- Paperback: 496 pages
- Publisher: Sphere; New Ed edition (21 July 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0751539201
- ISBN-13: 978-0751539202
- Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 3.2 x 19.6 cm
- Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars See all reviews (74 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 24,318 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Brave Paperback – 21 Jul 2011
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'Through his storytelling skills, sound plot construction and ease with descriptive landscapes, Evans keeps a firm grip on interest until the end. Fans will not be disappointed (Irish Independent)
A novel that packs a real emotional punch (She)
Another triumph from the author of The Horse Whisperer (Sun)
A harrowing emotional thriller, tense and pacy but also deeply moving (The Times)
Nicholas Evans's most powerful and ambitious novel yetSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Evans is an excellent storyteller whose books are in the tradition of Dickens or Hardy, in the sense that the hero gets swept up and battered by the tides of life before eventually,(with Dickens at least)landing up on a sunny beach wiser and happier, albeit with some of the main characters dead.
Criticisms of The Brave are pretty obvious:Evans'characters tend to suffer from being two-dimensional and some of the story is highly improbable. The main character, eight year-old Tom, is whisked away from his brutal English boarding school to Hollywood where he gets involved making a western with his cowboy hero. The twists which blight his life sorely test your suspension of disbelief but then,you have to credit the author with a wonderful imagination.
Evans' obsessive love of the West again pervades this book and he can't help returning his characters,at one point,to the impossibly idyllic ranch where they found paradise in The 'Whisperer and The Divide.
The Brave is an ambitious novel, covering Tom's childhood and middle age in alternate chapters which jump between the 50's, the 60's and the present day. He includes small cameos by "real" movie stars and threads world events,including the Iraq War,into the narrative.
The storyline is often more sour than in Evans' previous novels and, if you are new to his books, I would recommend The Horse Whisperer or The Divide as a better introduction. However, the author constructs all his tales really well and the pace keeps you engaged even when the plot seems a little far-fetched.It may not be Booker Prize-winning stuff but,hey,Evans' books have brightened more beach holidays than most Booker winners!
However, given the debilitating nature of his illness it is a wonder that he managed to even finish the book. Will he write another book? Probably not.
The book relates the stories of Tom Bedford and his mother and the events that changed each of their lives forever. With ample amounts of heroes and tyrants, jealousy and murder coupled with an abundance of 1960's Hollywood glitz and glamour, we relive 50 years in Tom's life and the consequences the events of those years have on Tom's ability to allow happiness and contentment into his life.
This story is bound to be compared to Nicholas Evans first novel, THE HORSE WHISPERER. The obvious similarities between the two books are that each has a central character named Tom, both Tom's had wives who left them and both stories are set, at least partially, in Montana. That, my friends, is where the similarity ends.
While THE BRAVE lacks the rich, descriptive writing and great character development present in THE HORSE WHISPERER it is, none the less, a worthy addition to Nicholas Evan's literary efforts and well worth the time it takes to read.
As for the identity of "THE BRAVE" referred to in the title, my vote goes to Tom's mother Diane, a woman who demonstrated her dauntless courage again and again throughout her life. 3 1/2 Stars
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A bit 'pulp fiction' but if you want a quick bit of escapism its ok.Published 2 months ago by Bob Holden
Another brilliant book from Nicholas Evans he writes with such feeling and emotion that you fall in love with the characters and story instantlyPublished 13 months ago by Emma loves to Read