• So Brave, Young, and Handsome

  • By: Leif Enger
  • Narrated by: Dan Woren
  • Length: 8 hrs and 29 mins
  • 4.1 out of 5 stars (174 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

One of Time magazine's top-five novels of the year and a New York Timesbestseller, Leif Enger's first novel, Peace Like a River, captured listeners' hearts around the nation. His new novel is a stunning successor - a touching, nimble, and rugged story of 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, Monte Becket has lost his sense of purpose. His only success long behind him, Monte lives a simple life with his loving wife and whipsmart 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 finally lured him from hiding. As the modern age marches swiftly forward, Glendon aims to travel back into 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 - a journey that will test the depth of his loyalties, the inviolability of his morals, and the strength of his resolve.

As they 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.

©2008 Leif Enger (P)2008 Random House, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"Enger crafts scenes so rich you can smell the spilled whiskey and feel the grit." ( Publishers Weekly)

What listeners say about So Brave, Young, and Handsome

Average Customer Ratings
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Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Good, Enjoyable

I read "Peace like a River" when it first came out and loved that book. It is in my current 10 best books I ever read. Ever since I finished I have been waiting for Leif to write me another book. How can any author live up to that much anticipation?

Well this book is not as good as "peace" and in the begining I was a little disapointed. But I got over it and I'm glad I did. I like this book, I won't put it in my Top 10, but I will and have already recommended the book to family and friends.

The story is interesting,with a good mix of charactors,action and adventure, love and hate. what more can a person ask for?

I am now waiting for Leif to write me another book, only this time I am looking forward to book that I will enjoy instead of wanting to be blown away.

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Who Knew Reconciliation Could Be So Humorous?

What did you love best about So Brave, Young, and Handsome?

The wit of the author's prose and the depth of its meaning.

What did you like best about this story?

Isn't this question repetitive?

Which character – as performed by Dan Woren – was your favorite?

No favorites; loved them all. Learned something from each.

Who was the most memorable character of So Brave, Young, and Handsome and why?

Isn't this question a mite repetitive?

Any additional comments?

Write, Mr. Enger! Write!

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

This piece is not a river...but close

Peace Like A River now falls in my 10 best books of all time so it is hard to compare. As a story teller he is great, but the message is not quite as gripping, but I still would recommend it for pure readability.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

I dont get it

This was sort of a meandering louis lamore etc type of tale that I almost quit listening to before it ended. After it was over, I still don't know why I finished it. It just seemed to have no real point at all.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

It takes a little time to get invested with this family but once you do you can’t let go.

Leif Enger never disappoints. This is a Beautifully written story of another family in turmoil. They are ripped apart but somehow, through peril and much adversity, come back together, stronger than ever. His narrative is amazing and his description of the country is so right on that you feel you are there with him. The personalization by adding historical characters and events adds depth. I was sad to see the ending of this one. I wanted to stay with them.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Typical for the male gender

I liked the beginning and the ending but it wasn’t Sensual nor engaged any emotion . It did encourage enough curiosity for me to finish .

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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Tried to like

This is my third book by this author I really enjoyed the first two, but this story just seemed to go on and on, was repetitive. I would encourage pass by this one one of his orher books.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

beautifully composed but with a bizzare plot.

I struggled to suspend disbelief. the characters were memorable but I just couldn't believe they would act the way they act in this novel

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Can you make it through?

The first third of the book was merely ok, the middle was horrible to my heart...I hated that bad guy. The final third was a relief, and wonderful.
In my opinion, you should stick with it to the end.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Ugh so good at first but...

I listened to peace like a river and was so blown away at how good it was. This started out ok but after he left the wife to go out on his own for a bit it was almost painful a few chapters later to follow the story line of added characters. I loved the first book I’ll try this author again for dates he wrote later but not before as I think this was his first? Can’t recall publish dates right now.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Moominmamma
  • Moominmamma
  • 08-17-13

Beautifully crafted adventure tale.

What made the experience of listening to So Brave, Young, and Handsome the most enjoyable?

The writing. Leif Enger writes beautifully, every sentence is well crafted and every phrase is just gorgeous.

What other book might you compare So Brave, Young, and Handsome to, and why?

His other book, "Peace like a River". Both are adventure yarns, both explore and blur the subtleties of what is good and what is bad, both make you feel like you're in unexplored territory and both are stunning.

What about Dan Woren’s performance did you like?

A beautiful, evocative voice. You could imagine yourself being told this tale whilst sitting round a campfire in the Wild West.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

A journey worth taking, a yarn worth hearing.