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Captain Freedom: A Superhero's Quest for Truth, Justice, and the Celebrity He So Richly Deserves Paperback – February 3, 2009


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; Original edition (February 3, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061650684
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061650680
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,437,080 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

What do you get when you give a metrosexual superhero a sidekick, an identity crisis and the ability to predict the weather? The answer: Captain Freedom, the lovable hero of Robillard's debut novel. Once a popular superhero, Freedom's celebrity is on the wane, and instead of going quietly into retirement, he goes in search of his origin. Along the way, Freedom visits with a life coach, tries to find his lost father and writes his memoirs. He also laments his lack of a completing other half: an arch-nemesis. Causing trouble for Freedom, meanwhile, is the sniveling journalist/would-be superhero Skip Goodwin, whose antagonistic history dates back to the superhero school he and Freedom attended. Although Freedom manages to maintain a successful career into retirement and stay in the public eye, he also has a lot to learn about personal relationships. Robillard keeps the satire fast and furious, with laugh-out-loud moments competing with strangely insightful quips. It's funny and smart, and even readers who've long given up comic books will enjoy the ride. (Feb.)
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Review

“Captain Freedom is a truly funny and energetic romp of a social satire, a terrific send up of not only of super heroes, but the cult of personality in general.” (-Christopher Moore, author of Lamb and Fool)

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Customer Reviews

This is very fun.
Seth in SF
There's nothing beyond this setup/punchline, nothing that provides a reason to care or the kind of deeper insight really good parody can provide on a subject.
Amazon Customer
Captain Freedom: A Superhero's Quest for Truth, Justice, and the Celebrity He So Richly DeservesWitty new material, absolutely hilarious, fantastic book.
Patricia A. Stagg

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Bri99 on August 8, 2013
Format: Paperback
Hysterical. Sharp satire that kicked ass before Kiss Ass was conceived. Stands alone as a guide to finding life coaches in the unlikeliest of places.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Seth in SF on April 4, 2013
Format: Paperback
This is very fun. It's uneven and often derivative, but that's kind of the point: it's in the "throw a joke a second and some are bound to stick" tradition and in the "broad and easy satire by forcing modern life into stock genre" genre, making it a light read filled with some good comic ideas and some light and easy social satire.

The book is billed as the memoir of Captain Freedom, a has-been superhero telling his rags-to-riches-to-washed-up-but-still-rich life story, taking us through his days as a sidekick ("Liberty Bill") to his early hero days, to being the top hero around, and then down to being a nobody and trying to claw his way up.

The recurring theme is around heroism versus self-interest; Captain Freedom is so convinced people only do heroic things for the fame--and the heroes around his agree--that he isn't even able to be cynical. His sidekick, DJ, has a better grasp of the world but no better view of people and the assembly-line, Hollywood studio system-inspired hero industry does nothing to change their minds.

The plot, weak as it is, falls apart a few times and the flashbacks and memoir structure isn't well handled, but none of that gets in the way in this type of book.

I like these light satires and I wish they were more common these days (they come in and out of fashion like most things). Don't expect too much going in, but enjoy the observations and the jokes.

It helps to know a little something about comics, at least in broad terms, but it isn't any more necessary than knowing about psychology is to watching The President's Analyst.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By S. K. Brown on May 11, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Not my usual type of reading material, but I was really glad that I got this book. I heard about it on NPR a while ago, and just read it while in Aruba. Love the way the author ties in funny things about real life celebs,politicians,California with the fiction. I would and have recommended this to friends.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By matt dundas on February 12, 2009
Format: Paperback
I laughed until i fell off my chair. Then i got up, read some more and fell over again.
Non stop fun. A constant stream of whit fired at you from beginning to end.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By The Wood Man on August 13, 2012
Format: Paperback
I stopped reading this about 1/2 of the way through. The premise was good but it simply was not entertaining enough to keep going. I can't remember the last time I did not finish a book. Bottom line is it's simply not funny, a couple of smiles here and there but that is it.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I had high hopes for this book. I am a big fan of GXR's work on McSweeney etc. but this book was a bit of a let down. It's funny, but in very forced way. Every paragraph seemingly ends with a joke in an almost Henny Youngman fashion. The premise is great: a self-obsessed superhero in a world where superheroes are commonplace and the comic companies are corporate juggernauts.

There are certainly parts that stand out as especially funny but the book often falls back down to earth with the end of each paragraph. I described this to a friend as following the "2 Broke Girls" school of comedy: Make sure you end every paragraph or bit of dialogue with a witty aside. As the book is now 4 years old, some of the pop culture references are a bit stale and played out ( I suppose this is partially my fault for waiting so long to read the book.)

It's not bad but it had great potential to end up as a self-deprecating genre piece like S.G. Browne's "Breathers" and "Fated." I would definitely give Robillard another shot but this book was a struggle to finish.
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By D. Daly on April 28, 2013
Format: Paperback
I read this a while ago, when it was first published, but I reread it recently and I really do like it. I thought at times it was truly laugh out loud funny. The titular character is supposed to be narcissistic, he's a freaking superhero.

Anyway, I would love to see this as a movie with an aging washed up Tom Cruise playing the lead LOL
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Lauren G VINE VOICE on May 11, 2009
Format: Paperback
When I first heard about this book I was incredibly excited. A writer from McSweeney's wrote a satirical superhero book? Yes, please!

Captain Freedom starts off like most superhero stories - the hero in pursuit of the evil villain Genghis Kong is flying high above the streets and wondering frantically if his creme brule was taken out of the oven in time. Captain Freedom is unlike the Batmans and Supermans of our time. Yes, he's strong (he has super strength and the ability to fly and predict the weather), yes he stops bank heists, yes he's saved the world (FOUR TIMES and without the recognition he deserves), however he's also quite the chef, very concerned about his appearance (when the invisibility cape makes him look fat, all hell breaks loose), and has a penchant for drugs and alcohol.

Captain Freedom is about what would happen if superheroes were real and around today. The book starts with him being fired from Gotham Comics (because all great superheroes can only work when a cartoonist is following them, creating their comic book of course) and wondering what else there is to life. After a brief stint with internet dating he finds a life coach and decides to write a (hopefully best selling) memoir. The majority of the book is his life story.

From battling aliens on Mars to saving third world countries, Captain Freedom has done it all with the help of his sidekick/adopted son DJ (who's power is harnessing radio airwaves and turntableing, as Freedom calls it). He spends some time in rehab (what superhero celebrity hasn't?), dates an assassin, finds an underground crime unit, and constantly looks for his archenemy (because every superhero must have one.)

What I love about this book is that it's very self aware.
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