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Zorro: A Novel (P.S.) by Isabel Allende
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Zorro: A Novel (P.S.) (original 2005; edition 2006)

by Isabel Allende

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,402None2,579 (3.59)121
Member:kakadoo202
Title:Zorro: A Novel (P.S.)
Authors:Isabel Allende
Info:Harper Perennial (2006), Edition: Rep Tra, Paperback, 416 pages
Collections:Your library
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Zorro by Isabel Allende (2005)

  1. 20
    The Princess Bride by William Goldman (Alliebadger)
    Alliebadger: Both full of romance and adventure, and both fantastically written. Who doesn't love a daring swashbuckler?
  2. 10
    The Mark of Zorro by Johnston McCulley (jseger9000)
    jseger9000: McCulley created Zorro
  3. 00
    Daughter of Fortune by Isabel Allende (Alliebadger)
    Alliebadger: Both beautifully written, and Daughter of Fortune's Zorro references are hard to miss. :^)
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» See also 121 mentions

English (70)  Spanish (5)  Dutch (3)  French (1)  Italian (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  German (1)  Catalan (1)  All languages (83)
Showing 1-5 of 70 (next | show all)
I listened to the audio book - all 13 hours! And it is indeed an epic historical fiction origins story of Zorro. Well done, but I imagine it would be a bit plodding if I'd had to read it instead of listened to it driving cross country. ( )
  ResAliens | Feb 6, 2014 |
The novelization of the telling of Zorro is a quick paced and action-packed tale, starting out from his youth in California before relocating to Spain. Despite the privilege of his familial upbringing, he becomes best of friends with his wet nurse's son. Zorro develops a strong sense of justice with his ties to the natives in California, who are being exploited. In Spain, Zorro joins a secret society dedicated to fighting injustice, where he learns swordsmanship. Amongst gypsies, he develops acrobatic skills. With all of this, he returns to California to regain his family's estates.

While Zorro is a familiar character, there hasn't been so much done in regards to his character in fiction and film that he feels worn and beaten down. The novel is a fun portrayal of the swash-buckling hero, and certainly an entertaining tale. There is nothing especially deep about this novel. It's not one that will resonate long after you read it, but it serves its job to entertain. The writing is professional and competent. The author could have added more details to flesh out the historical settings, which came up a little short. A decent novel worth reading.

Carl Alves - author of Blood Street ( )
  Carl_Alves | Oct 2, 2013 |
This book, which tells the story of Zorro’s early life, is great fun. We learn that his mother was a
First Nations warrior, the head of a band dedicated to driving the colonists out of California. Zorro’s father was a Spanish military man, defending the mission of Father Mendoza. He captures the warrior chief – who turns out to be a woman – and then, as he’s nursing her back to health, falls in love with her and marries her. During the same week that their son Diego is born, an Indian servant girl gives birth to another boy, Bernardo, and the two boys grow up together as blood brothers.

This is only the beginning of Zorro’s life. He gets his name during an initiation rite with his grandmother’s tribe, when a fox helps him to survive in the wilderness. He helps rescue his mother from a pirate attack. And then he and Bernardo are sent to Barcelona to further their education in the old country. There he masters the art of sword-fighting, studies sleight of hand from the gypsies, gets embroiled in local politics, falls into unrequited love, and is initiated into a secret society dedicated to justice.

And along the way, he develops the identity of Zorro, and goes out to fight for justice in a black mask and cape. Allende’s book is mostly an adventure story, but is always sensitive to the emotional and mental development of its main character. What’s it like to have a double identity? Zorro is loveable, a little arrogant, and very divided between the different cultural influences that have formed him. I was sorry to leave him at the end of the story.
( )
  astrologerjenny | Apr 25, 2013 |
This book, which tells the story of Zorro’s early life, is great fun. We learn that his mother was a
First Nations warrior, the head of a band dedicated to driving the colonists out of California. Zorro’s father was a Spanish military man, defending the mission of Father Mendoza. He captures the warrior chief – who turns out to be a woman – and then, as he’s nursing her back to health, falls in love with her and marries her. During the same week that their son Diego is born, an Indian servant girl gives birth to another boy, Bernardo, and the two boys grow up together as blood brothers.

This is only the beginning of Zorro’s life. He gets his name during an initiation rite with his grandmother’s tribe, when a fox helps him to survive in the wilderness. He helps rescue his mother from a pirate attack. And then he and Bernardo are sent to Barcelona to further their education in the old country. There he masters the art of sword-fighting, studies sleight of hand from the gypsies, gets embroiled in local politics, falls into unrequited love, and is initiated into a secret society dedicated to justice.

And along the way, he develops the identity of Zorro, and goes out to fight for justice in a black mask and cape. Allende’s book is mostly an adventure story, but is always sensitive to the emotional and mental development of its main character. What’s it like to have a double identity? Zorro is loveable, a little arrogant, and very divided between the different cultural influences that have formed him. I was sorry to leave him at the end of the story.
( )
  astrologerjenny | Apr 24, 2013 |
In Zorro, Isabel Allende delves into the story of the pulp fiction hero and tells how Diego de la Vega becomes Zorro. Staying within the confines of the legend and yet telling a fresh and innovative story, she traces the life of Don Diego, born to a wealthy Spanish landowner and a Indian woman, raised in California with his Indian blood brother, Bernardo, schooled in Spain, all the while learning and perfecting his alter-ego, Zorro. He then returns to California to fight for justice for the downtrodden and ill-used.

Staying true to the historical background of both Napoleonic Europe and the Spanish held colony of California, the author breathes life into the myth that originally saw the light of day in various dime store novels. I, myself, fell in love with Zorro when watching the late fifties TV show with Guy Williams and then again in 1998 with the movie The Mask of Zorro starring Antonio Banderas. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and would recommend it to any Zorro fan.

Offering respect to a legend and giving him a fully fleshed character, all the while writing in an expressive, passionate and, at times, humorous manner, Zorro is a compelling saga that offers romance, adventure and plenty of action. ( )
2 vote DeltaQueen50 | Apr 18, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 70 (next | show all)
This hard-charging style, nicely captured by Margaret Sayers Peden's translation, is one of Allende's strengths: she dashes off long, sweeping paragraphs that dance with energy. Her prose is casually sensuous (''power was passed from hand to hand like a coin''), and her characters are large and archetypal, cut from mythic patterns. Mischievous Don Diego, the future Zorro, and his ''milk brother,'' Bernardo, move through the California landscape like Western versions of Tom and Huck.
added by SimoneA | editNew York Times, Max Byrd (May 15, 2005)
 
Reckless, unstable, attention-seeking, hysterical, sexually provocative, given to histrionic gestures, and with at least a split, dual or possibly even a multiple personality, Zorro is the archetypal neurotic-as-hero. He also wears a mask. Obviously, out in the real world, you'd lock him up and throw away the key. On the page, though, he's absolutely irresistible.

The story of Diego de la Vega, the son of an aristocratic Spanish landowner and a Native American Shoshone warrior, who becomes Zorro while traveling the world with his dependable sidekick Bernardo, is clearly a perfect fit for the author of The House of the Spirits and The Stories of Eva Luna.

 
…Allende wants to have some fun, and in this she succeeds with a variety of spunk and good cheer.

…I am amazed at how enjoyable a picaresque novel can be, particularly one imbued with swashbuckling, swordplay, honor, hidden desire, unlikely coincidence and a good old-fashioned villain. Such elements are a reminder of the attractions of one of the main strains of world literature that starts with Don Quixote.

…the book has plenty of what Hollywood would call non-stop action, and this is told with a pleasure so keen on the author's part that it's difficult not to be swept up in it.

 

» Add other authors (15 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Isabel Allendeprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Peden, Margaret SayersTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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This is the story of Diego de la Vega and of how he became the legendary Zorro.
Let us begin at the beginning, at an event without which Diego de la Vega would not have been born.
Quotations
„Didvyriškumas – nedėkingas amatas, dažniausiai lemiantis ankstyvą žūtį, todėl vilioja fanatikus arba, liguistai besižavinčius mirtimi.“; „Indėnai negalėjo suvokti, kodėl baltieji garbina ant kryžiaus nukankintą žmogų ir kodėl reikia atsižadėti malonumų šiame pasaulyje dėl tariamo gėrio kitame.“;
„ kaip tai gali atsitikti, kad jį, tokį menkystą, mylinti pati gražiausia pasaulio mergina, ir ji atsakė nežinanti, jog moteris sunku suprasti. Paskiau, šelmiškai mirktelėjusi, pridūrė, kad bet kuri moteris įsimylėtų vien tik su ją kalbantį vyrą.“; „Vaikystė – nelaimingas laikotarpis, pilnas nepagrįstų baimių, tokių kaip įsivaizduojamų pabaisų ir pajuokos baimės.“;
„Širdis – užgaidi, kartais staigiai persimaino, tačiau švelni seseriška meilė visada pastovi.“;

„Esu girdėjusi, kad kai kurie išradėjai svajoja sukurti rašymo aparatą, tačiau, mano įsitikinimu, toks keistas išradimas niekada nesulauks pasisekimo. Kai kurių rūšių neįmanoma mechanizuoti, nes joms reikia meilės, o rašymas yra viena jų.“;
„Meilė - tai tokia būklė, kurioje paprastai vyrams aptemsta protas, bet tai nepavojinga, apskritai pakanka to, kad ligoniui būtų atliepta, tuomet jis atsipeikėja ir ima žvalgytis kitos aukos.“; „Atmintis silpna ir aikštinga, kiekvienas žmogus prisimena ir pamišta tai, ką nori. Praeitis – tai storas sąsiuvinis, kuriame užsirašome gyvenimo įvykius rašalu, atitinkančiu dvasios būseną.“
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0060779004, Paperback)

A child of two worlds -- the son of an aristocratic Spanish military man turned landowner and a Shoshone warrior woman -- young Diego de la Vega cannot silently bear the brutal injustices visited upon the helpless in late-eighteenth-century California. And so a great hero is born -- skilled in athleticism and dazzling swordplay, his persona formed between the Old World and the New -- the legend known as Zorro.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:25:28 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

Diego de la Vega, the son of an aristocratic Spanish landowner and a Shoshone mother, returns to California from school in Spain to reclaim the hacienda on which he was raised and to seek justice for the weak and helpless.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 8 descriptions

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