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Discussion Week 4: "The 101"

Here follows week 4 of our discussion of Leif Enger’s So Brave, Young, and Handsome.

A cowboy doesn’t ask for much, that’s my observation. A flashy ride, pretty girl, momentary glory – for a day or two, I’m glad to say, Hood Roberts had them all.” – p. 145

Not a bad recap of “The 101”—equal parts legend, tragedy, comedy, and tall tale, sprinkled with a dash of romance.

I thought my question might be a dangerous one – who doesn’t dread what God might be up to in our pivotal moments?” – p. 109

1) What have the pivotal moments been in the story thus far? How have the characters changed as a result?

Now comes the distressing part of the story, and not just because Charlie Siringo shows up. As Glendon said later, Charlie had to show up – it was necessary for Charlie, for Glendon himself, and even, finally, for me, that Siringo wash into the Hundred and One on the edge of the coming deluge. . . No, the distress was all Hood’s.” – p. 126

2) How was Siringo’s arrival on the scene “necessary” for Siringo himself? For Glendon? For Monte?

3) Given that Siringo was pursuing Glendon, why was the distress “all Hood’s”?

4) How is Darlys DeFoe pivotal in the story?

My wife got so she couldn’t see me anymore,” said an old man in a corner. “She could see everyone else. Just not me. . . It’s the truth. I walked into the house one day saying Darling it’s me, and she couldn’t hear nor see me. If I touched her she’d see me again, but pretty soon, out I’d fade.” – p. 137

5) The quiet, exposing confession of Siringo seems out of step with his character. What do you make of that?

6) Why do you think Monte stays with Siringo?

Bonus Question: What’s the history of the real “101 Ranch”? What aspects of the story seem to be true to life? Where in the life cycle of the actual 101 Ranch does the story take place?


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