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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 members say

Average Customer Ratings


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  • Overall

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.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • K. Hulse
  • Sacramento California
  • 10-27-10

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 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

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.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Another entertaining story

Another beautifully written, entertaining story from Leif Enger. The narration was also well matched for this type of story.

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  • Performance
  • Story

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!

  • Overall
  • Charles
  • Manassa, CO, USA
  • 06-19-10

I loved this book!

I really enjoyed this book. Even more than Peace Like A River. I just re-listened to them back to back and hands down this one is my favorite. Though PLAR is no slouch. I just liked this story better.

Such fascinating characters.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Great Company on the Road

A wonderful story and an excellent reader(Dan Woren) made a 9 hour road trip seem like a little vacation in itself. We arrived at our destination with 15 minutes left in the novel and drove round and round until it was finished. Enjoyed the historical setting and loved the characters-especially Charlie Siringo. Syntax and dialogue is somewhat reminiscent of an episode from the HBO series "Deadwood", and adds to the atmosphere of the novel.

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  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • 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.