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So Brave, Young, and Handsome (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

I was utterly charmed by this book, a midwestern-western about a blocked novelist who accompanies his new friend (a boatbuilder and former train robber) on a journey to make amends with the wife he abandoned decades ago. Along the way they encounter cowboys, sharpshooters, Pinkerton agents, German movie stars, and the greatest snapping turtle in all of literature. Why Enger isn’t celebrated as one of our best prose stylists I can’t fathom—every page of So Brave, Young, and Handsome boasts sentences that astonish, illuminate, and delight. Few writers, moreover, know how to keep your heart pounding and breaking in equal measure, but with this gem of a novel Enger makes it seem effortless.

— From Sam


Now in paperback, the new novel by Leif Enger, author of the million-copy best seller, Peace Like a River, is a lively, big-hearted redemption tale; an unforgettable, picaresque Western yarn.
In 1915 Minnesota, writer Monte Becket has lost his sense of purpose. His only success long behind him, Monte lives simply with his wife and son until he befriends outlaw Glendon Hale. Plagued by guilt over abandoning his wife two decades ago, Glendon aims to go back West on a quest for absolution. As the modern age marches swiftly forward, Monte agrees to travel into Glendon's past, leaving behind his own family for a journey that will test the depth of his loyalties and morals, and the strength of his resolve. As they flee the relentless 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.
With its smooth mix of romanticism and gritty reality, So Brave, Young, and Handsome examines one ordinary man's determination as he risks everything in order to understand what it's all worth, and follows an unlikely dream in the hope it will lead him back home.

Praise For…

Deserves to become a classic.”The Miami Herald

An almost perfect novel . . . A great read.”St. Louis Post-Dispatch

A sharp and brainy redemption tale . . . [Enger’s] laid claim to a musical, sometimes magical, and deeply satisfying kind of storytelling.”Los Angeles Times

An adventure of the heart and mind.”Washington Post Book World

Enger is a formidably gifted writer. . . . At times reminiscent of the sinew and gristle in the craggier work of Annie Proulx, and at other times aspiring to a Jean Shepherdesque folk poetry.”Chicago Tribune

A fine novel . . . worthy of comparison with Shane and Monte Walsh and True Grit.”Dallas Morning News

Superbly written, utterly compelling . . . A cracking good adventure tale.”Star Tribune (Minneapolis)

Product Details
ISBN: 9780802144171
ISBN-10: 0802144179
Publisher: Grove Press
Publication Date: April 8th, 2009
Pages: 286
Language: English