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The Hero Experience

The Hero Experience

Lowest online price: 1,370
Language English
Contributor(s) Bruce Cook
Binding Paperback
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Overview: The Hero Experience

There is no such thing as the impossible dream. Living in Atlanta in 1967, Brad Jones is an average teenager with a vivid imagination and a unique way of seeing the world through his flights of fancy and dreams of heroic deeds. During the summer before his senior year, he and three friends decide to prove that superheroes don't need special powers, fancy weapons, futuristic vehicles, or skin tight costumes. All they really need is great press. Calling themselves the Bowmen, they carefully craft a plan to make one late-night appearance to halt a minor crime and phone it in to the local newspaper. All they expect to get is a news article about a mysterious band of masked vigilantes. What they didn't expect was to become seduced by the excitement of pretending to be superheroes. Their intended short-lived hoax begins to take on a life of its own as they continue their escapades, with all their carefully laid plans frequently going awry and leading to hilarious predicaments and escalating dangers. And when they are caught in a shocking, real-life situation which forces them to find the courage they never knew they possessed, they will learn that the heart of a superhero can live inside anyone ? even lanky teenagers with no superpowers and very little common sense.

Features: The Hero Experience

  • Createspace
Product Details
Language English
Publication Date September 11, 2013
Publisher CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Contributor(s) Bruce Cook
Binding Paperback
Page Count 450
ISBN 10 1483942414
ISBN 13 9781483942414
Dimensions and Weight
Product Weight 599 grams
Product Dimensions 15.2 cm x 2.6 cm x 22.9 cm
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Most Helpful Reviews
  1.  Admirable and adorable book... 21 December, 2013 On
    Ample humor and spot-on character descriptions create a fun read about the summer four high schoolers decide to become superheroes.

    Ample humor and spot-on character descriptions create a fun read about the summer four high schoolers decide to become superheroes.

    It’s summer, in 1967, and Brad Jones ends his junior year of high school with nothing to do until September. Brad’s a good kid, the only child of an aircraft mechanic and a housewife in an Atlanta suburb. He’s clumsy around girls but has a few good buddies who share his love of superheroes—Batman, Superman, and Spiderman. Combine that with summer boredom, too little common sense, and overactive imaginations, and Brad’s summer turns out to be one for the books after the guys decide to suit up and fight crime.

    Readers get their money’s worth with The Hero Experience, beginning with Bruce Cook’s spot-on descriptions of a teenager’s life in the era before cell phones, MTV, and social media. Cook does his best work with characters. Young Brad’s a sympathetic protagonist, especially believable in interactions with teachers, friends, parents, and girls—and the parents of those girls. Cook does no less well with Brad’s friends: Carl, the son of an airline pilot; Stan, who is all freckles and fun; and Doug, a morose, glass-half-empty type.

    The quartet takes on crime fighting as a lark, donning superhero garb and appearing at crime scenes. With masks and bows-and-arrows, the name “The Bowmen” becomes a natural choice. Here again, especially in the initial stages, Cook’s convincing. The pluck and luck involved are novel-worthy, and Cook’s knowledge of his setting’s time and place add veracity, but as the teens’ crime-fighting adventures grow more intense and violent, character evolution is stretched to the edge of the creditable, and the escapades and escapes are less probable rather than entirely possible.

    With its narrative restricted to two threads—summer fun and girls—the novel seems heavy on setup. Judicious pruning could trim a hundred pages. The problem isn’t repetition but rather over-development. An example is an eight-page description of a schoolyard fight at the book’s opening. It sets the scene and provides character insight, but it also unnecessarily increases the page count, as do other similar peripheral anecdotes.

    The cover design is abstract and rather plain, given the action-filled story, and there are a few minor spelling errors and grammatical mistakes. There’s ample, PG-rated humor, but in the early chapters, Cook indulges in funny one-liners on every page (“but it proved beyond all doubt that Clayton Denault had more balls than a pool table”) delivered at a pace that makes them too distracting.

    Cook has mastered the clumsiness of teenage romance. Brad is tongue-tied, self-conscious, and awkward with girls, but as he begins to date, Brad grows, learning that girls face social interaction with the same fragile egos as boys.

    The Hero Experience offers a fun read for nostalgic baby boomers and is a relatable coming-of-age story for younger readers.
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