Hero

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Hero

Postby Verdant » Wed Jan 02, 2008 4:16 am

Perry Moore, the man behind the recent screen adaptation of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, is a huge comic book fan. Love of the superhero genre suffuses his book "Hero," a coming of age tale of a young gay teen with powers. After reading through his blog post "Who cares about the death of a gay superhero anyway?" I knew I had to pick up this book!

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I started reading "Hero" at 2am thinking I'd go through maybe a chapter or two before bed. I didn't even notice the sun rise until I had finished one of the best novels I've ever read. I can't praise Perry Moore's story enough. So often when diversity is touted as a worthwhile value, the LGBT community is completely left out of the equation. Not so with this book.

Hero shows that the story of a young gay hero can explore universal themes that will resonate with anyone with an open mind. I'm reminded of a favorite film of mine, "Bend it Like Beckham" by Gurinder Chadha. Much of the film revolves around the Punjabi Sikh community of the UK, but the story's depiction of generation clash and youthful ambition reached a wide audience. It looks like Hero is doing the same in the book world, and deservedly so.

I quickly grew fond of the main character Thom, a healer, and his ragtag team of D-List heroes. I wanted to give germ-bomb Typhoid Larry a big hug. Miss Scarlet the caustic firestarter and Golden Boy the stuck-up speedster I loved to hate (at least at first). And Ruth... that chainsmoking seer just totally kicked butt. She was my second favorite supporting character. But my favorite was Hal, Thom's father. Despite his homophobia, the love for his son was still there. Their troubled relationship rang true and elevated the book from good to exceptional. The superhero vs supervillain battles, twists and turns nearly every chapter, and two parallel love stories were icing on the cake. I especially loved all the homages that tweaked with my expectations.

My only regret with Hero is that I didn't have this book when I was growing up. As a gay kid, I believed that I could never truly be a good person, that I would never make a positive impact in anyone's life. It was a tough journey to weed out all the negative messages and recognize my worth as a decent human being, regardless of sexual orientation. Also, as an adopted, multiracial individual, it was heartening to see those parts of myself reflected in Thom's teammate, Golden Boy, despite him being such a prick. Reading Hero as a teen would've helped on several fronts. I have little doubt that Perry Moore would agree with the following words of Georgina Beyer, the world's first openly transsexual mayor:

"It is important to allow people who want to be positive contributors of our society regardless of sex, race, creed and gender to reach their human potential. We need all human potential to make our communities thrive, to make them more vital, the very centre of our reason for being and living. The most important thing at the end of the day is about people, people and people!"

The fact that Hero manages to convey a similar message with a spandex-clad adventure story rocks. I'm really looking forward to more of Moore's writing!

For a more in-depth summary of the book's plot, check out the review from my friend, Brian Andersen: A gay, teenage Superhero? What a novel idea!
Last edited by Verdant on Wed Jan 02, 2008 2:34 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Postby Chameleongirl » Wed Jan 02, 2008 5:09 am

I really liked this book. One of the lurkers at Girl-Wonder told me that her book shop had it in so I raced down to pick it up :)
I also read it in one go.
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Postby Verdant » Sat Jan 12, 2008 4:24 pm

I just interviewed Perry!

Listen to us here!

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Postby Chameleongirl » Sun Jan 13, 2008 6:38 am

I'm so glad to hear that he didn't have much trouble finding a publisher (because, I had heard a rumour of the opposite for the Australian distribution).

Hehehe. He's a bit of a rambler, isn't he? :D

It was a great interview Tommy, thanks for posting it.
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Postby Chameleongirl » Mon Jan 14, 2008 5:35 am

Also, I really wanted to squee at him a little for using the Legion of Super-Heroes as Thom's mantra <3

(And I want to read the fanfic where Infectious Lass and Typhoid Larry meet :lol:)
The Wolf House: Bloody *awesome* queer!punk!vampire e-book. Buy it NOW!

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Postby Perihelion » Thu Jan 17, 2008 2:56 pm

Have you given any thought about to trying to reach him to show him Pride High?
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Postby Verdant » Thu Jan 17, 2008 4:14 pm

Have you listened to the interview ;)?
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Postby Perihelion » Thu Jan 17, 2008 5:23 pm

Umm lol yah i somehow was distracted by the pic and didnt even see the interview part lol.
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Postby Mercury Rider » Wed Feb 13, 2008 12:48 am

OMG I F*cking love that book
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Postby Dalebert » Wed Feb 13, 2008 11:05 am

He looks like a super hero. He even has the beginnings of a hero costume on! How can one guy have so much going on? He's creative, he's athletic, he's hot, he's successful, he's a comic book nerd... sigh.
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Postby Perihelion » Wed Feb 13, 2008 12:22 pm

Yeah and i grew up in virginia beach and am trying to figure out how i missed him... lol
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Postby Sage » Thu Feb 14, 2008 6:11 am

With all this good vibe about the book I just had to go out and get it myself (I'm currently at a surplus--so basically I have like twenty dollars more than my usual nothing :)). I can't wait to start reading it
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Postby Sage » Thu Feb 14, 2008 11:30 pm

Finished. This book was absolutely brilliant. It's really given me a bunch to think about--like what you think you want versus what you really want, coming to terms with struggling through life with or without much money or without parents, and a few other things that sort of resonate within your system.

Thanks for the tip, Tommy! I knew I'd seen the cover of the book when I recognized it in your review, but I would have never even thought to pick it up. :oops:
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Postby Sage » Thu Feb 14, 2008 11:35 pm

Finished. This book was absolutely brilliant. It's really given me a bunch to think about--like what you think you want versus what you really want, coming to terms with struggling through life with or without much money or without parents, and a few other things that sort of resonate within your system.

Thanks for the tip, Tommy! I knew I'd seen the cover of the book when I recognized it in your review, but I would have never even thought to pick it up. :oops:
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Postby Verdant » Fri Feb 15, 2008 4:21 am

Glad you liked it! Make sure to send some feedback Perry's way at this url :)!

http://perrymoorestories.com/content/contact.asp
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