It feels appropriate to drink whiskey (which is what I’m currently doing) while writing about this book. Not only does whiskey often make an appearance in this book, but I feel like whiskey was the aesthetic deWitt was going for.
The Sisters brothers are hired hands for a man called The Commodore. It’s with blank faces, and sometimes a bit of dry wit, that these brothers extinguish the lives of men they don’t know, for the sake of a few dollars which is usually spent on, you guessed it, whiskey.
DeWitt chronicles their journey from Oregon City to the gold-infested rivers of California in search of a man who, in my opinion, has one of the best names literature has to offer: Hermann Kermit Warm. Beautiful.
The landscape is droll, the scenery riddled with men drunk on, yes, whiskey, but also the idea of wealth. The idea that a few little flakes or nuggets of gold, just out of their reach, could solve every problem, and they could return home victorious and rich and a favorite with the ladies.
In any case, it’s a raw, honest look at the wild west frontier we’ve all heard about, but with a conscience, and heroes hardly worth rooting for, but oh-so lovable in their own way. There’s a sense of humor in the dark details of the bloody trail Eli and Charlie Sisters leave in their wake, and it’s captivating.
Favorite line (without spoiling too much): “this is where the clock stopped”