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Patrick deWitt blogs, puns at Powell's

May 6, 2011 |  7:43 am

Thesistersbrothers Patrick deWitt's second novel, "The Sisters Brothers," is a darkly funny tale of two Western assassins -- Eli and Charlie Sisters -- setting forth in 1851 from Oregon for San Francisco. Their goal is to kill a man, of course, one Hermann Kermit Warm. He may have stolen something. Gold may be involved.

It's the getting there -- the strange and wicked and kind and greedy and sad people (and horses) the Sisters brothers encounter -- that makes all the difference. It's a classic quest story with a particularly modern pared-down language. 

This week, deWitt is blogging at Powell's. He wrote that after he finished "The Sisters Brothers," he went digging into the notebooks he carries and writes in to find a good idea. What he found, instead, were a bunch of ideas he couldn't figure out how to use. Including these:

Short story ideas:

  • A story about a charitable organization called Ski Bums that takes homeless people skiing. This is destined to fail because homeless people hate being cold.
  • "Stevie Ray Vaughn Hotel Proposal": A proposal for a Stevie Ray Vaughn-themed hotel.

Snippets of conversation:

  • "What was he wearing?"
    "Nothing. A condom."

Statements/bits of monologue:

  • Character pleased with his just-finished dessert, patting stomach: "Remember the à la mode!"

Read our review of "The Sisters Brothers" by Patrick deWitt.

-- Carolyn Kellogg

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