Mostly Hero by Anna Burns

Mostly Hero by Anna Burns
It mostly comes out at night. Mostly.

Here’s a Northern Irish author by the name of Anna Burns. This novella, of the name Mostly Hero, was launched in 2014.

It’s a fun little affair, with superheros and villains in a quirky fable that spins itself out in fun and spiritual fair. Good to go? Let’s do this!

Mostly Hero

This witty and fun tale follows the lives of femme and hero, who live in a world of superheroes and all that jazz.

But it’s a bit distorted, due to the common nature of superheroes. So despite saving the world and whatnot, there’s no real veneration for their antics.

Then, under a magic spell to kill hero, femme loses it a bit. But hero is convinced he can go on a mission to take out the troublesome Great Aunt, who’s causing issues (as she’s a master villain).

Great Aunt wonders if femme is in love with hero (Great Aunt’s nemesis). So the novella plays out in a rather stream of consciousness style, rambling in funny fashion from one page to the next.

And the story plays out to the backdrop of familiar topics such as life, death, and love. Just merged up with the basic superhero concepts of good guys and bad guys.

Except there’s one geezer who thinks he’s good, but now is a bit unsure.

So, yes, it’s quite an unusual story. Rather unique in a way, as it rolls from one happening to the next in this strange world of superhero stuff.

In some respects you can view it as a spoof of all the comic book stuff going on in cinemas these days.

And it’s good fun! You don’t have to take the work seriously, or even particularly follow the plot. It plays out in such a loose, casual way.

It’s kind of lyrical in its structure—poetic, almost. Despite the nonsense jabbering of this fun imaginary world Burns has created.

One to read then if you like a bit of silly stuff. It’s unusual. Quite difficult to describe, really, but an interesting piece of work all the same.

About Anna Burns

Burns won the Man Booker Prize in 2018 for her novel Milkman. She lives in East Sussex these days (that’s in England, if you didn’t know).

Milkman, and other works such as No Bones, are much more serious in tone that Mostly Hero. The former deals with The Troubles in Ireland.

No Bones follows a similar path, exploring the life of a young girl trying to come of age in a nation facing issues.

The 58-year-old doesn’t have a huge body of work just yet (Mostly Hero was first published online as an ebook), but that’s set to change after her literary successes.

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