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Slow,
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Dramatic

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So Brave, Young and Handsome: A Novel
by Leif Enger

Published: 2008-04-22
Hardcover : 272 pages
1 member reading this now
6 clubs reading this now
4 members have read this book
Recommended to book clubs by 1 of 1 members
A stunning successor to his best selling novel Peace Like a River, Leif Enger’s new work is a rugged and nimble story about an aging train robber on a quest to reconcile the claims of love and judgment on his life, and the failed writer who goes with him.

In 1915 Minnesota, novelist ...
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Introduction

A stunning successor to his best selling novel Peace Like a River, Leif Enger’s new work is a rugged and nimble story about an aging train robber on a quest to reconcile the claims of love and judgment on his life, and the failed writer who goes with him.

In 1915 Minnesota, novelist Monte Becket has lost his sense of purpose. His only success long behind him, Monte lives simply with his wife and son. But when he befriends outlaw Glendon Hale, a new world of opportunity and experience presents itself. Glendon has spent years in obscurity, but the guilt he harbors for abandoning his wife, Blue, over two decades ago, has lured him from hiding. As the modern age marches swiftly forward, Glendon aims to travel back to his past--heading to California to seek Blue’s forgiveness. Beguiled and inspired, Monte soon finds himself leaving behind his own family to embark for the unruly West with his fugitive guide. As they desperately flee from the relentless Charles Siringo, an ex-Pinkerton who’s been hunting Glendon for years, Monte falls ever further from his family and the law, to be tempered by a fiery adventure from which he may never get home.

Editorial Review

Amazon Significant Seven, April 2008: A gritty western couched in the easy storytelling style of a folk ballad (think 3:10 to Yuma as sung by the Kingston Trio), Leif Enger's highly anticipated second novel (his first was Peace Like a River) tells the story of outlaw Glendon Hale's quest to right his past, as seen through the eyes of his unlikely companion Monte Becket. So Brave, Young, and Handsome begins with Becket, a struggling novelist bewildered by the success of his first book, who has pledged to his wife, son, and publisher to "write one thousand words a day until another book is finished." Four years and six unfinished novels later, Becket sits on the porch of his Minnesota farmhouse about to give up on number seven, when he spies a man standing up in his boat "rowing upstream through the ropy mists of the Cannon River." Eager to set aside his waning tale about handsome ranch hand Dan Roscoe, Becket calls out to the mysterious white-haired boatman and his life changes forever. At turns merry and wistful, romantic and tragic, So Brave, Young, and Handsome is as absorbing as a campfire tale, full of winking outlaws and relentless villains--the sort of story to keep you on the edge of your seat with hope in your heart. --Daphne Durham

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Book Club Recommendations

Wild (or mild?) west!
by kfoulks (see profile) 04/30/09
Maybe a western type saloon restaurant or a mexican mom-and-pops restaurant would be fun.

Member Reviews

Overall rating:
 
 
  "Feels like reading a comic book"by ebach (see profile) 07/30/20

If a book doesn’t grab you by page 50, you shouldn’t feel bad for abandoning it. But SO BRAVE, YOUNG, AND HANDSOME should grab you right away with Leif Enger's typical writing style. Ho... (read more)

 
  "Well written, but not moving"by kfoulks (see profile) 04/30/09

Leif Enger is a great author, no doubt... but this book pales in comparison to "Peace Like a River." On it's own, its a good story of a middle aged man in career crisis who latches onto a man with excitement... (read more)

 
  "The adventures of three men as they travel to return to one's wife and at the same time, chased by the "law""by ccalkins (see profile) 10/28/08

 
  "Leif Enger does it again!"by dcraggs (see profile) 06/06/08

Peace like a River is one of the clubs all time favorites and many of the members enjoyed "So Brave, Young and Handsome". The characters were well developed. You knew them by the time the book was finished.... (read more)

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