Antony Mayfield's Reviews > The Hero: The Enduring Myth That Makes Us Human

The Hero by Lee Child
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it was amazing

This is a very short book. You're either going to read it because you like Lee Child's writing or are curious what the author of the most successful contemporary series of books about an archetypal hero has to say on this subject. If you know someone who likes Lee Child, this may be the perfect gift.

I like Lee Child's writing a lot. He delivers great Jack Reacher books on schedule once a year and more often than not they are brilliant, and always they are exactly what you want and expect from these stories. I am not damning with faint praise here – he is a superb writer. I heard – or read – him say once that he took a great deal of care over his sentences, and was always delighted by ones he liked, but that success was writing that didn't draw attention to itself.

I mention this because this book is a lovely example of his writing outside of the Reacher series. It's an essay on the origins of fiction and of the idea of the hero. Both the prose and the structure are a joy to read – just like Child's fiction they pull you in, carefully, steadily and keep you transfixed. Friends have told me they read Reacher books faster than any other and the reason is the writing – it's hard to take your attention away. It's almost as if you are afraid you will miss something. That's good writing.

I read it in one sitting.

The essay takes you on a waltz through history and anthropology and evolutionary psychology without ever showing off or slowing down.

I loved it. You should buy it and read it too.
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Reading Progress

December 26, 2019 – Started Reading
December 26, 2019 – Shelved
December 26, 2019 – Shelved as: to-read
December 27, 2019 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-2 of 2 (2 new)

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message 1: by Ken (new) - added it

Ken Punter I've been um-ing and er-ing about reading the Jack Reacher novels for a while and have been held back by my own book snobbery (there, I said it).

I've probably secretly wanted a reason to jump in and have finally been convinced by: "and always they are exactly what you want and expect from these stories. I am not damning with faint praise here – he is a superb writer."

Sample version of "Killing Floor", downloaded, read and enjoyed - so now on to the whole book.

Thank you Antony.


Antony Mayfield One of the best opening lines of any book... Hope you enjoy it!


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