“What is the purpose of fiction? I think it can be summed up in a simple phrase: To give people what they don't get in real life.”
From the creator of the Jack Reacher mystery series, Lee Child discusses in short length the origins of the word and concept of “the hero” and its impact on culture throughout the centuries. This is a great quick read for creative writers and book-lovers to learn more about what makes a hero the hero in literature. Notable protagonists such as Achilles, Robin Hood and James Bond are mentioned. Only critique: where are the ladies?! — Kirstin Swartz
WHAT MAKES A HERO? WHO BETTER TO ANSWER THAT QUESTION THAN LEE CHILD...
'It's Lee Child. Why would you not read it?' Karin Slaughter
'I don't know another author so skilled at making me turn the page' The Times
In his first work of nonfiction, the creator of the multimillion-selling Jack Reacher series explores the endurance of heroes from Achilles to Bond, showing us how this age-old myth is a fundamental part of what makes us human. He demonstrates how hero stories continue to shape our world - arguing that we need them now more than ever.
From the Stone Age to the Greek Tragedies, from Shakespeare to Robin Hood, we have always had our heroes. The hero is at the centre of formative myths in every culture and persists to this day in world-conquering books, films and TV shows. But why do these characters continue to inspire us, and why are they so central to storytelling?
Scalpel-sharp on the roots of storytelling and enlightening on the history and science of myth, The Hero is essential reading for anyone trying to write or understand fiction. Child teaches us how these stories still shape our minds and behaviour in an increasingly confusing modern world, and with his trademark concision and wit, demonstrates that however civilised we get, we'll always need heroes.