24 of 30 people found the following review helpful
The return of the hero,
This review is from: The Right Stuff (Picador Books) (Paperback)
When I was at university (a couple of years ago) I had a few 'truths' drummed into me. All in a subtle, needling were-not-telling-you-what-to-think-but-this-is-what-you-have-to-think type of way. First, genius doesn't exist. Second, there are no absolute 'truths' (hence the stupid speechmarks that crop up around every other word these days). Third, the Hero was dead.
I was taught that the Hero (as a concept/character type/role model) didn't apply to us these days. It was a macho construction, or something.
The Right Stuff brought back the notion of heroism - that fantastic, boy's own, Indiana Jones, Spiderman, stick the poster on your wall type of heroism that takes you back to your childhood.
And why not? Chuck Yeager, Alan Shepheard, John Glenn. The things these men went through to break the sound-barrier, to get man into space were astounding. They risked their lives every time they got into their aircraft, yet they were cool as snowmen.
Tom Wolfe brings the danger, the adrenaline, the burnt-to-a -cinder plane crashes to life in wonderfully sympathetic, excited, yet brilliantly crafted style.
This is the best of Tom Wolfe's books. Partly, I think, because he actually respected/admired his subject this time around.
I absolutely loved this book. It was so nice to read a romantic book about recent history, rather than the cynical political stuff you get spoonfed at University.