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Extended Audio Sample So Brave, Young, and Handsome, by Leif Enger Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (3,752 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Leif Enger Narrator: Dan Woren Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: April 2008 ISBN: 9780739369234
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A stunning successor to his best selling novel Peace Like a River, Leif Enger’s new work is a rugged and nimble story about 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, novelist Monte Becket has lost his sense of purpose. His only success long behind him, Monte lives simply with his wife and 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 lured him from hiding. As the modern age marches swiftly forward, Glendon aims to travel back to 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. As they desperately 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.

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Quotes & Awards

  • A 2008 Christian Science Monitor Book of the Year for Fiction

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dana Perkins | 2/11/2014

    " I do love the way Leif Enger writes. I enjoyed Peace Like A River More, but still enjoyed this book. The storyline is not always believable, but it was still a great story! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Laurel | 2/5/2014

    " Main character seemed weak (not in writing, but just as a person). Adventure was interesting, but unrealistic (traveling from MN to TX to CA, they kept running into the same people). I did appreciate the redemption storyline. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sara Truog | 2/4/2014

    " Enjoyable frontier-sy novel about an author at the end of his five minutes of fame who follows a reformed train robber on a quest to find and apologize to the girl he left behind. I'm a big fan of Enger's previous book, Peace Like a River, and I liked this one too. Great, vividly drawn characters. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tish | 2/1/2014

    " I enjoyed reading it, but after a while it didn't seem to have much of a point? or maybe I am just past cowboys... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Amber | 1/27/2014

    " I absolutely loved this book. The writing style is so wonderful, he can in one sentence make you fall in love with each character, even those that are only around for a few pages. I got this because I loved Peace Like a River; this book is completely different, and I think if you are expecting the same kind of story you might be disappointed. My advice is take this on its own and enjoy it. It is such a lovely book. I wish the author wrote more than one book every 10 years. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Marvin | 1/21/2014

    " This novel by the author of the wonderful Peace Like a River is a preposterous story of a Wisconsin postal worker in 1915 who has written a best-selling dime novel and quit his job to continue writing, but, unable to duplicate his success, he goes on a road adventure with a neighbor who, he learns along the way, long ago was a desperadoe and who is still being pursued by an aging former Pinkerton's agent. It's a wonderful story of love, friendship, forgiveness, & redemption, though not quite in the league with Peace Like a River. The dime novel flavor is clever & whimsical, but at the same time undermines the novel's more serious purpose. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Allie | 1/19/2014

    " I don't know what it is about Leif Enger. He doesn't seem like someone I would like, but I absolutely loved Peace Like a River, and this new one is shaping up to be just as good. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rachel | 1/18/2014

    " I just really love Leif Enger's writing style. I can't wait to read more of his, and I need to go back and re-read "Peace Like a River." "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Adena | 1/7/2014

    " I was very excited for this book, because Peace Like a River is one of my favorite books of all time. This one was not as good. Are second books ever? But, it was still entertaining. More of a Western, this book traverses some classic Western elements: frontier towns, outlaws and sheriffs, gun-toting females, and great cowboying tales. But I couldn't get into the characters of this tale as much as with his first book. But, Enger did give the narrator a distinct voice, so I appreciated the talent level of the writing. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Joseph | 1/4/2014

    " A beautiful story in many ways. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sara B. | 12/3/2013

    " Not as good as "Peace Like a River", but still worth reading. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jeanette | 10/20/2013

    " a light entertaining read of middle aged has-been's adventure. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Bob Parsons | 10/19/2013

    " I enjoyed Peace Like a River so much my expectations were too high and so was disappointed with this story "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Bonita | 9/14/2013

    " Not as good as Peace like A River but I did enjoy it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Agnes | 4/22/2013

    " I liked this book, and I like that some of it takes place in places I recognize in Minnesota. The author is originally from Osakis! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Brynn | 2/3/2013

    " Maybe liked it a little less than Peace Like a River, but the more I talked and thought about it, the more I liked it. Put me into a cowboy/western phase. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tara Carpenter | 1/6/2013

    " I hear Enger's other novel, Peace Like a River, was the better of the two, but I really enjoyed this book. I loved the journey across the country, and the finding of forgiveness, renewal, new life and hope. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Joy (Thoughts of Joy) | 10/1/2012

    " You can read my thoughts here. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jennifer | 8/21/2012

    " I really enjoy Leif Enger's books. He paints pictures of the old West that are charming, though at times graphic. I don't know how he achieves his combination of charm filled with pathos, but it is hard to put down. Great read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Leigh Sophia | 8/2/2012

    " i enjoy the simplicity of the character. he's not a large thinker. it's moment to moment. and he doesn't realize what he has until he steps out and asks. never assume anything. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 April Mitchell | 11/15/2011

    " He's a very gifted writer. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Molly | 10/18/2011

    " Beautiful words telling the wild story of Monte's journey into across the West. His travels take him in and out of the lives of fugitives and cowboys and orange farmers and Pinkertons. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Julia Scholl | 9/17/2011

    " First book was so great, this one was not as captivating. He is a great author, but this one fell flat for me. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kari | 9/10/2011

    " I listened to this book while traveling to and in China, so I may have been a little too distracted to give the story my full attention. Enger seems to capture the style of the old western and the old west. Not as good as Peace Like a River, his first book, but still worth reading. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lisa | 8/26/2011

    " A tale full of outlaws, yet you love every one of them and their unique voices; the chain reaction of missteps through life and the moments of redemption that follow. Thoroughly enjoyed this book. Leif Enger uses language beautifully...truly a pleasure to read his written words. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rod | 5/12/2011

    " I like this author. There is an undercurrent of grace in what he writes. There are many levels of cleverness to this novel. I do not mind the level of unreality they create. I was sad it ended. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Challis | 5/6/2011

    " great book! Enger is such a skilled writer. Beautiful prose. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gail | 4/22/2011

    " A western, a quest.... an elephant and a sharpshooter... boats, oranges and artists. A well crafted, small book. Wry and quirky but not ridiculous. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kurt | 4/17/2011

    " This was a delightful story that is a nice break if you think you've gotten into sci-fi/fantasy rut. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Bonita | 4/9/2011

    " Not as good as Peace like A River but I did enjoy it.
    "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tish | 4/6/2011

    " I enjoyed reading it, but after a while it didn't seem to have much of a point? or maybe I am just past cowboys... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marybeth | 4/4/2011

    " Another interesting yarn by Mr. Enger. Too bad he's only written two novels. Quite entertaining, "road"-type adventure books with very engaging characters. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sherry | 3/29/2011

    " Liked it, but like Peace Like a River much better. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sheryl | 3/28/2011

    " I was quite intrigued by this book. I didn't enjoy it as much as Peace Like a River but I very much enjoy the way Leif Enger writes and I love short chapters. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Molly | 3/20/2011

    " Loved it! Love the author, love his vocabulary. I was expecting a shoot 'em up ending, like in all good westerns, but this one will do. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Joan | 3/19/2011

    " An enjoyable read, though I was disappointed it wasn't as powerful a book as Peace Like a River. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Greg | 3/13/2011

    " More peaceful than "Peace Life a River," not quite as stunning, but still quite good. "

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