Shortlisted for: International Author of the Year - Specsavers National Book Awards 2012
Oregon, 1851. Eli and Charlie Sisters, notorious professional killers, are on their way to California to kill a man named Hermann Kermit Warm. On the way, the brothers have a series of unsettling experiences in the landscape of Gold Rush America. And they bicker a lot. Arriving in California, and discover that Warm has invented a magical formula, which could make all of them very rich. What happens next is utterly gripping, strange and sad....
©2011 Patrick deWitt (P)2011 W F Howes Ltd
The description of this book put me in mind of a Coen brothers film, and I was not disappointed by the comparison. This is a great tale of two brothers, told from the point of view of Eli, the more thoughtful of the two. It's a wonderful description of a space in time where things were more simple: life in the American west during the gold-rush was about surviving rather than living, killing was as easy as eating, and basic needs of love and warmth are reflected on, but not prioritised. The language used is intricate and well-placed, and the plot full of action.
This was one of those books where I was so pleased that I listened to the performance, rather than reading it myself, as I could never have imagined the correct accent, tone and inflection that is so important in creating these characters, brilliant work from William Hope.
Yes, I am a horse lover and found some of the book a bit hard to listen to/read so without adding spoilers I'll not go into what happens. Suffice to say though it is an integral part of the book and also makes for a moving conclusion too.
I laughed out loud and I cried too, you are on a roller-coaster of emotion when listening to this brilliantly narrated story, William Hope is a real gem and characterises beautifully which for me totally made the book for me. Bravo to all concerned!
Thought i'd try something a little different from my usual detective story,so glad i did.Wonderfull book.Found myself grinning and talking like a cowboy.
OK you already know its a book about hired killers on a job and that it has some squeamish bits. This is not a familiar genre to me but what a wonderful listen this was. The Sister Brothers narrate and squabble through their journey using the sparse humour filled language familiar to brothers. It was so beautifully read that it was easy to feel like the third, silent brother. Similarly descriptions of the landscape were so sparse that my imagination muscles were exercised and looking back it is difficult to remember if parts were a book or a movie. The story always moves along with purpose and the unexpected turns are gentle and (generally) quite plausible, the characters are original and you just take them as they are for many have suddenly truncated lives. The brothers journey is ultimately to realise their own place in the scheme of things. Dammit, I miss them.
fat but slim
Eli: sensitive, reflective, bungling. Charlie: dominant, calculating, ruthless. The two sisters brothers bicker their way to their latest assignment to kill a prospector in California Eli ponders the wisdom of keeping his horse, blind in one eye and Charlie constantly undermines his brother. Events however have a part to play in shaping the dynamics of their relationship. A western like you've never seen before. and yes very Coen brothers. The narrator captures the atmosphere beautifully: exceptional!!!
As the title says, very much like listening to a Coen brothers film; if you like their films, you will love this. Be warned, there are some fairly gruesome bits.
The south American drawling accents really brought the book to life - probably better than reading the book
I really enjoy reading but don't have the time so audible is a perfect solution, listen while doing boring tasks.
Felt a bit Coen brothers, a very interesting story, very well written, I loved it.
"Engaging and entertaining"
This book is an interesting interpretation of the Western genre, set in Oregon and California during the gold rush. I found the story compelling and the reader really gave the characters depth.
Eli, the narrator. He was sympathetic while being flawed.
He did a wonderful job of interpreting the different characters through nuances of speech.
"Brilliant Performance by William Hope"
This was recommended to me by someone to whom I'll be returning for more advice! It's a darkly humorous take of fraternal assassins in the old west, and chronicles their journey to their latest quarry in gold-rush California. Sometimes strange, but not in an inaccessible way - think more Coen Brothers than David Lynch.
William Hope's modes of speech are superbly evocative; and should be award-winning if there is any justice. Just a brilliant listen.
It's on par, I would say.
It's a gripping, stylish, fabulously told tale. I found it intelligent and exciting. The narration I thought was perfect.
no, I have not.
I would take out Eli.
I found the narration addictive and started to think like the characters in the tale.
"Good story, great narrator."
This story was only ok for me. Had been recommendedto me by a friend. If I was reading the book I might have just put it down but the narrator pulled me through so I ended up rating it a 3 star.
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