Author Lee Child explores origins of hero concept

  • "The Hero" by Lee Child

    "The Hero" by Lee Child Associated Press/TLS shows

By Jeff Ayers
Associated Press
Posted12/1/2019 7:27 AM

"The Hero" by Lee Child; TLS; 76 pages;

"The Hero," a nonfiction essay by author Lee Child, opens with Child looking at language and how words have different meanings over the space of time. Child also asks the question of who was the first person to initiate a particular word or phrase and have that definition mean the same for everyone.


As time passed, people began to tell each other stories. The stories probably were basic at first and then over time heroic traits were added to keep the audience engaged with the tale. The works of Homer saw a hero as a warrior who approached everything with a sense of honor, kind of like the Klingons in "Star Trek." Today, a hero can be described as a popular athlete or someone who does the right thing under difficult circumstances. How did that change occur?

Child writes popular and intriguing thrillers and his talent for compelling prose isn't limited to fiction. He delivers an interesting premise and backs up his hypothesis with data and personal insight.

What this book lacks in page count more than compensates in a thought-provoking discussion of the origins of language, storytelling and what makes all of us human.

Article Comments ()
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.