Book Nook: The Sisters Brothers – Patrick DeWitt

I first heard about The Sisters Brothers when I was told that parts of the movie were filmed around my small hometown in Oregon. I later learned that none of it was even filmed in the United States, but my town was mentioned a few times during the movie, and that’s pretty exciting.

After looking into the film a little more I discovered it was rated R. Any movie rated R contains some kind of content I wouldn’t be comfortable watching, so I forgot about it.

A while later I found the book while shopping for books at local thrift stores. I know that movies will occasionally add content to warrant the R rating, so I bought the book to give it a try.

Sure enough, the movie has a lot more mature content than the book has. Yet, the book still had some content that I felt wasn’t necessary, and it just made the book feel weird.

Overall, The Sisters Brothers had good potential. Two outlaw brothers in Oregon City have been hired to kill a man in California during the 1850s. However, one of the brothers is more sensitive than the other and is pretty much just in the business because it’s all he’s known. The other enjoys the process and doesn’t really have a desire to change careers.

It’s funny to see the difference between the brothers, and there were a lot of moments in the first 100 pages that had me laughing out loud. The chapters are also so short that it was easy to tell myself, “Just one more chapter.”

But then it went downhill.

I was slowly subtracting stars from the rating I knew I’d have to give it, until I was left with a single star.

If you enjoy skull-smashing, head-shooting, cowboy-dueling, western books – with the occasional prostitute – then maybe you’d enjoy this book more than I did. But I couldn’t help feeling that there was missed potential, and I finished the book thinking, “What was the point of that book?”

Rating: 1 out of 5.

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