I picked it up on a whim, mostly based on the cool cover. (Am I the only one who buys books solely based on the cover? No? OK, good.) The cover also boasted of a Governor General's Literary Award win, so it had to be pretty decent.
And was it ever! I loved this book & plowed though it in no time!
The protagonist's voice is hilarious; he's such a misfortunate fellow, but you can't help but chuckle as he blunders his way to California during the 1850s gold rush. He isn't there for the gold though - Eli Sisters & his brother Charlie (the Sisters brothers) are notorious killers working for a powerful man known as the Commodore & are traveling to complete a contract. I particularly enjoyed Eli's relationship with his lame horse & the secret formula they were sent to steal before killing Hermann Kermit Warm.
There were also a lot of good thoughtful quotes, often at the end of a chapter. For example:
The creak of bed springs suffering under the weight of a restless man is as lonely a sound as I know.
We can all of us be hurt, and no one is exclusively safe from worry and sadness.
Hmmm... well, those make it seem a bit more depressing than the book actually is - they were taken near the beginning, when Eli is just starting to question exactly what he does for a living. Still, I think they give you a bit of a taste of DeWitt's exquisite prose.
This fun & fast-paced book is one that I am recommending to all my friends & family, from hardcore bibliophiles to romance-readers to my just-starting-to-get-into-reading-again brothers. It's an easy book for everyone to enjoy & one you can easily picture as a (really great) movie.
Have you read any good books lately?