Adam Sternbergh is the culture editor of The New York Times Magazine. Formerly an editor-at-large for New York, his writing has been featured in several other publications including GQ, The Times of London, and on the radio program This American Life. He lives in Brooklyn. His first novel, Shovel Ready, will be published by Crown on January 14, 2014. He is at work on a second Spademan novel, Near Enemy, which is set to publish in 2015.
Pity the antihero. Amid his usual routine of skirting the law, living by a code, and implicitly calling into question the validity of our bourgeois social structures, he (or she!) must now contend with a new menace: Antihero fatigue.
This fatigue started, as with so many things, on our TV screens. No sooner had Breaking Bad, that brilliant showcase for the morally decaying American male, ended its series run then TV watchers publicly brushed their hands and announced they were done with the antihero. “Can We Make Walter White Our Last Antihero, Please?” read the straightforward headline of one typical essay. The Shield? Great. Mad Men? Of course. Breaking Bad? Huzzah! Antiheros sure had a good run, but now we’ve had our fill. READ FULL STORY