Mark’s Favorite Literary Heroes

By Mark Messenger Ι July 27, 2015

EDITOR’S NOTE — This is a part of a series featuring Salina Public Library staff’s
favorite literary heroes. We hope these lists will help you find your next book!

Here are eight memorable literary heroes from some of my favorite book series and stand-alone novels. Not necessarily ranked, I seem to have subconsciously put them in the order I’ve read the books with the most recent first. Interesting …

  1. Kinsey Millhone – from Sue Grafton’s Alphabet Mysteries series. The most recent in X book coverthe series is the much anticipated “X” – to be released in August 2015. Kinsey is a private detective working in the fictitious town of Santa Teresa, Calif., in the 1980s. She’s tough, street-smart and tenacious. Grafton’s narrative is primarily first-person, so you are in Kinsey’s head as she doggedly tracks down killers, burglars, fugitives and deadbeats.
  2. Augustus McCrae – from Larry McMurtry’s “Lonesome Dove“. This flamboyant, iconic and wonderfully flawed former Texas Ranger leaps off the pages and will stay Skink No Surrender book coverwith you long after reading this amazing book. He’s a man of action in a crisis and a lazy good-for-nothing when there isn’t, but you definitely want him by your side while riding the dusty trails of the Old West.
  3. Skink (Clinton Tyree) – from Carl Hiaasen’s “Double Whammy,” “Stormy Weather,” and other novels. The eccentric former governor of Florida makes his home in and around the Everglades, causing trouble for real estate developers and other bad guys, and unexpectedly coming to the rescue of the story’s leading characters.Bolt book cover
  4. Kit Fielding, Sid Halley, or any other protagonist – from Dick Francis’ excellent mysteries. These jockeys, ex-jockeys, horse trainers, pilots, business owners, artists and private investigators all have one thing in common – they have made powerful enemies and at some point in the story they will be beaten up, knocked out, kidnapped or perhaps all three at once, but will eventually prevail and destroy their nemeses. All great fun!
  5. Cadfael – from Ellis Peters’ Brother Cadfael mysteries. During the 12th-century, Cadfael becomes herbalist to the The Summer of the Danes book coverabbey at Shrewsbury, England, after a long career as a Crusader knight and sailor in the Holy Lands. The intrepid monk uses his keen analytical mind and scientifically-sound forensic methods to solve many a medieval murder.
  6. Lestat – from Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles. Lestat gets a bad rap in Rice’s first vampire book, “Interview with the Vampire.” Can a vampire be a hero? Can a villain be a hero? Keep reading — by the next book in the series, “The Vampire Lestat,” you’ll be rooting for the bad guy.
  7. Karana – from Scott O’Dell’s “Island of the Blue Dolphins.” Island of the Blue DolphinsBased on a true story, this amazing tale of survival is narrated by a young woman stranded on an island in the Pacific for 18 years.
  8. Jim Hawkins – from Robert Louis Stevenson’s “Treasure Island.” Jim’s odyssey puts him in the role of cabin boy, spy, loyal friend and hero. What kid wouldn’t want to be on this great adventure sailing across the ocean, searching a desert island for treasure, and out-foxing pirates?