Title: The Sisters Brothers
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Author: Patrick deWitt
Genre: Noir?
Rating: 3 out of 5

I have a difficult time classifying this book both in terms of genre and in terms of whether I really liked it or not. Though set in the West during the California gold rush and featuring plenty of gunslinging, this doesn’t read much like a Western. It bears much more resemblance to the crime novels of the 1930’s-50’s by the likes of James M. Cain and David Goodis but with some of the levity and style of a picaresque novel.

The episodic storyline follows a duo of infamous hired killers on their latest assignment to hunt down a certain prospector. The first-person narration by the younger brother, Eli, paints a picture of a somewhat bewildered, often likeable man rather than a conscienceless monster (even as many of the brothers’ actions are sadistic and/or appalling). The book definitely kept my interest throughout, and the author’s extremely dry sense of humor was entertaining, but there were some parts that were just a bit too graphic and/or crude for me to really like the book.

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4 thoughts on “Hitmen are people too

  1. I had a similar experience with this. It’s very graphic, which I didn’t enjoy, but if it hadn’t been, I probably would have enjoyed the book less, because the characters (especially the one brother) just couldn’t carry subtle actions.

    Liked by 1 person

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