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Zorro: A Novel Paperback – Apr 12 2006


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial; 1 edition (April 12 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060779004
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060779009
  • Product Dimensions: 20.4 x 13.6 x 2.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 295 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #236,430 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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By kasthu on June 23 2005
Format: Paperback
Forget what you've seen in Hollywood (a la the Mark of Zorro ad the Mask of Zorro)- Isabel Allende tells the story of Zorro, or "the fox." Born in 1795 in California of mixed parentage, Diego de la Vega grows up with a thirst to see justice being done. Contact with his Indian grandmother leads Diego and his blood brother Bernardo to undergo the initiation ceremony into that tribe. One of his taks is to perform a feat of bravery in the woods. The sighting of a fox gives Diego the courage to continue with his mission. Many years later, when he becomes a member of the exclusive European secret society called La Justicia, Diego will take the name of Zorro.
Zorro is actually a coming of age story, beginning with Zorro's birth and continuing until he is a young man. Although Diego has a human adversary in the shape of Rafael Moncada, his real struggle is with himself, or the two personalities that he creates for himself: Diego de la Vega, the European-educated aristocrat, and Zorro, the avenger of justice.

No Bildungsroman can be complete without the hero falling in love; while in Barcelona, Diego falls in love with an aristocrat's daughter, Juliana. Her younger, more perceptive sister Isabel is the narrator of this story. California in the early 19th century was the scene of great change and expectation for the people who lived there, and Isabel Allende captures it perfectly.

As other readers have pointed out, the ending is different than the ones created by Hollywood. But I was extremely satisfied with not only the ending, but the entire book in general. Isabel Allende's narrative style is always a joy to read. I highly recommend this book. But try it for yourself. Pick up a copy! Another book I need to recommend -- very much on my mind since I purchased a "used" copy off Amazon is "The Losers' Club: Complete Restored Edition" by Richard Perez, an odd, highly entertaining little novel I can't stop thinking about.
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Format: Audio CD
"But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus." -- 2 Timothy 3:14-15 (NKJV)

As a youngster, the masked avenger of right aspect of Zorro was the obvious surface story. But beneath the humorous tales leading up to dramatic swordplay and escapes, there were serious themes of civic responsibility, the requirement to follow one's conscience rather than one's self interest, and something much finer than vigilante action. It was easy, however, to see who Zorro was . . . and the dual nature of being a fluttery dandy in public and a fierce righter of wrong behind a mask added to the story's appeal. But how did Zorro get to be that way? I could never figure that out.

In this novel, Isabel Allende takes the fictional hero and makes him even larger than the "fictional life" by providing heroic antecedents for his adult activities. I was impressed by how seriously she took every aspect of the adult fictional character . . . and how well she wove in themes such as feminism, racial justice, and the coming-of-age desire to make something of oneself. Although it's an origin story that I would never have imagined on my own, the story fits my sense of the adult Zorro.

I don't have very high expectations for fictional origin novels. This one vastly exceeded what I could have hoped to find. I thought that it was more interesting than the original stories. Very nice.

I had the distinct pleasure of listening to the unabridged CD version by Blair Brown, which I highly recommend. Ms. Brown's reading brings liveliness to the story that my own reading would not have equaled.

Brava, Ms. Allende and Ms. Brown!
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Format: Hardcover
Isabel Allende writes with an effortless flow. Her action is enthralling, her drama captivating. Allende carves out a ZORRO who is romantic and historical, but one who exhibits sensibilities we can relate to. Thematically the book has more in common with modern greats like "My Fractured Life", "Saturday", and "Life of Pi" than most historical fiction. You'll see "Zorro" on the bestseller list for a long time.
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By kasthu on July 7 2005
Format: Audio CD
Forget what you've seen in Hollywood (a la the Mark of Zorro and the Mask of Zorro)- Isabel Allende tells the story of Zorro, or "the fox." Born in 1795 in California of mixed parentage, Diego de la Vega grows up with a thirst to see justice being done. Contact with his Indian grandmother leads Diego and his blood brother Bernardo to undergo the initiation ceremony into that tribe. One of his taks is to perform a feat of bravery in the woods. The sighting of a fox gives Diego the courage to continue with his mission. Many years later, when he becomes a member of the exclusive European secret society called La Justicia, Diego will take the name of Zorro.
Zorro is actually a coming of age story, beginning with Zorro's birth and continuing until he is a young man. Although Diego has a human adversary in the shape of Rafael Moncada, his real struggle is with himself, or the two personalities that he creates for himself: Diego de la Vega, the European-educated aristocrat, and Zorro, the avenger of justice.
No Bildungsroman can be complete without the hero falling in love; while in Barcelona, Diego falls in love with an aristocrat's daughter, Juliana. Her younger, more perceptive sister Isabel is the narrator of this story. California in the early 19th century was the scene of great change and expectation for the people who lived there, and Isabel Allende captures it perfectly.
As other readers have pointed out, the ending is different than the ones created by Hollywood. But I was extremely satisfied with not only the ending, but the entire book in general. Isabel Allende's narrative style is always a joy to read. I highly recommend this book. But try it for yourself. Pick up a copy! Another book I need to recommend -- very much on my mind since I purchased a "used" copy off Amazon is "The Losers' Club: Complete Restored Edition" by Richard Perez, an odd, highly entertaining little novel I can't stop thinking about
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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