December 2, 2011 by markstani
Patrick DeWitt’s debut novel, The Sisters Brothers (pub. Granta) is both an ode to, and a subversion of, the classic Western, conjuring two cold blooded killers-with-a-conscience who traverse the badlands of Gold Rush America seeking to complete the latest bloodthirsty mission handed down to them by their mysterious boss. Along their way they counter all kinds of down-and-outs and dead-men-walking. DeWitt’s work stays true to the climate of its times, and yet remains undeniably unique.
Short, late-winter days, and we stopped in a dried ravine to make up camp for the night. You will often see this scenario in serialized adventure novels: Two grisly riders before the fire telling their bawdy stories and singing harrowing songs of death and lace. But I can tell you that after a full day of riding I want nothing more than to lie down and sleep, which is just what I did, without even eating a proper meal.