ARC | Book Review #44 – On the Origin of Superheroes, by Chris Gavaler

Hello readers!

It’s time for a new non-fiction review! It’s On the Origin of Superheroes, by Chris Gavaler.


Pre-order this book on Book Depository

I found this title while browsing NetGalley, like usual. I was mostly drawn by the title and the crazy cover. I’ve been wanting to dive more into the origins of this worldwide phenomenon and reading thousands of words on Wikipedia wasn’t sounding that appealing. Luckily I was accepted.

Chris Gavaler has adventured himself into the world of literature before, with all his previous works being fiction. This is his first adventure into non-fiction and he chose a topic very close to his heart.

 A few years ago, Gavaler was invited to give a seminar on superheroes. As someone truly enthusiastic of those comics, the author took the challenge. That started a hole that grew and grew, becoming an obsession. This book is the result of that and a bigger research on why and how superheroes appeared.

I thought this would be about the origin of a collective of superheroes. How their creatures felt inspired for them, how they grew as characters and other details like that. That’s not what I got. On the other hand, what I read was a parade of name and references of people, fictional or not, that were themselves superheroes. That means, extraordinary humans or characters that were superheroes before the term meant what it does today.

This book is not a lot more than purely informative. After reading this, your head will be full of names and traits from these super -people. To be honest, for me, this book made the whole mystery fog surrounding this phenomenon disappear. After reading it, I realised that it only proves that all things result of a natural evolution. No magic dust involved. It’s kind of sad, it felt like growing up.

It took me a while to read this because, as much as I did learn, I didn’t feel that the information was really delivered in an interesting way. It bored me to death if I can be completely honest. Besides, I had to stop all the time to go search the things referenced. They’re not completely well explained which makes you feel completely lost. Even a good couple of images would help a lot. Which is actually what I thought was the biggest flaw from this book. If there were more images in it, I would have felt a lot more captivated to read it.

So, I guess my overall thoughts about this title are that, besides being really informative, it’s also kind of boring and not that captivating to read. Non-fiction needs an interesting voice, otherwise is a real struggle to read. I have a few cool facts to say on social events but that’s basically what I got from the experience of reading this book (not saying that’s completely bad).

I’m still glad I’m giving non-fiction a try this year, even with the recent misses. I hope my next one is a hit! Feel free to recommend me any non-fiction books! 😀

See you next time,



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