Mar. 6th, 2007

alobear: (Default)
Neil Gaiman's recommendations are back on track - "The Byronic Hero in Film, Fiction and Television" by Atara Stein is great.

If there's one thing I love, it's books that present analysis of contemporary films, books, or TV shows, and this book has it all. The opening section, which discusses the characteristics of a Byronic hero was really interesting, as I'm not all that familiar with Byron's actual work, although the popular archtype of a Byronic character is one I think we're all familiar with.

Then she got onto the really good stuff. Clint Eastwood's characters in High Plains, Drifter, Pale Rider and Unforgiven; The Terminator in both films; Eric Draven in The Crow; Lestat and Louis in Anne Rice's novels; Dream in The Sandman (hence the plug from Gaiman); Q in Star Trek: TNG; Sarah Connor in The Terminator films and Ellen Ripley in the Alien films as female versions; and, of course, Angel.

The Q section is by far the most in depth and entertaining, as he is obviously one of the author's pet subjects for discussion - she's also written a book about homoeroticism in Star Trek: TNG, focusing on Q and Picard (must find a copy!).

Whiny, brooding, self-persecuting heroes are incredibly popular, as are the less emotional, more violent outlaw types that also fall under the Byronic descriptor - and this book is all about why.

Fantastic stuff.

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