Feb 21, 2016

Book Review: Natural Born Heroes by Christopher McDougall

I had high expectations to Christopher McDougall's new book Natural Born Heroes. His previous book was really enjoyable journey to endurance athletes and especially to ultrarunning world. I thought this book would be natural continuation to that one.

The book tells stories about human abilities that go beyond our thought of normal human abilities. So it tells stories about heroes. Heroes and especially endurance heroes looked like an interesting topic to read about.

Quite early in the book I noticed that it isn't as easy to read that I would have hoped to. The challenge with the book was that it was filled with so many stories, that it becomes almost impossible to follow all of those.

Main stories were about Greece, but even there the stories jumped from mythologies, to World War II to McDougall's own experience from there. In addition to these Greece stories, book jumped once in a while to stories from former China, UK and US. Many of the stories connected to each other, but there were so many characters in the book that it was laborious to keep track on whom was whom.

As such I liked the book and it thought some good things about humans and endurance overall. In that sense it was enjoyable. With better planning and organization the book would have been excellent. At least for my type of reading, I kept loosing track which story was being told at which time.

It is bit hard to give recommendations about the book. At least if World War II interests, then I recommend to read it. If you want something lighter about endurance once in a while, then it would be good option look into. If you expect clearly structured fact based book about endurance, then maybe there are other choices to consider.

Written by +Henri Hämäläinen