Better Off Read is a book club collaboration between The Bookshop and The Porch, focusing on books that you'll definitely be better off having read.
Hermann Kermit Warm is going to die. The enigmatic and powerful man known only as the Commodore has ordered it, and his henchmen, Eli and Charlie Sisters, will make sure of it. Though Eli doesn’t share his brother’s appetite for whiskey and killing, he’s never known anything else. But their prey isn’t an easy mark, and on the road from Oregon City to Warm’s gold-mining claim outside Sacramento, Eli begins to question what he does for a living--and whom he does it for.
With The Sisters Brothers, Patrick deWitt pays homage to the classic Western, transforming it into an unforgettable comic tour de force. Filled with a remarkable cast of characters--losers, cheaters, and ne’er-do-wells from all stripes of life--and told by a complex and compelling narrator, it is a violent, lustful odyssey through the underworld of the 1850s frontier that beautifully captures the humor, melancholy, and grit of the Old West and two brothers bound by blood, violence, and love.
PRAISE FOR THE BOOK
FINALIST FOR THE 2011 MAN BOOKER PRIZE
“A feast of delights in short punchy chapters. . . . Deliciously original and rhapsodically funny, this is one novel that ropes you in on page one, and isn’t about to ride off into the sunset any time soon.”--Boston Globe
“At once dark and touching, The Sisters Brothers has something on every page to make you laugh. Patrick deWitt has given us a gift, reimagining the old west in a thoroughly original manner. Readers are all the better for it.”—Charles Bock, New York Times bestselling author of Beautiful Children
“Mesmerizing. . . . The book seduces us to its characters, and draws us on the strength of deWitt’s subtle, nothing-wasted prose. He writes with gorgeous precision about the grotesque: an amputation, a gouged eye, a con in a dive bar, a nauseating body count [without] macho brutishness.”--Cleveland Plain Dealer
“[T]here’s something cinematic about Mr. deWitt’s unadorned prose style, which at first made this reader do a double-take—can this be serious?—only to continue flicking the pages with pleasure.”--Wall Street Journal
“By turns hilarious, graphic and meditative, The Sisters Brothers hooked me from page one all the way to 300—and I could have stayed on for many more.”—NPR.org
Better Off Read is a book club with an added twist: an optional writing exercise for interested participants to complete before the event. The writing prompt for this book: A “picaresque” novel features a roguish, dishonest, ruffian character who’s also appealing and sympathetic, like Eli Sisters, the narrator of The Sisters Brothers. (Other examples, from television: Dexter Morgan and Tony Soprano.) Have you ever known someone who could be the protagonist in a picaresque? Write about him or her. Again, this part is completely optional, and those who wish may share what they’ve written at the end of the meeting.
When: Sunday, September 16, 2018, 4:30 to 6:00 pm
Where: The Bookshop (1043 West Eastland Ave.)
How Much: $18 + tax. Each participant will receive one paperback copy of The Sisters Brothers, available for pickup at the shop. Wine and treats will be served, and participants will also receive 10% off purchases at The Bookshop the day of the event.
All spots have been claimed! If you'd like to be added to the waitlist, just swing by the shop, buy the book, and let us know you'd like to be added to the list. We'll let you know if a spot opens up.
Previous BETTER OFF READ Books
Exit West by Mohsin Hamid (July 22, 2018)
Sorry to Disrupt the Peace by Patty Yumi Cottrell (May 20, 2018)
Eileen by Ottessa Moshfegh (March 18 & 25, 2018)
Rabbit Cake by Annie Hartnett (January 7 & 14, 2018)
Broken River by J. Robert Lennon (October 22, 2017)
The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P. by Adelle Waldman (August 6, 2017)
Stoner by John Williams (May 21, 2017)
Our Endless Numbered Days by Claire Fuller (March 19, 2017)
Margaret the First by Danielle Dutton (January 22, 2017)
My Salinger Year by Joanna Rakoff (October 30, 2016)
Better Off Read is a collaboration between The Bookshop and The Porch, Nashville’s independent center for writing.