Diana L. Smith (review date 16 December 1984)
SOURCE: "A Novel Neat as a Slamdunk," in Fort Worth Star-Telegram, December 16, 1984.
[In the following excerpt, Smith favorably assesses the style, plot, and characters of Heroes.]
Al Biederman's goal at the tender age of 10 was to perfect the double-push jump shot. In two years he achieved it. "Practice makes perfect" could easily have been this child's motto. He practiced every day and night to the exclusion of friends and family to refine a nearly impossible maneuver on—and in the air above—a basketball court.
Al had an early love of basketball and a desire to see things through to completion. These two things conflict with one another in Al's adult life and form the core of Heroes.
The reader is introduced to Al in the present tense. He is past 30 and previously fouled out in a basketball career while still in college: a knee injury put him on the sidelines for life. On the rebound he has taken a sportswriting job with a small newspaper in River City, Iowa, the home of River City College.
Al is in the competition for a much better job with a large newspaper in Milwaukee. He and two other applicants have made the cut. One of the three will be the high scorer and land the job. What Al needs is a scoop. Milwaukee is pressing him for a hot story that will ensure him the job.
Al is smitten with the prospects for a college...
(The entire section is 557 words.)