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Summary

The enduring myth that makes us human. 

What makes a hero? Who better to answer that question than Lee Child....

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 tagedies, 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 listening 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. 

©2019 Lee Child (P)2019 HarperCollins Publishers Limited

Critic reviews

"‘It’s Lee Child. Why would you not read it?" (Karin Slaughter)

‘I don't know another author so skilled at making me turn the page." (The Times

‘It's said that a Jack Reacher novel is bought every four seconds somewhere in the world. He is to crime fiction what Clint Eastwood's 'man with no name' was to the western. Lee Child's genius has been to create a tough guy hero that men will envy and women will adore." (Daily Express)  

What listeners say about The Hero

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  • Bootylady
  • 22-12-19

The most boring book ever

This has to be Lee Child's most boring book ever. I never thought and hour and 17 minutes to be soooo long and tedious. If this is the writing he does for background to his books, then he needs to keep it as just for his own reference. And the narrator just makes it long and slow. It was a great book to listen to fall asleep! I'm sorry I wasted my time and money.

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  • Wayne
  • 11-12-19

not what you are expecting

A treatise on the evolution of the word, I enjoyed it. if you are expecting a touch of Reacher you will be disappointed.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Alice
  • 05-01-20

Amazing deductions.

This book gives you a lot to think about. Very speculative of course, but you could have it correct Mr Child. I enjoyed it. I like hearing the different views about all things. I also enjoy your Jack Reacher books.

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  • Gloria
  • 01-12-19

Lesson for me - read the description

When "The Hero" came up as a recommendation for me, I didn't hesitate since it was written by Lee Child. Big mistake. I have no interest in the topic. The narrator was very monotone, which didn't help. I could not finish this very short book. I pulled over to switch to something else, something I almost never do.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 05-06-20

What is a Hero

Well the answer isn't here but perhaps it goes one better in telling us what a hero isn't. Throughly enjoyable story especially in today's world where one is made a hero for just about anything. This should be required reading and discussed in schools.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 07-03-20

An hour and a half I'll never get back

Half of this is complete b******* and half of it is true, but trivial. Save your money.

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  • Bruce
  • 28-11-19

Very interesting - deeply thought out.

I bought this of author and did not know what to expext. Great read. Throughly enjoyable and informative.

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  • Lexiconway
  • 03-02-21

A unique analysis of storytelling—and the hero

In this long-form essay, narrator Jeff Harding does a great job reading Lee Child's / James Grant's book, The Hero. Child / Grant presents a unique analysis on the subject of storytelling via the concept of "the hero"—and it's many iterations through time and space. An interweaving of etymology, human evolution, and the role of narratives. Entertaining and educational. Recommended.