The Dysfunctional Hero

Laid low with flue over the past two weeks, has given me the opportunity to do more reading than normal and I have completed a trilogy of

Cover of "Black and Blue"

Cover of Black and Blue

novels by Ian Rankin. They were Let it Bleed, Black and Blue, and The Hanging Garden and are collectively described as ‘The Lost Years.’ In Black and Blue Rebus goes on the wagon, and it made be wonder why it is that so many ‘heros’ are dysfunctional being either alcoholics, or drug users or mentally unstable. In real life, our experience is that with any of those problems, the individual’s ability to process information, to act rationally are impaired. We only have to think of the effect on driving abilities after drinking alcohol to understand that. Yet these fictional characters seem highly competent. Why do we, as readers’, accept behaviour in fiction that we would deplore in our friends and family? Has anyone any thoughts on this?

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About scribblingadvocate

Born in Lancashire, Law degree from Sheffield University and MA in Creative Writing from Exeter. A barrister for twenty five years, who appeared in the Crown Courts in and around London. When I retired we moved to live in Devon, first on Dartmoor, more recently overlooking the Exe Estuary. After twenty years I still feel an exile from London. Married, no children but own an affable Springer Spaniel. I love reading, walking and travel. I completed an MA in Creative Writing at Exeter University and have written three books, Crucial Evidence, Reluctant Consent and Legal Privilege, all set in London. You can email me

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