Death of a Superhero

By Anthony McCarten

ISBN: 9781846882876

256 pages

RRP: £6.39

Donald Delpe is a troubled teenager. Not only is he a “terrible teen” by default, as obsessed with sex, music, videogames and drugs as the rest of his gang, but he is also suffering from a life-threatening form of leukaemia, which makes him an even more difficult boy, both for his parents and his teachers. Escaping into his own comic-book realm of immortal superheroes, ruthless villains and sex-crazed vamps, he repeatedly dashes his family’s hopes by refusing to fight the battles facing him in the real world. As famous psychologist Dr King is brought in to help, a glimmer of hope is rekindled. But will the doctor break the rules, betray the parents’ trust and risk everything to help Donald achieve his greatest wish? Or will Donald be the one to save the doctor?

Inspired by real events, Death of a Superhero is a brilliantly original fusion of novel, comic book and film script; a celebration of the transience of life, the eternal difficulty of love and a hilarious riff on our 21st-century infatuation with movies and the superhero solution.

SKU: 9781846882876 Category: Tags: ,


  • McCarten burns a literary firework. Sentences, paragraphs, pages are ablaze with wonderful word creations. McCarten, with Death of a Superhero, has modelled a novel which belongs on the literary catwalk. He is super-sad, super-cool, super-witty – and deserves to be celebrated.


  • One of New Zealand’s most exciting literary exports

    International Herald Tribune

Anthony McCarten

Anthony McCarten’s debut novel, Spinners, won international acclaim, and was followed by The English Harem and the award winning Death of a Superhero, all three books being translated into many languages. McCarten has also written twelve stage plays, including the worldwide success Ladies’ Night, which won France’s Molière Prize, the Meilleure Pièce Comique, in 2001. Also a film-maker, he has thrice adapted his own plays or novels into feature films which he directed himself.

Read an interview with Anthony McCarten here