a guest blogger from the Library Technician program at NSCC.
2011 was quite a year for Canadian author Patrick deWitt. His second novel The Sisters Brothers (M) is gaining attention worldwide and winning various Canadian writing awards, such as Governor General’s Literary Awards for English-Language fiction and the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize. It is also an American Library Association Notable Book for 2012.
The Sisters Brothers tells the tale of Charlie and Eli Sisters as they trek across North America on the hunt for a traitor of their boss the mysterious Commodore. Set during the Gold Rush years, the Sisters brothers meet a cast of motley characters in their travels. Eli is the narrator of the tale and he relates their experiences with dark humour. At times violent, though not surprisingly so, considering the time period it was set in, the brothers’ adventures makes for a fast-paced read. DeWitt portrays the atmosphere of the Wild West so vividly in The Sisters Brothers readers feel like they’re on a horse beside Charlie and Eli, seeing everything first-hand. After readers enjoy this book, they may be looking for similar reads:
A ll the Pretty Horses (M) by Cormac McCarthy is the first in the Border trilogy. Readers who loved the lyrical writing style of The Sisters Brothers will also enjoy All the Pretty Horses. In post-World War II Texas, John Grady Cole is a young man bound by family tradition to follow in the footsteps of his forefathers as a rancher. After difficulties at home, he leaves for Mexico where he is jailed under horrible conditions. Upon his release he makes his foray into adulthood.
True Grit (M) by Charles Portis is a tale of revenge much like The Sisters Brothers. Readers who loved the atmosphere of The Sisters Brothers are sure to enjoy True Grit as readers experience a strong sense of place. In the 1880s, fourteen year old Mattie Ross does something unheard of for women at the time – she sets out into Indian Territory with the help of an infamous U.S. Marshal on the hunt for the man who killed her father.
Welcome to Hard Times (M) by E.L. Doctorow. Readers who appreciated the dark humour of The Sisters Brothers are sure to like Welcome to Hard Times. Doctorow’s first novel tells the tale of Hard Times, Dakota Territory after the wrath of the Bad Man from Brodie tears through. The survivors are left fearing his return, except the Mayor who wants to rebuild the town.
Zeke and Ned (M) by Larry McMurtry and Diana Ossana. Fans of The Sisters Brothers may already be familiar with Larry McMurtry’s work as he won the Pulitzer Prize for Lonesome Dove (M) . McMurtry is famous for de-romanticizing the west, and Zeke and Ned is no different. It tells the story of two Cherokee folk heroes from the Oklahoma territory of the 1890s. After being caught in a love affair with a white man’s wife, Zeke accidently shoots her husband. He takes refuge with his son-in-law Ned and asks to be tried by the Cherokee people rather than face a white judge. Posses show up to find him and the fallout from these events are tragic for both sides. Readers who enjoyed the gritty style of The Sisters Brothers are sure to enjoy Zeke and Ned.