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Wednesday, March 18, 2015

A Very Difficult Title to Search for in the Library

There's a special joy associated with making a good book recommendation. It's almost like setting up your friends on a date and having it actually go OK but without the worry of eventually imagining two of your good friends making out with each other. It's also almost as rare. Books, like your friends, are complex individuals. Pairing them isn't as easy as pairing food with a good soda, (clear, citrusy sodas when it's fish - dark sodas for carby meals like pizza or pasta, fruity soda with steak) but it's worth it.

One could argue that this whole blog is just book recommendations. One could argue that it's nothing at all. One could, in fact, argue that the entirety of our social system is a construct. That these words I send across the internet's complex system of wires are but random flotsam in an ocean that is but meaningless ideas. That we are not readers and thinkers; a self-aggrandized species instead dimly interpreting the universe as effectively as an eyeless cave fish.

OK yeah these are mostly book recommendations.

The one I'm recommending today is Patrick deWitt's The Sisters Brothers. So far I've told several people about it and they have gone out of their way to tell me how much they enjoyed it. It's like my friends coming up to me in public places and kissing each other with all kinds of tongue and stuff in front of me and saying thank you for this. But it's hard for them to say thank you with their lips all tangled up like that. I nod patiently. Get a room, I say kindly.

Eli Sisters is our narrator. And what a likable individual he is. He's a killer for hire, of course. And his brother Charlie Sisters is as well. Charlie is a little scarier. Where Charlie seems to delight in his work, Eli is more philosophical. "Our blood is the same," Eli says. "We just use it differently."

They work for The Commodore and are sent to off one Hermann Kermit Warm. The Commodore has a flair for the dramatic that Eli finds tiresome:
Returning his pen to its holder, he told us, 'I will have him gutted with that scythe. I will hang him by his own intestines.' At this piece of dramatic exposition, I could not help but roll my eyes. A length of intestines would not carry the weight of a child, much less a full grown man.
Above all, poor Eli is a romantic man. "I saw my bulky person in the windows of the passing storefronts and wondered, when will that man there find himself to be loved?"

We love you, Eli.

There is adventure to be had within these pages. And also it made me laugh out loud more than once. I will spoil it no more.

When you look for it in the library's system, you'll find lots of books about sisters and brothers getting along. These are also in the fiction section ZING!