Customer Reviews


12 Reviews
5 star:
 (7)
4 star:
 (2)
3 star:    (0)
2 star:
 (2)
1 star:
 (1)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping post-apocalyptic novel
Usually the genre of the post-nuclear holocaust novel doesn't appeal, but this novel is one of the best written on the subject.
With the backdrop of a changed world, there are still remnants of the structure of our civilisation that are struggling to survive - society has been divided into groups, the two largest being the Professors and the Barbarians. Marianne...
Published on 11 April 2002

versus
2.0 out of 5 stars Weird and not so wonderful
I did not enjoy the characters, the pace or the storyline!

I still could not say who the real heroe or villain is in this book but at least I read it all. On another note was Angela on drugs when she wrote this because the main characters all seemed to be in a state of a drug induced psychosis???
Published 13 months ago by Neilza Polidore


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping post-apocalyptic novel, 11 April 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Heroes and Villains (Paperback)
Usually the genre of the post-nuclear holocaust novel doesn't appeal, but this novel is one of the best written on the subject.
With the backdrop of a changed world, there are still remnants of the structure of our civilisation that are struggling to survive - society has been divided into groups, the two largest being the Professors and the Barbarians. Marianne moves from one group to the other, allowing a full description of this new society - but it is the strong characters that really make this novel a cut above the others. The amazing descriptions of the landscape, clothing and jewellery capture the imagination and the intelligent comment on our modern society makes this a fascinating read.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "They left the prints of the heels of their boots on my heart," she said., 13 Sep 2011
By 
Eileen Shaw "Kokoschka's_cat" (Leeds, England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
After the apocalypse the world is divided into the steel and concrete villages of the professors and marauding bands of Barbarians. Apart from that there only those who live in holes in the ground, mostly grotesquely deformed with maybe an extra eye, no elbows or several too many fingers.

One day, Marianne, the very bored daughter of one of the professors watching from her tower window as the village comes under attack, sees that one of the marauders has been injured and has crept to hide in a stable. When she goes, late at night, to see if he is dead, she finds him very much alive and leaves the safety of the village to join his band of Barbarians.

The story of Marianne and Jewel is a tale of hatred, fighting, rape, violence and despair - but also of love. Fitting the apocalyptic nature - end of time, reorganisation of social structures, the reinvention of the evil eye, the danger of zoo animals abroad, the unrelieved filth and chaos of an army on almost permanent manoeuvres, this is an amazing story. Jewel is a fabulous creature, a wild animal, a knowing lover, a tattooed, tribal leader. But the priest of the tribe Donally, with his sleeping snake and his enigmatic pronouncements becomes an implacable enemy to Marianne. Yet at times, they are closer, all three than to anyone else in the tribe. They know something of the terrors, torments and temptations of leadership - at its heart is fear.

This is another fabulous confabulation from the wonderful Angela Carter, set in a future in which order and peace is rapidly decomposing. Who are the heroes, and who the villains in a world where civilisation no longer exists?
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A lush, dark, post-apocalyptic fantasy, 17 July 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Heroes and Villains (Paperback)
Carter writes vicious, poisoned romance that hangs around in your head for a long time after reading it, due to her conscious and playful use of archetypes: hence the title. Here the archetypal vicious virgin is Marianne, a professor's daughter brought up in an ordered village community, who farm neat pockets of land surrounded by riotous jungle and dead cities. The community is composed of Professors, Workers and Soldiers, who guard the village against the Barbarians outside: lawless scavenger gypsies, who live by raiding. When Marianne is six she sees her brother killed by a Barbarian boy: it haunts her for years. She grows up strange, apart, unfriendly, much given to walking in the ruins by herself. When she is sixteen her father is killed by her nurse in a mad fit. Shortly after the village is raided by Barbarians. When one of them, Jewel, is left behind she helps him to escape and is carried off by him to a ruined mansion in the jungle, where his tribe live.
Far from being the creatures of her nightmares, the tribe are a disease-ridden, primitive and pitiful bunch. Although Jewel himself is nominal leader, it is more or less run by two refugees from the civilised world, the mad Dr Donally and Jewel's nurse Mrs Green. Donally is an ex-Professor who is amusing himself by creating rituals for the tribe - their elaborate hair and warpaint, a weird religion based on snake worship - but does nothing to educate them or improve their lot: his tattoos kill, his herbal potions poison. The work of guarding and hunting and raiding is done by Jewel and his six brothers. Donally has educated Jewel a little and considers him his work of art, figuratively and literally: he has tattooed a painting of Adam and Eve in the Garden on his back. He is making Jewel into the perfect Barbarian nightmare, the beautiful prince of villains, but he has never taught him to read, or think for himself, so that he, Donally, can continue to run things.
When Marianne arrives, from his own background, with equal intellect, he realises she is a match for him and incorporates her into the tribe by forcing her to marry Jewel, who rapes her. Furious, she realises what Donally is up to, but knows there is nothing she can do for the present, and goes along with the wedding. However, she has underestimated the strength of archetypes, and the sexual effect that the beautiful young man will inevitably have on a repressed virgin. Donally is extremely amused by her struggles against this effect: but when she recognises Jewel as the boy who killed her brother, the two of them discover a bond between them which eventually becomes stronger than Donally's hold over them, and when Marianne discovers she is pregnant they drive him out of the tribe. When Jewel is later killed, Marianne realises that she, now, will be responsible for the new order.
Anyone who likes dark twisted romance will love this book. It's not simple - Carter is an academic and there's a metafictive element in all of her books - but it's weirdly spellbinding, and stands years of re-reading whenever you're in the mood for it..
-
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars clever, sexy and dark, 11 Feb 2009
By 
Dr. Vernon M. Hewitt (Bristol, UK.) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Heroes and Villains (Paperback)
I first read this in the mid 1980s and it left an indelible impression on my mind, especially Jewel, who became ever after an archetype of whimsical masculine beauty and intrigue. I have come back to this novel through later, slightly derivative fiction, especially Jim Younger's High John the Conqueror, and find it as fresh and as audacious as ever. The story is a short, packed with singular characterisation, Mrs Green, the Doctor, the idiot boy, and set deep within a post holocaust landsacpe of ruins, verdant greens, a land of the Professors (from `the deep shelters') the splendid if regressive barbarians, and the Out people. Each character is part of a rich genre, a clever intellectual read about social order, myth and still after all these years, subversively feminist: Marianne and Jewel's dialogue are perfectly done, only Carter could in effect convey the wit without making it seem fake or patronising:
`I'll leave you' she said furiously, `as soon as the baby is born!'
`You'll never' said Jewel contemptuously, `you're creaming for me now, this very minute.' He thrust his hand between her legs but she said
`That doesn't mean I won't leave you'
`Nor does it.' he agreed `but it suggests you might find going more difficult than coming' (p 126). Moving and rather haunting, it is both very much of its time (1969-70) but quite timeless in its appeal. Carter, her joy of sex, and the sheer imaginative power of her prose, is much missed.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2.0 out of 5 stars Weird and not so wonderful, 11 Nov 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Heroes and Villains (Penguin Modern Classics) (Kindle Edition)
I did not enjoy the characters, the pace or the storyline!

I still could not say who the real heroe or villain is in this book but at least I read it all. On another note was Angela on drugs when she wrote this because the main characters all seemed to be in a state of a drug induced psychosis???
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars Angela Carter was ahead of her time, 5 Sep 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Angela Carter is perhaps an acquired taste, but well worth persevering with. A futuristic dystopia is described which could lead to the reader feeling dispirited, but for the plucky nature of the main character. The author is insightful of power relations.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Only wish I'd found this sooner, 20 Dec 2012
Heroes and Villains was the first Angela Carter I'd ever read and the only fault I found with it was that I didn't find it sooner. Carter's work is filled with incredible use of allegory, symbolism and metaphor that enhances the whole story and makes it a really interesting read. After reading this I went on to look at another of her works, The Bloody Chamber, whilst most people consider it to be her 'masterpiece' work I would definitely say there's an argument for it being Heroes and Villains instead.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Angela Carter's "gothic fiction", 29 April 2005
By 
A. Donovan - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Heroes and Villians is the only book that Carter stated was a gothic fiction. It is about the divide between the Professors and the Barbarians. Marianne runs away with a barbarian to start a new life. This book also has a deeper meaning as Carter was writing about a place after the apocalypse and she knew that as outsiders already the Barbarians could survive better 'than the people in the deep shelters' i.e these people would have included the prime minister of 1969 who could not imagine the future.... A very interesting read.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding, why is this the first I am reading Carter?, 3 Oct 2011
She begins the book as a seemingly straightforward love(?) story about an intelligent, well bred, but disenchanted girl who befriends a barbarian in a post apocalyptic setting. In the last 1/3 of the book she capitalizes on that "love" story to allegorically delve into the social structures, hierarchies, and deviance of mankind in a matter of 90 pages or so. The work is necessary, and the parallels she makes with power, race, and gender dynamics are insightful throughout. The last 90 pages are truly explosive compared to the first part - they take you to a place where language use is unique but somehow still completely appropriate.

I had never read Carter but will pick up some more books this weekend.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 30 Oct 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
One of my favourites
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Only search this product's reviews