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Why Do We Love Literary Lone Wolves?

They live in the fast lane, taking down bad guys and avenging the ones they love. Here, we take a closer look at literary loners.

By Whitney Jacoby
Why Do We Love Literary Lone Wolves?

Men on their own, fighting for what they believe in, avenging the deaths of those they love. It’s a pretty attractive visual (and Matt Damon playing iconic loner Jason Bourne doesn’t hurt, either). But first things first …

How do you spot a Lone Wolf in the literary wild?

The first type of character to look for is The Imposed Loner. He’s forced to be alone because he isn’t accepted for who he is by society at large.

The second type is The Preferred Loner. This man is a loner by choice. Sometimes it’s because he’s anti-social, but more often than not, his self-imposed exile is the result of a traumatic event.

No matter the type, all Lone Wolves share some of the same characteristics: Their high-risk lifestyle and willingness to take on any challenge often scares off potential romance; they’re flighty by nature, which means they’re usually childless or estranged from family; and they always work alone.

Where does the Lone Wolf come from?

Novels that feature a Lone Wolf are everywhere — take Major Carlos Guillermo Castillo from the Presidential Agent Series by W.E.B. Griffin, Indiana Jones, or previously mentioned Jason Bourne. And we can’t forget one of the original lone wolves, Mack Bolan.

In The Executioner Series by Don Pendleton, U.S. Army sniper Mack Bolan has come home from Vietnam to find his family destroyed, victims of the Mafia. This brutal massacre launches an unending, one-man crusade against the mob bosses, raging across America and into Europe. Although Mack Bolan gets help from old army buddies and police officers throughout the novels, he is virtually on his own, risking his life everyday to avenge his family.

why do we love lone wolves

Courtesy of Gold Eagle

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