Sandi's Reviews > So Brave, Young, and Handsome

So Brave, Young, and Handsome by Leif Enger
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's review
Jan 09, 10

bookshelves: literature, 2010, california-lit, historical-fiction
Recommended to Sandi by: Bookczuk
Read in January, 2010

So Brave, Young and Handsome: A Novel is a very interesting read. It's got so many layers and nuances. Set in 1912,the narrator is a Minnesota postal worker who wrote a fabulously successful novel, quit his day job, and hasn't been able to write anything since. He befriends with an old guy who builds boats, and leaves his wife and son to spend six weeks helping his new friend find his long-lost love. It quickly becomes apparent that Monte is either a very poor judge of character or that he is the most unreliable of narrators.

Monte's adventure traveling in the West show us an early 20th century that is changing rapidly. His buddy, Glendon turns out to have been part of Butch Cassidy's Hole in the Wall Gang. He's being pursued by a former Pinkerton detective, Charlie Siringo. Both men are clearly from a bygone era. Horses have pretty much been replaced by cars. Wild West extravaganzas are dying out. Even small Western towns are much more civilized than the Old West frontier outposts.

Reading this book was a pleasure. It was so vivid and poignant. However, it had a lot of complexity that would make it a good subject for serious literary analysis. I highly recommend it.
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12/09/2009 page 9
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