Ordinary Handsome Review – A Stunning Read

Steven’s New Cover! Global Link to Amazon

With my shift into some breathing room, I’ve begun indulging in some overdue reading. My TBR pile is teetering, and I’ve had to purchase more books to prop it up. I’ll be posting reviews now and then when I surface from a really great read. I read this one a while ago, and it’s a book I still think about. If you love the beauty of words, I highly recommend it. 

My Review of Ordinary Handsome

I just finished this book and sit here collecting my thoughts. From the first page, I knew I had happened on something special, something that would sweep me into the otherworld offered by a talented author and his beautifully written book.

The story is grim, about the dying lives that labor on in the dying town of Handsome, Oklahoma. Ghosts in a ghost town. The book follows ordinary men dealing with the epic struggles that shape human experience: love and death, failure, fathering, poverty, murder, and lost hope. It revolves around a young man, Euart Monroe Wasson, and the men who participate in the tragedy made of his life.

The book isn’t one to speed through. Baird writes with a style that requires one to pay attention. He slowly draws aside the veils that reveal the interconnection of each man’s story. I had the impression that I was piecing together a mosaic, the tale assembled from the shards of shattered lives, memories, impressions, and illusions.

The narrative is informal and appropriate to the rural landscape. At the same time, the writing is textured, rife with precise detail, stunning imagery, and raw emotion. Baird is a master at finding the perfect word and painting a picture that shifts and clears with each new perspective.

I highly recommend Ordinary Handsome to any reader who wants to get lost in an exquisitely written tale. This book will stick to your heart.

***

I picked up Ordinary Handsome after following Baird’s blog and falling in love with the quality of his writing. I’ll also happily recommend his book, A Very Tall Summer.

hey__steve__by_angeink-d813x0kSteven Baird is an author, amateur photographer, and 36-year newspaper compositor. He has published three novels, including his latest, A Very Tall Summer, and has been writing since the age of 10. Steven is a native Canadian living in southwest Virginia with his wife Angela, a horse, dog, cat, and a Neurotic Band of Chickens. He does not take himself as seriously as his portrait would suggest.

Global Link to Amazon: Ordinary Handsome Amazon

Link to Steven’s Website: Ordinary Handsome Website

 

108 thoughts on “Ordinary Handsome Review – A Stunning Read

  1. Very interesting book and equally impeccable review 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Awesome review!…thankyou

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Helen Jones says:

    Steven is a wonderful writer, isn’t he? I confess this is part of my own teetering TBR pile, as are your books, Diana! I need to make some more reading time 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’m thinking of at least organizing mine into a list, Helen. Ha ha. Maybe I’ll feel more in control. Maybe make some reading goals! Yes, I need a whole year of doing nothing else, but what a fun problem to have! Thanks for stopping by to check out the review 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      • Helen Jones says:

        Oh, a list would be good, and helpful, definitely! There are so many titles I have to catch up on. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a year of reading? Though I think I’d miss writing too 🙂 As you say, a nice problem to have xx

        Liked by 1 person

  4. What a lovely review! I especially like those last lines… And the first. You know I’m a word nerd and ❤ beautifully written pieces (poems, flash, novels…whatever.) Thanks for the recommendation!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Marjorie says:

    You had me at “If you love the beauty of words” and the rest of your wonderful review completely convinced me. I’ve added this to my TBR list and am looking forward to reading this author’s work. It sounds quite special. Thanks!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Terrific review thank you Diana. Look forward to more of your recommendations..

    Liked by 2 people

  7. dgkaye says:

    Captivating review Diana. I too have this book awaiting me on my big fat TBR. I got it when you introduced Steven and the book here awhile back. Shared and ‘Flipped’ LOL 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Christy B says:

    Ohhh it sounds like Steven’s book is one for a reader to go through slowly and savor the wording choices.. I hadn’t read the book but I just might have to after reading this well-penned review, Diana!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Steven Baird says:

      Thank you, Christy. I’m humbled by the enthusiasm Diana has given to my writing, and how much she has stoked the enthusiasm of those who read her amazing books and blog. I really am speechless, other than to say ‘thank you’!

      Liked by 2 people

    • It is one to savor, Christy, not only because of the writing, but the story is compelling too, full of poignant emotion and spiraling hope. It will stick with you. Thanks so much for stopping by. ❤ Happy Friday.

      Like

  9. Ocean Bream says:

    This is a wonderful review, Diana. I might just have to pick this book up myself now! I love his blog too, thanks to you! 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  10. Annika Perry says:

    This is a terrific review, Diana! Sometimes one wants to escape the rush of drama of novels to luxuriate in the creative literary world of words – Ordinary Handsome seems just the book to turn to! I can tell this book touched you deeply, to the core and I imagine one that will stay with you a long time. Well done, Steven and a deservedly brillaint review / analysis of your book. Your blog alone often stops me in my tracks, the posts sweeping, raw, direct.

    Liked by 4 people

  11. This is such a well written book review. I really like how you ate trying to channel your thoughts from what you have read in the book. It makes it more interesting to read. I’ll surely find this book and read the whole story myself. Thank you so much Diana for always giving and providing us a good book reviews.

    Liked by 3 people

  12. reocochran says:

    I like the unusual subject matter, Steven. I also love the way Diana described how the book impacted her, carried in her beautiful mind for quite some time now. . .
    If someone like Diana suggests this book, “Ordinary Handsome.” She is one who transports us into other worlds through her magical use of words, then it is indeed a book to keep in mind. Thanks for this review and best wishes to Steven on his book promotion!

    Liked by 3 people

  13. Great review! Sharing and adding to my TBR. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  14. […] A wonderful review from my friend D. Wallace Peach at Myths of the Mirror. She has been a constant champion of my work, and I am so grateful. Please check out her site… she’s an amazing writer and I think you’ll be mesmerized not only by her work but by the depth of her imagination. Her review is here. […]

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Ali Isaac says:

    That is the review writers dream of! Well done, Steven! 👏

    Liked by 4 people

  16. Cecilia says:

    Great review, thank you so much! I need to get this book.

    Liked by 4 people

  17. I’ve seen Steven’s book on his blog, but didn’t get any further. It sounds excellent, Diana. Now, I can’t believe I skipped it so long.

    Liked by 4 people

    • I’m a little envious of his prose, Jacqui, and shake my head with longing when I read his work. Definitely to be savored. I’d love to hear what you think. BTW 50 pages in on your new book. Wow – starts right off with a bang – this is going to be fun 🙂

      Like

    • Steven Baird says:

      Thank you, Jacqui. I’ve been following your blog for awhile now, and you offer a lot of valuable advice for all writers, regardless of their experience.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Jay says:

    Sounds very interesting!

    Liked by 4 people

  19. tpolen says:

    I know a little bit about teetering TBRs – nice review, Diana!

    Liked by 4 people

  20. Jennie says:

    Good review, Diana. Keep reading and reviewing!

    Liked by 4 people

  21. it was a great review. on my list to be read soon! Thank you for posting. I had such a great read.

    Liked by 4 people

  22. Steven Baird says:

    Thank you again, Diana. I truly appreciate your kind support. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  23. Erika Beebe says:

    I love your review Diana. 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

  24. Buying more books to prop up your TBR stack ~ classic! 😀 This is a book that I’ll surely add to my TBR stack. Great review.

    Liked by 4 people

  25. Almost Iowa says:

    After reading an Ordinary Handsome excerpt on Big Dreamers, I will definitely buy the book. It’s like I know those guys.

    Liked by 4 people

  26. […] This is a selfish interview on my part. I’ve been wanting to pick Steven Baird’s writer-brain since I began following his blog a couple years ago. I love his writing, his fresh, lush imagery, his exquisite word choice. I picked up his book Ordinary Handsome and then his book A Very Tall Summer. I became a groupie. My review of Ordinary Handsome is here. […]

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Well-written review, Diana. I’m sure many more will read the book because of it. It sounds like a great read. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  28. I couldn’t help but notice that Baird lives in Southwest Virginia. We have a place in SW Va as well, so this is intriguing. Perhaps I should contact him and see if we could do a mutual reading somewhere. Thanks for introducing him to me.

    Liked by 2 people

  29. Kev says:

    Always a good start when the first page of a book grabs you like that, Diane. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Erik says:

    The best of the “social” in “social media” was just witnessed above: a glowing, organic review leading to a real connection between people. That is my favorite thing of all.

    Liked by 2 people

  31. I can see why you like his writing! After reading Myths of the Mirror, I think your writing and his are a kind of kindred spirit–if it is fair to judge from that brief excerpt. And I smiled at reading the excerpt “Hands” as I had recently posted about the life of my hands. Hands are powerful stuff!

    Liked by 4 people

  32. Belinda Crane says:

    This sounds like a wonderful read. “The writing is textured” … I love your way with words 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  33. balroop2013 says:

    I am truly impressed by the choice of your words Diana. If this book is mesmerising, so is your review! Thanks for sharing. Many good books drift into the unknown horizon due to lack of awareness.

    Liked by 4 people

  34. Steven Baird says:

    Reblogged this on Ordinary Handsome and commented:
    A wonderful review for “Ordinary Handsome”. I’m speechless. A huge thank you to D. Wallace Peach for taking the time to read my work and then write about it. Please check out her blog mythsofthemirror.com

    Liked by 3 people

  35. Steven Baird says:

    Would you mind if I reblogged this?

    Liked by 2 people

  36. Steven Baird says:

    Thank you, that’s very kind. I’m speechless.

    Liked by 3 people

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