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Standard Hero Behavior by John David…

Standard Hero Behavior (original 2007; edition 2007)

by John David Anderson

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827259,055 (4.13)7
When fifteen-year-old Mason Quayle finds out that their town of Darlington is about to be attacked by orcs, goblins, ogres, and trolls, he goes in search of some heroes to save the day.
  1. 20
    The Enchanted Forest Chronicles by Patricia C. Wrede (fyrefly98)
    fyrefly98: Similar slightly-skewed fairy tale conventions and humor
  2. 00
    Heroes of the Valley by Jonathan Stroud (SunnySD)
  3. 00
    Goblin Quest by Jim C. Hines (SunnySD)
    SunnySD: Being a hero isn't all about size or ability with a sword -- just ask Mason Quayle or Jig the Goblin!

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Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
Mason Quayle is average guy from a time of orcs and goblins. He finds he has no choice but to find a hero to save the town and its people. He and his best friend, Cowel, travel to nearby towns with their less than fast horse, Steed. On the way they make friends and a few enemies, but seem to find no help. They boys tangle with pixies, whatisits, and a werewolf. They are aided by a witch, the daughter of an aged hero, and an inner strength. In the end, broken and down cast, Mason finds that his dad was not the man he imagined and that they could not find the heroes needed to save the town. They go home to pick up the pieces, but discover that we often don't realize the impact we have on others.

Prepare for some guy talk, like mixing snot with snail slime and wart crust to make glue. I recomment for ages 10 and up. ( )
  SharonWillett | Apr 17, 2013 |
Basically, Mason Quayle and his best (and only friend, the latter quality perhaps accountable for the former), who are afar from being hero material, choose to set off on a quest to find three or four heroes, (even though half a dozen is preferable and if they could wrangle up ten, that would be superb)to save their town from imminent invasion by a horde of orcs, trolls and ogres. Along the way, they meet all sorts of quirky characters and realize that it is their own choices that determine who they'll be, etc. The usual self realization takes place, as does the saving of their little town. It plays off all of the classic cliches of the magical quest genre, with quite a bit of humour throughout. My favorite scenes were with "Madame" Perogi, the fortune-teller, Fira and her mother, and when Mason realized that Dalinger is a fraud. Sadly, there was so much more that could have been done with the story, but wasn't and that was quite sad. The characters always remained mere caricatures for me, never becoming fully formed individuals that I could remotely care about and so this is truly more of a caricature of a story. And that is fine, but don't expect anything more out of it. It also was a lot more crude than I had expected, which also detracted from the story. I got the sense that the vulgarity was put there as more "humour," but it certainly wasn't. It fell short of its potential, which is why this one won't be making any of my favorites lists. ( )
  MissClark | Jan 19, 2012 |
Reviewed by Natalie Tsang for TeensReadToo.com

STANDARD HERO BEHAVIOR by John David Anderson is the funniest and most enjoyable quest story I've read in awhile. I've always been under the impression that there is something inherently serious about quest stories, but here heroics and humor are combined in a combination as smooth and delicious as cookies and milk.

This is not to say the stakes aren't high. Mason Quayle, a teenage bard, and his best friend, Cowel, have three days to find some heroes to save their village from an onslaught of monsters. On the way, they are attacked by... a cross-dressing thug, militant pixies, and a pack of terrifying if ridiculous animals called "whatisits."

But to start at the beginning, Mason Quayle is a bard who has nothing to commemorate. His town, Highsmith, recently renamed Darlington, was once constantly in danger from orcs and goblins and something of a hero resort, but business has since dried up in the relative peace. So when the opportunity for adventure arises, Mason decides to take it. Besides Cowel, Mason has a trusty steed named Steed and an unfinished book by his long vanished father titled Quayle's Guide to Adventures for the Unadventurous.

The going isn't easy and they also stumble upon the answers to questions that Mason has been asking for the last ten years: Where is his father? What was he like? Why didn't he return home? John David Anderson has written a wonderful book. It's one of those rare fantasies that is more about people than plot. It also manages to be both funny and honest. Not honest, in the way of honesty meaning reality, but honest meaning telling this fictional world as it is, unflinchingly.

I would recommend this book to anyone who is having a bad day. Mason and Cowel's three days are undoubtedly worse. If that fact doesn't make you smile, their misadventures will. ( )
  GeniusJen | Oct 13, 2009 |
Mason is a struggling bard who dreams of going on real adventures even while he has to work hard to pay off his Protection Tax. You see, the town of Darlington (formerly Highsmith) no longer has its own heroes. Instead, the entire town pays their taxes to Duke Darlington in return for him keeping them safe from orcs, goblins, trolls, and whatever else may attack. When Mason finds out that not everything about the Duke meets the eye, he also realizes that the town is in danger, and only he and his friend Cowel will be able to save them by going off and finding some real heroes!

The humorous, tongue-in-cheek tone of the story reminded me somewhat of Diana Wynne Jones' _Dark Lord of Derkholm_. Anderson similarly pokes fun of the genre -- for example, when Mason wants his fortune told, "Madame Pirogue" ends up being some old guy named Joe who just uses the cards for show. Anderson also uses very modern phrases in both the narrative and the dialog to humorous effect. While the ending wasn't entirely unexpected, the ride was fun. ( )
  bell7 | Jun 25, 2009 |
Standard Hero Behavior by Indianapolis author John David Anderson is a funny and cute fantasy adventure about a young man who stumbles into a quest to save his town from goblins, orcs, werewolves, vampires.... and along the way learns the fate of his father and the other heroes who left his town for greener pastures years ago. ( )
  alisaburch | Nov 2, 2008 |
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When fifteen-year-old Mason Quayle finds out that their town of Darlington is about to be attacked by orcs, goblins, ogres, and trolls, he goes in search of some heroes to save the day.

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