The Secret to Superhuman Strength

Secret to Superhuman Strength

I loved Fun Home by this author, so I snatched up The Secret to Superhuman Strength posthaste without reading the book synopsis. Imagine my disappointment when I realized it was about my arch nemesis, exercise. But it is actually a look at how exercise fads have changed over the years and much more. I’ll just call it a historical memoir and never mention the E-word again!

“We are all careening at speed toward that granite slab.”

Did I mention that the book is also about accepting aging? Yes, it has that too. As with Fun Home, there are multiple layers of plot that would be surprising in a prose novel let alone a graphic memoir. Also, the Romantic poets are frequently mentioned as well as other famous, and long dead, authors.

The fact that this book’s author and I were born within the same year makes the history much more interesting to me than, say, my Millennial daughter. Most of the short vignettes were familiar from remembering my parents crying at the Kennedy assignation to the Aids crisis.

Forget about me. What about you? Will you enjoy this book? I have kind of mixed feelings about The Secret to Superhuman Strength. I think it will appeal to others that have seen their fitness journey evolve over the years. It would also be suitable for readers looking for a completely different memoir about finding spiritual strength in a confusing world. 3.5 stars!

Thanks to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for my honest review.


  1. I liked ‘Fun Home’ okay, but I didn’t love it the way most people did (Alison Bechdel seems a little pretentious.) I’m not sure if I’ll read more of her stuff or not. Great review! 🙂

    1. Author

      If anything, she is more pretentious here. You might want to skip this one.

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