The Hero
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.

The Hero Details

TitleThe Hero
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseNov 26th, 2019
PublisherTLS Books
Rating
GenreNonfiction, Writing, Essays, History

The Hero Review

  • Khurram
    January 1, 1970
    The hero trapI am a bit disappointed and dissatisfied with this book. I will be the first to admit I bought this because it was written by Lee Childs. It is probobly my own fault for not finding out what the book was about.The first half of the book is about the progression of language and creating words. This part of the book feels like Childs is given a topic and he and he let's rip for that chapter. Example the first chapter starts from a poppy to heroine. I still do not understand why this The hero trapI am a bit disappointed and dissatisfied with this book. I will be the first to admit I bought this because it was written by Lee Childs. It is probobly my own fault for not finding out what the book was about.The first half of the book is about the progression of language and creating words. This part of the book feels like Childs is given a topic and he and he let's rip for that chapter. Example the first chapter starts from a poppy to heroine. I still do not understand why this chapter was there.The only reason I actually gave this book two stars is just past the middle couple of chapters Lee Childs talks about how stories come together. He talks about a couple of well known heroes and of course Jack. This is the strongest part of the book for me. He finishes the book with a rant about how the word hero is overused.I respect Lee Childs for putting trying his hand at something new, but this book is definitely not to his strengths or my taste. The parts of this book that are are good, but it could be the case that the rest of the book made those parts seem better then they were. This is a reminder not to judge a book by the name on the cover.
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  • Brandon Forsyth
    January 1, 1970
    So I guess I have to read a Jack Reacher now. This is an eloquent, well-argued treatise that somehow manages to be a big history of the world, a literary examination of storytelling, and an examination of political rhetoric in just 70-odd pages. It’s kind of brilliant.
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  • Alan Teder
    January 1, 1970
    Not a Reacher Short Story, more of a quirky History EssayReview of the Audible Audio audiobook edition (Nov. 26, 2019)Lee Child eventually gets around to explaining his template for Reacher by tracing the story back to Ovid's Theseus in Metamorphoses and then through to Ian Fleming's James Bond in Doctor No: A man of rank, a prince, a commander of the royal navy, not exactly cast out but disapproved of and barely tolerated, fights an opponent of a grotesque nature with the help of a woman from Not a Reacher Short Story, more of a quirky History EssayReview of the Audible Audio audiobook edition (Nov. 26, 2019)Lee Child eventually gets around to explaining his template for Reacher by tracing the story back to Ovid's Theseus in Metamorphoses and then through to Ian Fleming's James Bond in Doctor No: A man of rank, a prince, a commander of the royal navy, not exactly cast out but disapproved of and barely tolerated, fights an opponent of a grotesque nature with the help of a woman from the other side. Before we get there we have to listen to (I read the audiobook) a lecture on various arcane items such as the invention and naming of various opioids, the evolution of the Robin Hood myth, etc. All of this filtered through Child's irritating timeline where everything is located in history according to how many generations before Child's grandmother that it occurred. e.g. It is not the mid-Upper Paleolithic Age of 25,000 years ago, but rather 1,198 generations before Child's grandmother.The narration by Jeff Harding in the audiobook was excellent throughout. If you closed your eyes you could imagine it was Reacher himself telling tales around the fire before heading off into the dark to "get his retribution in first."LinkTo disentangle Child's timeline you may find this Timeline of Human Prehistory to be useful.
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  • kartik narayanan
    January 1, 1970
    The Hero is a short non-fiction work by Lee Child which ought to have been even shorter.At the outset, let me say that I would have probably read this book even if it wasn't authored by Lee Child due to its core question - what is a Hero? The icing on the cake is that it is authored by Lee Child whose books I loved.Unfortunately, this book has few high notes and a lot of rambling around. He starts with explaining the origin of the word - nothing wrong with that - except that it is boring an The Hero is a short non-fiction work by Lee Child which ought to have been even shorter.At the outset, let me say that I would have probably read this book even if it wasn't authored by Lee Child due to its core question - what is a Hero? The icing on the cake is that it is authored by Lee Child whose books I loved.Unfortunately, this book has few high notes and a lot of rambling around. He starts with explaining the origin of the word - nothing wrong with that - except that it is boring an re-treading ground that we have better works on. He seems to think that the simplistic metaphors that work in the context of an action-thriller like Jack Reacher, will work in a non-fiction context. It doesn't and it puts whatever research he has done in a poor light.The best part is when he talks about Jack Reacher in the context of a hero. Lee Child's thought process at this point is great to see and I absolutely would have loved to see much more of it. Alas, this comes towards the end of the book is probably less than 3-4 pages long.In conclusion, you will not miss much by skipping this book.
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  • Pam Bales
    January 1, 1970
    Hero definedLee Child? Get it. Interesting read and plausible definition of a hero. You have to be in the mood for information and not pure entertainment, but it is a great read. I "love" anything Robin Hood, and here is a satisfying explanation of various iterations through which one of my favorites characters has evolved. Enjoyed it. When people ask me what I read anymore I tend to tell them I don't read what is supposedly good for me, but what I enjoy, as twisted and weird as it might be. Hero definedLee Child? Get it. Interesting read and plausible definition of a hero. You have to be in the mood for information and not pure entertainment, but it is a great read. I "love" anything Robin Hood, and here is a satisfying explanation of various iterations through which one of my favorites characters has evolved. Enjoyed it. When people ask me what I read anymore I tend to tell them I don't read what is supposedly good for me, but what I enjoy, as twisted and weird as it might be. This was both good for exercising my brain and making me think, as well as an entertaining read.
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  • Jack Hardy
    January 1, 1970
    Where do you come from?This is a book every writer, author or aspiring wordsmith must read. It gives unusual perspective to the choice of words, structure and characters needed to effectively reach an audience.
  • David Highton
    January 1, 1970
    Well written but I did not find this to be an engaging book.
  • Kathleen
    January 1, 1970
    I should have researched the hero before I bought it. I expected another thriller by lee child. It was not. Loaded with info but 50 pages later I was finished and disappointed I will research next time.
  • Cgcang
    January 1, 1970
    This book is an hour long small talk about anthropology, the role of fiction in human evolution and why we make up fictional heroes and like the ones that others make up. It is exactly as advertised. If you're an avid Lee Child reader and if you like watching his talks or seminars, you're already familiar with the style in which The Hero is written. And if you like listening to Lee Child talk, you'll like this book.
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  • Yousuf Rafi
    January 1, 1970
    I am a devotee of Jack Reacher but when I started reading The Hero, it felt like I am reading some other author. Throughout the novel I kept wishing Jack can pop-out and make this novel some better but I guess you don't always get what you wish for. For Jack Reacher fans please avoid this one. There is nothing for you. A sheer disappointment!!
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  • Kanootcha
    January 1, 1970
    As much as I love Lee Child and his Reacher books, all I can say is, this was just terrible. I don't know how he could have dreamed that anyone who enjoys his fiction would suffer reading this without complaint. So, that was mine.
  • Ed C
    January 1, 1970
    Random rant about what hero’s were and are Nnujnhn niuh8ji. Iig hij om. Now uhhuk. Jinniijin. Ghyguhuuhb iuhih. Hb byhoiuhb nnihb juhbuuhbuhoihb blouse ihhI hnb. Unhealthy until nihilism hday uhuhh h
  • JAMES RYAN
    January 1, 1970
    What the hell is this book?.....Nothing remotely like his other books but amazon pushed it to me. No jack reacher. A tiny book on etymology?....how about a heads up before you ask me to buy it.
  • Kathy H
    January 1, 1970
    Well doneLee is one of a small handful of Authors that I buy everything he writes. This non-fiction essay is one of my favorites. Strong voice, a hundred talking points. I didn’t want it to end.
  • Jerry Drook
    January 1, 1970
    Eh . . . HighBrow Literary Pondering Not all that interesting, but maybe I’m not “literary” enough. His premise is valid, but I was bored. Like back in a college seminar about something I’m not really in to
  • Butch
    January 1, 1970
    Save your moneyNot a reacher book. Not my cup of tea. Read as sort of a college English thesis. Ok if you are into English words
  • Kirstin
    January 1, 1970
    I'm not sure what I was expecting. This book is almost the History of the English Language mixed with the Clan of the Cave Bear.
  • Robert H. Brown
    January 1, 1970
    Even if you accept that an outstanding fiction writer can go way off script without a hint to his fans and potential readers, this stuff (polite term) makes little sense. Nonsensical ramblings.
  • Charles Veley
    January 1, 1970
    Short but stimulating Social history and evolution fused in a compelling summary of where we came from, who we are, and why heroes and fiction help us get where we are going.
  • Julie Button
    January 1, 1970
    I am a Lee Child fan but this book was just awful
  • David
    January 1, 1970
    Fun and intelligent read about why heroes ending in why Reacher. Worth the read. Pithy and full of speculation mixed with a lot of wisdom.
  • Susan Krafcheck
    January 1, 1970
    Read this as I was cataloging it at work. Brief, small 77 paged book. His first work of nonfiction, demonstrating 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, there's always heroes.
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  • Chuck
    January 1, 1970
    Verbosity unlimited I’m trying to figure out who Lee Child is trying to impress by the use of so many big words.
  • Kyle Widdison
    January 1, 1970
    A total leap of B. S.I was expecting a normal Jack reacher story when I preordered the book. Not a master's thesis that was actually worse than my own.
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