So Brave, Young, and Handsome

Leif Enger, Author . Atlantic Monthly $24 (287p) ISBN 978-0-87113-985-6

An inviting voice guides readers through this expansive saga of redemption in the early 20th-century West and gives a teeming vitality to a period often represented with stock phrases and stock characters. Novelist Monte Becket isn't a terribly distinguished figure; his first and only published work hit five years before the story's start and he is about to reclaim his job at a smalltown Minnesota post office when he meets Glendon Hale, a former outlaw who is traveling to Mexico to find his estranged wife. He persuades Becket to join him, and the two set off on a long journey peopled with sharply carved characters (among them a Pinkerton thug tracking down Glendon) and splendid surprises. As Monte's narration continues, the tale veers away from Monte's artistic struggle and becomes an adventure story. The progress has its listless moments, but Enger crafts scenes so rich you can smell the spilled whiskey and feel the grit. (May)

Reviewed on: 01/28/2008
Release date: 05/01/2008
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FORMATS
Book - 7 pages - 978-0-7393-6922-7
Hardcover - 978-1-4104-0816-7
Paperback - 286 pages - 978-0-8021-4417-1
Open Ebook - 304 pages - 978-1-55584-849-1
Book - 1 pages - 978-1-4159-5581-9
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