Friday, 10 February 2012

Hail! The conquering hero...

Last night I attended my book group with some trepidation as we were discussing my personal recommendation, Patrick DeWitt's 'The Sisters Brothers'. Actually, I lie. I wasn't at all nervous because I was so confident that many of the group would love it. And love it they did. Out of sixteen people present, fifteen loved it or, at the very least, really liked it. Hurrah! Only one person didn't like it - she found the violence too brutal and didn't think it was funny. At all. Huh. I don't know how a person doesn't laugh at the image of a hardened killer being so enamoured with a tooth cleaning regime or Eli's encounter with a snooty waiter.  I suppose it would be boring if everyone liked the same stuff, right? Would have been nice to have had 100% success rate...

I absolutely loved this book when I read it last summer and have been rather evangelical about pressing it upon members of my family, friends, random people I meet. I thought it was just brilliant. The relationship between the brothers, the dark comedy, the bizarre characters they come across - everything was just pitched so perfectly. The violence is, for the most part, casually skated over and I am in agreement with a book grouper who said she kind of forgot about any brutality because the main focus was the brothers' relationship and Eli's growing conscience.

I admit, I did falter at the idea of reading a Western, as did nearly all of the book group, but it won us all over and, given that the last book I recommended was a complete wash out, I felt vindicated with my choice this time round. A major success - it's the most liked book of any that the book group has ever read!

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