“A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself”, this is Joseph Campbell’s description of a hero.
Now, we love books that are wired around heroism and am sure you have watched a movie or even series that depicted this important figure. Star Wars anyone?
With this in mind, I therefore ask, do you understand why certain heroes are created the way they are? Do you understand their evolution?
If you would want to know why, then you want to read the book, “The Heroes Journey”. It has quite some insightful content around this topic.
Lucky for you, this is the book I will be reviewing here, so that I can give you all the information on it to help you determine whether it’s a book you want to read or not.
With that said, lets get started on the hero’s journey books review.
We will start with the key details of the book with regard to who wrote the book, some more meat of it, the best place to buy the book, the good and bad side of it and my final thoughts on the book.
Name: The Hero’s Journey: The World of Joseph Campbell
Author: Joseph Campbell
Best Place to Buy: www.amazon.com
Publisher: New World Library
Publication Date: March 11, 2014
The Overview of the Hero’s Journey
This is a book that introduces you to Joseph Campbell’s life and work. Here, you will get to learn about his thinking process, his discoveries and also his terminology.
The book is made of some valuable excerpts of conversations between Joseph and other people that have been inspired by him like, Doors drummer John Densmore, anthropologist Angeles Arrien, Nobel laureate Roger Guillemen, poet Robert Bly and others.
The book mainly looks into the evolution of a hero from a normal person to chasing the heroic life, and the things he goes through to achieve their heroic purpose, as well as life after the journey.
I loved the fact that the book is built around the author’s life and work because then, we get to understand him on a deeper level.
Now let’s get to know more about the author, shall we?
Joseph Campbell was credited to really popularizing the idea of mythology. He was actually referred to as the greatest mythologist in the twentieth century.
He was also a literature professor at Sarah Lawrence College where he worked in comparative religion and comparative mythology.
His other works include: Myths To Live By, The Hero With A Thousand Faces and Transformation Of Myth Through Time, just to to name a few.
Unfortunately on October 30, 1987, Honolulu, Hawaii, US Joseph passed away 83 years of age.
It’s also worth noting that the book has also been co-authored by Phil Cousineau who is a TV host and story teller, lecturer, award-winning writer and filmmaker. He has also co-written other books on mythology, religion and travel.
The combination of their minds has resulted to a book which is highly educative and inspiring.
Some More Meat Of The Book
In the narration, the Hero’s Journey or mono myth, is a template used by tales that showcases a hero that goes in a kind of self awareness adventure, struggles with the challenges there, becomes victorious and returns to his home having been transformed as a whole.
Joseph Campbell in this beautiful book, describes this template under three important sections each which have other sub-sections under them.
The three sections described by Joseph are:
This section entails the following as broken down by the author:
* The call of the hero to adventure
* Hesitation by the hero to heed to the call
* Meeting of the mentor by the hero
* Crossing the field of adventure
* Separation of the hero’s self and known world
This is the second phase which is perhaps the hardest of the 3 phases. It entails the following as broken down by the author:
* Hero undergoes tests or hardship in order to begin the transformation
* Hero now obtains items given to him for help in the future
* Temptation to stay away from the adventure given to him
* The hero is initiated with the father
* High level of understanding is achieved by the hero
* The hero achieves mission
The final phase of the journey. Joseph breaks down the stages as follows:
* Hero refuses to return
* Escape by the hero with the boon (something precious that is being highly sorted after maybe by the king)
* Keep wisdom gained in the adventure
* Achievement of balance by hero between the spiritual and material
* Hero now has freedom from the fear of death
I would like to bring to your attention that there is more to learn within each section as I have only highlighted the the 3 main areas along with their sub topics.
I recommend you get the book and read the topics because they carry a lot of valuable content that is going to open your mind to insight, understanding, creativity and more knowledge.
Comparison Of The Book With Living The Hero’s Journey
Both books center on the topic of mythology, however the difference I noticed with the two is that Living the Hero’s Journey helps you the reader, learn how to use mythology and movies to discover yourself and your own path.
The Hero’s Journey, however, takes you through the life of the author as well as the general life of someone who walks the hero’s journey. It doesn’t show you how to go about it, it only describes it.
With this, I think that both books are useful on the topic and it would be good if you had a look at the both of them as they sort complements each other.
The Good and Bad Side Of The Book
We will start with the pro’s
* It is a good book to help the reader learn more about the author and his thought
* The stages of evolution are interesting to understand and imagine
* The book is really educative and encouraging in terms of inspiring you to work towards your inner inclination
* Some people claim that the interviews in the book are disjointed
* Some people feel that the speaker is a better speaker than writer when delivery on both is compared
When it comes to the con’s, I would like to let you know that these are just a few people’s opinions. Not everyone found the interviews to be disjointed or the speaker to lack the writing touch in the book. For this reason, I would highly encourage you to have a personal experience with the book and judge it for yourself.
Where You Can Buy The Book
The best place I recommend you to buy the book The Hero’s Journey is on www.amazon.com. The store is my personal favourite when it comes to books because they offer other similar recommendations that turn out to be very useful in the long run.
It will also be very convenient for you to buy there if you were planning to do more online shopping today as it will save you time since you can order them all together.
The book goes into the hero’s journey in areas like:
These three areas also have stages below them each which I discussed earlier, which are going to come in handy if you are into mythology.
My Personal Thoughts on the Book
I would recommend this book to you that feels the need to understand mythology. The reason is the author is very skilled in this area and you are assured of great content.
The other reason is how the content has been delivered in the book for you. You are assured of a great read and you will start to understand the reason most heroes are portrayed as they are in many of your favorite books or movies.
So do get the book!
I hope you will enjoy your read and when you have read, don’t forget to come and share your experience with us below. Have a great read! 🙂