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The Brave Paperback – 21 Jul 2011

3.9 out of 5 stars 74 customer reviews

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Product details

  • 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)

Product Description

Review

'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)

Book Description

Nicholas Evans's most powerful and ambitious novel yet

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
A new Nicholas Evans novel is a rare event. This is only his fourth since The Horse Whisperer so, if you are a fan, you are going to buy it. And you know what you are going to get: a well-crafted, tightly written roller-coaster tale of high emotions set largely in Evans' beloved American West.
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!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have read all of Nicholas Evans' books and couldn't wait for my copy of 'The Brave' to arrive. As expected, from the first page I was hooked. Every character becomes a friend and the issues covered are full of irony and heartbreak. For me, there is only Evans who can write in such a way. I read this book in 2 days...Couldn't put it down, the only downside of the book was that it had to end. I miss the story and the characters and can only hope that St Nick writes another very, very soon. If you haven't read a Nicholas Evans book before, buy this, along with all his others and prepare yourself for some sleepless nights...
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By Brid on 29 Sept. 2010
Format: Hardcover
I have read all of Nicholas Evans book. This was no exception to the brilliant writing of Nicholas Evans. The book drew you in from the moment I read the first page. Full of twists. It was a heart warming tale with horses included too. Diane's character was extremely strong and an encouraging woman.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Delayed for a very long time by the Author's long illness, he must have been relieved just to finish the book.I have read each of his other novels twice, and read The Divide 3 times. I am unlikely to bother reading 'The Brave' a second time. It is OK, but nowhere near as good as The Divide, the book which now sets the standard for Nicholas Evans writing.The plot is somewhat far-fetched and seems a tad contrived.

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.
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By Pen pal VINE VOICE on 10 Dec. 2010
Format: Hardcover
This book was not nearly as good as his other books. I loved 'The Horse Whisperer' and 'The Divide' both of which I read some years ago, so I don't know if my taste has changed, but I found this book quite disappointing. There was no real depth to the characters, and it was all a little trite. The two stories of the older Tom and the young Tommy did not really gel, there did not seem to be much of a thread between them, and I am sure most people will have figured out many things quite early on. Some people loved this book, so clearly this is just my opinion. It just did not measure up to his previous books.
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Format: Paperback
The theme that permeates THE BRAVE is one of violence and perhaps redemption. The story explores the violence experienced by a young boy at boarding school, the violence that was part and parcel of the old West, the violence that permeates a soldier's life during wartime, and the physical violence of an abusive relationship.

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
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