If you don’t want your summer reading to be mindless, but you still want it to be fun, you should pick up The Sisters Brothers by Patrick deWitt. But, this book is more than fun (and funny!), it’s touching, sad, dark, gruesome, and amazingly somehow both inhuman and human.
This story of a pair of brothers—who happen to be hit men—making their journey from Oregon City to San Francisco to finish a job is a Western that feels very contemporary. We experience this world through Eli Sisters, whose inner voice will ring true to modern ears. With no superflous words or descriptions, the language throughout is concise, yet powerful. Here is just one example where Eli is describing his horse:
Tub was a healthy enough animal but would have been better suited to some other, less ambitious owner. He was portly and low-backed and could not travel more than fifty miles in a day. I was often forced to whip him, which some men do not mind doing and which in fact some enjoy doing, but which I did not like to do; and afterward he, Tub, believed me cruel and thought to himself, Sad life, sad life.
You’ll experience gun fights, sibling rivalry, the California Gold Rush, the joy of clean teeth, and so much more. With short, action-filled chapters, this fast-paced read is perfect for the beach or the bus and is The Owl‘s pick for a summer read that’s just fun enough.
P.S. While we all know not to judge a book by its cover, this one’s awesomeness matches its marvelous innards. Just thought you should know.