Having just missed one hundred books in the first year of The Book Challenge, in 2010, I made the full tonne. Still reading, but without the challenge, take a look at the reviews for the books that I have read this year.

Friday, 11 June 2010

Book 39 - Heroes

Book - Heroes
Author - Robert Cormier
Year - 1998
Genre - Fiction

As Bob prepares to leave for his holiday with a pile of books in tow, I noticed the other day that I only hold a slender lead of about five books over him.  With that thought in my head, I decided to perservere with Heroes, a book that I have put aside a couple of times whilst reading, in order to read books that were more exciting.

It's not that Heroes is a terrible book - in fact as the story came to a conclusion I found myself reading ahead of myself in order to take it in as quickly as I could; always a sign of a good book - but instead it is one of the most depressing that I have read in a while.  The basic premise of the story is that a young man, Francis, returns from duty in the Second World War with ideas of revenge on his mind over someone from his childhood days.  Whilst at war he has been deemed a hero for throwing himself over a grenade that would have killed his company.  In the process of doing this he lost his face, and the book begins with a description of his burnt raw cheeks, cavelike nostrils where his face used to be, and his lingering depression.

It is dark and grim - a trait which I have since learnt is typical of Cormier - and for me, an affectionado of fantasy, comedy and children's literature, I didn't enjoy particularly at all.  Thus the constant leaving of this book on the side while I picked up something more to my liking.  However, it is not a bad book, and if you like depressing novels but want a more blokey version of things than Picoult, then give this a whirl.


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