In October, we will be reading the dark comedy The Sisters Brothers by Patrick DeWitt (Canada).
DeWitt’s approach in “The Sisters Brothers” is less corrective. A Canadian who now lives in Oregon, he rides parallel to the trails of Jack Schaefer, James Carlos Blake and Cormac McCarthy, but he frequently crosses into comic territory to produce a story that’s weirdly funny, startlingly violent and steeped in sadness.
If Eli and Charles Sisters come after you, brush up your will. Run and they’ll find you. Deal and they’ll trick you. Draw and they’ll shoot you. They’re the fabled assassins at the center of this bloody buddy story set on the West Coast in 1851.
As the Gold Rush induces “thousands of previously intelligent men and women to abandon their families and homes forever,” Eli and Charles serve as the killing arms of the Commodore, a shadowy tycoon in Oregon City, “whose influence could be found in every corner of the country.” At the start of the novel, he dispatches the Sisters brothers to Sacramento to kill a gold prospector named Herman Kermit Warm. They don’t know what Mr. Warm has done wrong — taken something, they suppose — but it makes no difference to their patient, implacable progress: He’s a dead man. Their weeks-long journey on horseback to hunt him down provides the itinerary for this picaresque adventure.
From The Washington Post