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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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A Superhero with an Identity Crisis
Read an excerpt from Captain Freedom: A Superhero's Quest for Truth, Justice, and the Celebrity He So Richly Deserves, by G. Xavier Robillard [PDF].

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: 0.7 x 5.3 x 7.9 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: #2,751,058 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.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

Fresh and smart and funny.
Andrew S. Fuller
So it's a decent premise, and it starts off well enough but then it just falls into a long boring rut where the author tries so desperately to be hip and funny.
Damian Penney
Gag piles on top of gag as he deconstructs the comic book universe and focuses a wicked lens on all of contemporary living.
Prince Mychkin

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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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful By grumpydan VINE VOICE on February 14, 2009
Format: Paperback
I saw the cover of this book on someone else's blog and thought it looked interesting enough to pick up for myself. (I know you should never judge a book by its cover). It's got superheroes, archenemies, and time machines to name a few. This first novel by humorist G. Xavier Robillard makes fun of everything in this pop culture society of ours. Captain Freedom struggles with finding a job, wanting to be loved, writing his memoirs and get recognition for saving the world which he does a few times. It is quick paced and a fast read. Although I am a comic book reader and love pop culture, this satirical view of the superhero world was just okay.
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