Adventures are one of the oldest of the genres. The adventure novel itself is also one of the earliest genres of novels. Adventure stories feature relatively flat characters who undergo risk and danger.
The most common format will have the hero meet a girl (or a boy, in more modern incarnations) after enduring several trials, be torn apart, and then reunited after more adventures. Morality is often very black and white, plots very linear. The Heroes
are generally not formally involved in law enforcement but often find themselves battling evil and/or criminals while Walking the Earth
. Vigilantes are common.
Frequently overlaps with other genres such as the Picaresque
Novel, Historical Fiction
, Speculative Fiction
, Sea Stories
and The Western
In visual media, it is similar to the Action Series
but with less emphasis on violence, fighting and car chases and more on exotic locations, exploration and puzzle solving. See also Adventure Game
. Often overlaps with just about every single other genre out there.
Alternatively, you might be looking for the Atari 2600 game
or the tabletop RPG
Anime and Manga
- Doc Savage was a series of books published during the pulp era, featuring a Science Hero (and Genius Bruiser) who traveled the world seeking adventure and righting wrongs. He also carried a commission from the NYPD enabling him to act with official police authority.
- Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, Journey to the Center of the Earth and Around the World in 80 Days by the aforementioned Jules Verne, overlapping with Speculative Fiction.
- The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas.
- King Solomon's Mines and sequels by H. Rider Haggard.
- Treasure Island and Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson.
- The Headless Horseman by Thomas Mayne Reid, overlapping with Horror.
- Lagadins Legacy by Jonathan Anthony and Samuel Inglis, is kind of a unique case, as it uses many Adventure tropes, but also includes elements of thriller and satire.
- The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien, overlapping with Fantasy.
- Robert E. Howard's Conan stories, which like Tolkien also overlaps with fantasy, though his brand of fantasy is more Heroic Low Fantasy, or sword and sorcery.
- The Princess Bride
- The Wonderful Wizard of Oz; Dorothy meets not one, but three grown men who become her sidekicks while going through a myriad of adventures in order to get what they want most in their lives.
- Simplicissimus, which is in fact the oldest adventure novel in the German language
- The Sea Hawk
- Most of James Fenimore Cooper's novels qualify. Many of them also belong to Historical Fiction and belong to one of two genres he pioneered, the Frontier Novel (proto-Western) and the Sea Novel. The Pathfinder manages to be all three in one.