THE HERO INTERVIEWS | Andi Ewington
Well, here we are with another book from my TBR list. This time it’s The Hero Interviews by Andi Ewington, one of the authors involved with the highly enjoyable Campaigns and Companions form Rebellion.
Heroes… you can't swing a cat without hitting one. You can't even hatch a nefarious plan without some adventuring party invading your dungeon to thwart you. So, it stands to reason they're a force for good—right? Well—yes and no… Elburn Barr is a Loremaster who has turned his back on his family's tradition of adventuring and stepped out into the realm of heroes to interview a whole smörgåsbord board of fantastical characters from stoic, swear-shy Paladins through to invisible sword-carrying Mime Warriors. Through his transcribed journal, he'll take a cheeky peek at the truth lurking behind the hero myth—and everything associated with them. Across his many encounters, he hopes to uncover his brother's fate—a brother who has been missing for ten summers after brazenly setting out to forge a heroic name for himself.
Will Elburn discover what really happened to his brother, or will he fail in his quest and become another casualty of the adventuring trade? The Hero Interviews is a departure from the usual swords and sorcery yarn—it's a sometimes gritty, sometimes amusing, but completely bonkers look at the realm of heroes
The Hero Interviews tells the story of Elburn Barr, Loremaster, and son and brother of famous adventurers. However, instead of making his reach to glory by joining the ranks of the heroic wannabees, he decides that his talent is finding out what makes the heroes of the land tick by interviewing said heroes and all those around them.
Now I must say, I have had this book for quite a while and was grateful to receive a physical copy of the book from the author, Andi Ewington.
Before we move on to taking a look at the book itself, let’s get one thing out of the way. This book is a proper chonker. Out of interest, I actually weighed this book (I know weird right? But in my defence I was interested) and do you know how much this book weighed? Over a kilo! A little over a bag of sugar. Yep, like I said a chonker.
When bloggers get sent they are often asked for an honest review, and with that I am going to be as honest as possible when I talk about this book.
Initially, I was a little intimidated by this book. Firstly, it’s big. Like I said, bag of sugar big! That is one big book. The next thing that wondered was how funny was this truly going to be? Comedy is a subjective thing, and what some people find funny, others don’t. In addition to that, as soon as I saw the descriptive comparisons, obviously my brain was like ‘oh no not another one’, everytime there's a comedy fantasy, it gets likened to Pratchett Thirdly, I wondered just how far I could go with a series of interviews poking fun at D&D and whether it would run out of steam and just be annoying.
And finally, there was the matter of the footnotes! There are loads and loads of footnotes in this book. Read any review and you will see them mentioned. At times, I find the reading of footnotes can detract from the story itself. (and yes there is a story in the book).
So, I have got say, I enjoyed this book. Realistically, I enjoyed the way the author approaches the story of Elburn and the real reason why he is actually carrying out these interviews. Some of the interviews I enjoyed more than others, some I loved, some I thought were okay and some that I thought was just alright, which I think is pretty normal, especially when there’s over forty of these interviews.
Initially, as I said, I did wonder how this series of interviews would actually pan out. However, I read an interview with the author on irresponsiblereader.com who described that when he was envisioning this book he used creature comforts as one of the influences (it also had the unfortunate side effect of making the characters appear as claymation stop motion animation in my head when I was visualising the book. However, it helped loads!) and then I got it. I know that there are other influences cited in that interview, but this one really got me over that hurdle (and let me tell you the one with the necromancer and his skull really made me laugh when I had this visualisation running in my head).
The other bit that I mentioned was ‘the footnotes’. There are a ton of them. I think if you weighed them up, the metric measurement of a shed load is a way to measure them. However, after getting over the initial intrusion of them, I really enjoyed how these were employed. They not only made a quarter of a shed load of jokes about fireballs, but they also showed Elburn’s character as an individual as they revealed not only information about the world as a whole, but Elburn’s thoughts feelings and inner monologues about the situation and the interviewees as a whole.
I ended up enjoying this mighty tome immensely. Like I said, some of the interview and jokes are funnier than others, but it is an enjoyable light hearted poke at D&D and fantasy culture as a whole that really ends up working.