I can't say I read too many western novels, who does? I've tried a couple Zane Grey's, but I found the style dated, and that's about it as far as my experience of western literature is concerned which is a pity because I'm a fan of all things western. I don't block out the genre but I don't see too many titles in book shops, and I wouldn't know which authors to try anyway. But last week I read a glowing review of Patrick De Witts' novel The Sisters Brothers, I was grateful for the heads up, and doubly grateful when I found a copy in my local library the next day.
I was planning to read this book while I'm in Paris this week, but it's a real page turner and I'll probably finish it by tomorrow. The book is sharp, from the cover design to typeface and layout. It's both a pleasure to look at and to feel, the paper texture is slightly rough and it has the colour of pale sepia. If you read using a Kindle or some other device I feel sorry for you, you'll miss out on the tactile element of the book.
The story set in the California gold rush, is about two hired killers, the brothers Charles and Eli Sisters. The odyssey reminded me of Don Quixote as the brothers cross paths with a remarkable cast of characters. I'm half way through the book, the pace has been consistent (no padding), the narration by Eli is gripping. It's witty, eloquent and heart wrenching.