Book Review – “The Hero Within” by Carol S. Pearson


Caution: You might not recognise these heroes


If ever there was a case of “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover (or by it’s title)”, this was it.

When I was browsing Goodreads a few weeks ago, I stumbled across this interesting title and thought here was something that appealed to me. I should’ve researched better.

Dr. Pearson is a therapist who draws upon the works of Carl Jung and says that there are archetypes that our subconscious minds know of, and if we call on these, they can be a source of unleashing our potential.

Unfortunately, the book draws largely upon Christian and Greek mythologies to drive home the point. Most of the examples are from stories which people in a Euro-centric world would be familiar with. As an Indian, these had very little impact for me. This made me think how different cultures around the world might be at a loss to connect with it. What of people from countries in Asia and Africa who have a treasure load of mythologies from their own cultures? This idea of “hero by templates” wouldn’t stand for them.

Another shortcoming, although not a fault per se, was the fact that the book is old. Examples seem dated, and the realities mentioned seem from a lifetime away (which, in this case, is the 1990s). The book hasn’t aged well, and I constantly felt like the author was speaking in generalisations.

I have to say that there were some portions which did make a lot of sense, as is evidenced by the highlights and notes I made while reading this book. Yet, these were too far and few in between to make me want to continue struggling. I usually don’t give up on a book till I’m at least 20-25% done with it, and in this instance, I read up to 40% of it. Sadly, no more.

I’d much rather go back to reading about achieving my potential with the hope that I can get better at anything and hard work.

Read more about “The Hero Within” on Goodreads.

Title: The Hero Within

Author: Dr. Carol Pearson

First Published: 1986

No. Of Pages: 338

Price: Paperback – Rs. 1271 / Kindle – Rs. 293.42

(Disclosure: If you buy the book by clicking on any of the Amazon links above, you will NOT get charged extra. However, I will get a small commission, 100% of which will go to charity.)

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