  The narrator is Eli, the “warm-hearted” brother.  One commenter on the blog The Mookse and The Gripes noted that the narrator sounds just like the Sissy Spacek character in Badlands.  For example, Holly says:  “We had our bad moments, like any couple. Kit accused me of only being along for the ride, while at times I wish he’d fall in the river and drown, so I could watch. Mostly though, we got along fine and stayed in love.”

Eli and Charlie are paid by “the Commodore” to kill anyone who gets in his way; that’s all we know about the Commodore except that he prefers Charlie to Eli.  When we meet them, they are about to set out on a journey to San Francisco to kill one Herman Kermit Warm.  Along the way they crash from one adventure to the next and someone usually dies.  If you can tolerate the gruesome deaths, it’s quite the funny odyssey.

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