Brad's Reviews > Zorba the Greek

Zorba the Greek by Nikos Kazantzakis
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's review
Oct 16, 2008

really liked it
bookshelves: classic

Sensuality, sexuality, misogyny, homoeroticism, brutality, indifference, spirituality, religion, capitalism, war, communism, murder, arson, music, dance, work, rest, sleep, death, food and wine.

These ingredients may have been put together to tell us how to live our lives in and for every moment, but something tells me Kazantzakis was not writing Zorba the Greek to preach a way of life so much as to celebrate life in all its glory -- seeing everything in life, including death, as worthy of glorification.

Zorba can be a choppy piece of literature at times, moving between moments of glorious prose, dull passages of lounging about, and sudden bursts of frenetic action, but that choppiness could be a brilliant move on the part of Kazantzakis to mimic the rhythms of life itself. Whatever the shortcomings of Zorba the Greek, Kazantzakis still manages to imbue his story with an incredible depth of balance.

Humanity is as ugly as it is beautiful, and neither state is superior to the other. They simply are.

I will read Zorba the Greek again in a year. I must. I know that it will require time and meditation to fully savour what Kazantzakis has done. Maybe then, after I've taken the time, I will have more to say.

For now I will simply do what makes me feel most alive.
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Reading Progress

10/17/2008 page 38
11.34% "Loving it so far."
10/19/2008 page 93
27.76% "I am in love with the way Zorba lives life, but it is the keen vision of the narrator that brings it all to life."
10/20/2008 page 120
35.82% "Is it possible that the misogyny of Zorba is a greater respect for women than the respect campaigns of today?"
10/23/2008 page 198
59.1% "I love the idea that words are abysses that can trap us, and that conquering each new word falsely makes us believe will be forever safe."
10/25/2008 page 259
77.31% "Zorba feels so choppy, I am guessing this has to do with the translation. Sometimes it is breathtaking in its beauty and other times..."
10/26/2008 page 322
96.12% "This book never ceases to amaze. Homoeroticism, brutality, indifference to brutality, attacks on religion. It is a feast fit for Zorba."
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