Book Review: The Hero; Understanding the modern hero

Joe Williams

Lee Child can push past the debris of the every day to get to the inner urges that the story is here to feed. Everything, in a nutshell, to say it in simple language. Avoiding long words and just get on with the business of telling a story. Here, Lee's intelligence is revealing and intrusive. His backstory for the notion of the modern hero is more than an anecdote, less than a fully cogent argument.

Lee Child is best known for his Jack Reacher series. The books follow the adventures of a former American military policeman, Jack Reacher, who wanders the United States. His first novel, Killing Floor, won both the Anthony Award and the Barry Award for Best First Novel.

There have been books such as the Stone Age to the Greek Tragedies, from Shakespeare to Robin Hood, wherein there are 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.

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 will always need heroes. Overall, a good read.

- Book: The Hero

- Author: Lee Child

- Publisher: TLS Books

- Pages: 96; Price: Rs 399

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