Book Review: Heroes

‘It’s amazing that the heart makes no noise when it cracks…’

Image result for heroes robert cormier cover

After revisiting Radiohead’s entire output and taking on Grapes of Wrath, I perhaps wouldn’t have chosen Heroes as my next project if I had known how bleak it is. I think I might have to watch some Pixar to level myself out…

Heroes is a short and straightforward story about a tragic war veteran returning from World War 2. Francis Cassavant is wounded both figuratively and mentally and his return to his home town is both poignant and increasingly upsetting.

Whilst the idea of a haunted veteran returning home is a concept as old as the hills, it is the quality of Robert Cromier’s writing and the raw emotion behind it that makes Heroes such a powerful read. The backdrop of Catholicism and the French Candian (via Massachusetts)  setting also sets Heroes apart from many of its peers.

Heroes is a meditation on what defines a hero or indeed a villain. It also takes in themes of betrayal, revenge, anger and depression and whilst it rarely hides behind symbolism, Heroes is just ambiguous enough to avoid being predictable.

Due to its unremittingly dark subject matter, Heroes is not a book to enjoy, it is a compelling and striking page turner however and at less than 100 pages is well worth picking up.


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