I just finished Castle in the Air by Diana Wynne Jones the other day and I was thinking. So many adult books are about anti-heroes now. It is not trendy to write about heroes these days. What is trendy is to write about the most unlikeable, repulsive, horrible human beings possible. Heroes won't win you a Booker and frankly belong in "genre fiction" which us educated people know is fluff and not worth our time.
And you know what I think? Fuck it.
I picked up this "kids" book and loved it. Mainly because the fact that the good guys were good. And likeable. And I was on their side. They were flawed like all humans but they worked through things, or overcame their flaws and did good stuff. And the bad guys weren't all bad. They were understandable, and not just an arse for the sake of it.
I finished the book with a large smile on my face and a sense of satisfaction and I worked out why. The people I meet everyday, 90% of them are good people. They aren't perfect but they try to do the right thing. If we were all thrown into a bad situation, I'm pretty sure most of them would try and help everyone as best they could. Only a small amount of people I meet are completely and utterly reprehensible. And I hate that 90% of our fiction talks and glorifies this type of people. In fact, I move on from these people as quick as I can in life. Why on earth do I want to read 500 pages of wank about them in my down time?
Well you know what? I'm not going to any more. I am embracing the hero. Bring on the kids books, the Austen-esq literature and the genre fiction. Embrace that goddamn neglected hero and make him or her the most valued thing in your reading for a while. It may not be trendy but it will make you feel better as a human being.