This book will forever become one of the books I recommend to people in my library when they have no idea what to read, or even what they like to read for that matter. It is a book for everyone, and one that will sit with me long after I stop seeing it cross our circulation desk with regularity. It is an almost perfect book.
I must admit, I didn’t want to read this book, and I didn’t even want to like it, to be honest. But after so many people told me how good it was, I reluctantly took it home.
- A western.
- A western written by a Canadian author.
- A western, written by a Canadian author, about the Gold Rush in California that takes place in the 1850’s.
It has horses in it, for goodness sake. Horses.
But from the moment I cracked the cover, I was hooked. The dialogue (or dialog, for Americans) was immediate, masterful, and so subtle in its genius, a reader might simply think the book was common. Far from it. Not only did deWitt not waste a single word, he found ways to make each sentence convey two or three layers of meaning.
Did I mention this was funny???
THE SISTERS BROTHERS is a tale of brothers, adventurers, and killers all wrapped up in a story set in the wild west. Visually, the reader is transported back in time with ease, even though many readers might never have wondered how dangerous and exotic the era was compared to how we live now. It didn’t matter that the pace was slow, that the characters went from place to place without accomplishing much, and that I’d forgotten much of the purpose for their trip when they finally reached their destination. I loved Eli and Charlie Sisters for very different reasons, and wished them success despite the mistakes they continued to make at every turn.
Thank you, Mr. deWitt, for writing a book that inspired me as a writer, challenged me as a reader, and left me wishing I could go back to the first day I opened the book and experience it in all its originality all over again.
P.S….. If you haven’t read THE SISTERS BROTHERS, you can read the synopsis here. Then, go and read it. Today!