So Brave, Young and Handsome

July 27th. 2009

Several years ago I read Leif Enger’s novel, Peace Like A River, and thought I’d found one of the most lyrical writers of our time. His book was spiritual, mystical and poignant. So when I was in Barron’s and saw he had a new book, So Brave Young and Handsome, I was expecting more of the same. Well, color me shocked. This novel was written with the same beautiful, lyrical style (the man is a genius with vocabulary) but this was a grit and whisky adventure story that swept me into a little appreciated era in American History–the glory days of fading cowboys and the advent of the automobile. Like Peace, there is tragedy and mystery and emotions get twisted like sheets in the wind, but this is fun too. Kind of a Huck Finn meets O Brother Where Art Thou sort of ride.Redemption is the key that turns this story and I can’t think of many authors who write it as well as Leif Enger.

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