Wednesday, June 11, 2008

So Brave, Young, and Handsome

So Brave, Young and Handsome: A Novel So Brave, Young and Handsome: A Novel by Leif Enger

My review

rating: 2 of 5 stars

I really wanted to like this book. I just really didn't. It has nothing to do with Leif Enger as a writer. His elegant prose is just stunning. I just really didn't like the story.

The novel follows the travels of two men from Minnesota via Texas and then onto to California in the early 1900s. Monte is trying to escape his troubles since he has a wife and kid, and he's been lying to them for five years about writing a novel that isn't happening. Dobie is going to apologize for leaving his love since he had to run away from her because the fuzz found him and he used to be a train robber. Along the way, they run into a Javert-like character and pick up a nightmare kid.

Now which one of those characters are you going to root for?

Also, there is something about the way Enger has used women in Peace Like a River and this book that really bugs me. They are either MIA, act like men, are ugly, or act pathetic. (We must not also forget there has to be a good cinnamon roll baking woman in there too.) There is actually one female character in this book I liked. However, it took me 240 of the 272 pages to finally meet her.

I'm not sure why I kept at it. It helped that each chapter is only 4 pages long. Still, I wish Enger would write something more...well, different.


Lisa R.D. said...

I'm sad to hear that this wasn't great--I loved Peace Like A River, and I know I'd go into reading it with the same expectations that you did, that I'd really want to like it. I will say that I'm glad to have low expectations going into it though, so when I do get around to it maybe I'll be just a tiny, little bit pleasantly surprised. I'll definitely look for the character on page 240 :).

nanamoo said...

I love the reader and I am 2 CD's into this book. So far, I totally agree with what you said. I really enjoyed Peace Like a River and I keep waiting, but it sounds like I should move I think I will :)Thanks for the tip!

Stephanie said...

I didn't care for Peace Like a River (although I know it is popular) so I probably won't be giving this one a try either.