The Brave, Paperback
3.5 out of 5 (2 ratings)

Description

The motto of the boarding school to which Tommy Bedford is dispatched is Fortune Favours the Brave.

It's 1959 and the school bristles with bullies and sadistic staff.

Tommy, a quirky loner, obsessed with cowboys and Indians, needs all the bravery he can summon.

Salvation comes when his glamorous actress sister is swept off to Hollywood by one of his heroes, TV cowboy Ray Montane.

But with the Cold War looming, the sinister side of Tinseltown seeps through and Tommy and Diane soon find themselves in jeopardy. Forty years on, Tommy has to confront his boyhood ghosts when his own son finds himself charged with murder.

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Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.

Review by
4

The motto of the boarding school to which Tommy Bedford is dispatched is Fortune Favours the Brave. It's 1959 and the school bristles with bullies and sadistic staff. Tommy, a quirky loner, obsessed with cowboys and Indians, needs all the bravery he can summon. Salvation comes when his glamorous actress sister is swept off to Hollywood by one of his heroes, TV cowboy Ray Montane. But with the Cold War looming, the sinister side of Tinseltown seeps through and Tommy and Diane soon find themselves in jeopardy. Forty years on, Tommy has to confront his boyhood ghosts when his own son finds himself charged with murder.My Thoughts:I had read ‘The Divide’ before which I really enjoyed but have never fancied anything else by Nicholas Evans. This book however is for book group so I have given it ago and have to say was quite surprised how much I did like it.The book is very easy to read and has a nice flow to it. The story is told with flashbacks to Tommy’s childhood and then in the present. I enjoyed the flashbacks a lot more than Toms’s adult life. My favourite character had to be Diane and I was with her all the way and if I had been in her shoes then I know I would have done the same. Will ask at book group what they think might have happened if the truth had been told at the time. Can’t really say here as I don’t want to create any spoilers.My only negative is that I found the book predictable and I did guess quite early on what was the first major thing to happen to Tommy and later in the book again I guessed the second major revelation. I also found the book a little sugary at the end. The book was a cosy read and is perfect for a Sunday afternoon when stopping in is an option due to all the rain.

Review by
3

Cowboys in Hollywood.This book started out with a powerful first chapter, where young Tommy visits his mother in prison, on death row, the day before her execution. The following chapters, however, didn't live up to the original promise. I found the two time frames - Tommy as a child and then as Tom, the adult, were confusing, possibly because so many of the characters remained the same. I struggled to keep myself in the correct era. By the middle of the book I'd totally lost interest and my rating dropped by another star.Young Tommy is cowboy mad, he watches all the westerns on TV, has his favourite cowboy characters and plays cowboys and Indians in his garden. When he is sent to boarding school at just five years old, he is considered strange by his peers. He is bullied by boys and staff alike, until rescue comes in the form of a real-life cowboy.As an adult, divorced from his wife and estranged from his son, Danny, he lives a lonely existence as a script writer. Then Danny is accused of murder and the family is reunited in his defense.All books have their strengths and weaknesses and I was impressed by Evans' descriptions of Hollywood and the wilds of Montana. However, I found the plot rather plodding, with not a lot of reward. There wasn't much depth in the narration, jumping from school in England, to the razzmatazz of Hollywood, to ranching in Montana, without going into much detail at each phase. Personally, I think you would have to be a cowboy fan to really enjoy this book, and in that respect it is a bit dated, westerns being now, very much a thing of the past.Nicholas Evans was originally a movie script writer and that was how this book read. He has already cut out all the detail that is usually erased when a book becomes a movie.A light read, voted three stars by myself and the members of my book group.

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