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The Mark of Zorro

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  4,386 Ratings  ·  247 Reviews
Old California, in a bygone era of sprawling haciendas and haughty caballeros, suffers beneath the whip-lash of oppression. Missions are pillaged, native peasants are abused, and innocent men and women are persecuted by the corrupt governor and his army.

But a champion of freedom rides the highways. His identity hidden behind a mask, the laughing outlaw Zorro defies the tyr
Paperback, 288 pages
Published May 15th 1998 by Forge Books (first published September 13th 1919)
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Community Reviews

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Alex Farrand
4.5 Stars

Buddy reading with Grand Duke Craig and Grand Duchess Orient :D

 photo PhilippineZorro_zpsuebqyyew.jpg

Zorro the Mexican Robin Hood, the terror to the the ruling government, the Curse of Capistrano, a gentleman, a shadow, and chivalrous. How couldn't I fall for a man who stands up for the injustice of the people, and takes down the corrupted? I have loved Zorro since watching the the 1998 film The Mask of Zorro. He is the shadowy figure in the night, taking names, and whooping ass with his rapier.

 photo zorrotor_zpsclrkx31o.jpg

The Mark of Zorro
A playdate-BR with Alex and Craig to revive the legend of El Zorro and test our skills in writing the first letter of our names using smth sharp :D Yeah, IKR, I should give up reviewing and start carving 😃

I guess we don’t need introduction to the Spanish Robin Hood. But to tell the truth, I didn’t know that there were books about Zorro, till recently. So probably like some of you, I fell in love with Zorro after watching him on screen. In my case it was A. Banderas… *drools*

To my shame, I didn’
Sep 29, 2012 rated it liked it
Johnston McCulley’s The Curse of Capistrano, serialised in the pulp magazine All Story Weekly in 1919, marked the first appearance in print of Zorro. The character was destined to become one of the iconic adventure heroes of course, but while the novel was quite successful what really got the ball rolling was the 1920 movie adaptation.

The movie changed the title to The Mark of Zorro and was a huge hit, propelling Douglas Fairbanks to superstardom. It was so successful that the original novel was
Feb 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
Ah Zorro. As a kid, I remember really enjoying Disney's Zorro series with Guy Williams. More recently I've had a lot of fun with the new Antonio Banderas movies. However, I'd never read any of the original adventures so I decided it was high time I change that. Being very familiar with the character as presented in TV and film, I found a few things surprising as I read his first adventure The Mark of Zorro.

Firstly, I was a little bummed that I already knew about the character because the author
Ally (The Scribbling Sprite)
Meal mush and goat's milk! That's it, I'm off to watch the movie. I adored this. Zorro was a champion, always brilliant(and maybe almost too perfect) but so easy to root for. This was a lively, adventurous, surprisingly romantic tale, and overall, very simplistic in its telling. I'd highly recommend this one in any case, but especially if you're trying to get into the classics. This would be a great start!

FYI: It is so much to read this book aloud. And I'm not in the habit of doing that.
May 15, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Kindle edition was not so great. It wasn't the worst Kindle story I've read, but there were enough issues to throw me off once in a while. (numbers in place of letters, "die" instead of "the", etc.)

A goodreads friend rated this as fun and entertaining and I needed that after finishing a true crime book. So I picked it up and was not disappointed.
Jun 16, 2015 rated it liked it
Don Diego sticks with his character better than in the TV show and Garcia is hysterical, but I still didn't really enjoy the book as much as the show. The story mainly surrounds the romance of Zorro and a certain Senorita. I think there were a few swear words as well.
Calis Johnson
Apr 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
"Out of the night when the moon is bright comes the horsemen known as Zorro"
As a kid I loved Zorro watching it past my bedtime one the Disney Channel. And the 1998 film maizoro mainstream for the first time since the 50s.
Never once did I know that the masked horseman originated from a pulp magazine. While the book follows a bunch of tropes of that time period Gallant gentleman Damsel in Distress corrupt Authority officials ect. Its a pretty simple story, and there's nothing wrong with that. Some
The Curse of Capistrano is actually one of my favourite books of all time. I know it's not even close to a masterpiece, but I love the characters, the pace of the story, the plot (simple as it was).

I only gave it 3 stars because I realize it has many faults - the principal one being that the style is often not very fluid during the fight scenes. There's always a lot of chaos, and the reader can never be sure of what exactly is going on. One gets lost in the cloud of generic thrusts, touches, jum
I LOVE this story! Take The Scarlet Pimpernel and add healthy heaping of Spanish flavor and voila! The Mark of Zorro. I can see myself listening to this again in a few years. Even though it was predictable, it was fun and entertaining.

More reviews on My Blog.
Sep 24, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I first encountered Zorro as a character in an old movie my parents liked. Since then, I've sought out the stories when I could. When I discovered a number of them as radio plays through Audible, I had to pick them up.

This is the book that introduced the character of Zorro in 1919, originally titled, "The Curse of Capistrano." Johnston McCulley changed some aspects of the character since this first publication, but the sense of adventure and heroism is all there. As is the character's thirst for
May 23, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: mix
I have been a fan of Zorro since I was... 8? Maybe even younger... Anyway, in my teen days (16? 17?) I found The Curse of Capistrano in district library. It looked a bit suspicious to my eyes - thin and with illustrations inside - but I carried it home anyway and merrily gobbled down in two or three hours.
I was sorely disappointed. The plot was thin, full of unbelievable and unrealistic twists; the characters were either black or white. Basically, everything in it screamed either 'young adult',
Apr 08, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: x2008-9-season
I am frustrated because I do not know enough (yet) to decide whether this is a great or terrible book. The author is either a genius or an imbecile and the story is either a cultural prototype or painfully derivative. I just don't know.

Is the stilted language an insightful imitation of a badly translated story or merely bad?

Is the plot stunningly original or numbingly repetitive?

Are the characters the brilliant progenitors of stereotypes or only shadowy successors?

Bob Kane admits the Zorro inf
Leah Good
Robin Hood meets The Scarlet Pimpernel in this tale of Spanish dominated California. While the government has grown more and more oppressive a hero has been training himself to right wrongs. Now Zorro rides the countryside, stealing from soldiers what they have stolen from the people and punishing those who have dealt unjust punishment. It is this man who captures Lolita Pulido. At the same time the rich but languid Don Diego Vega has also asked for her hand. Can Zorro bring justice to the south ...more
Sep 18, 2016 rated it liked it
This was just okay for me. I thought I loved Zorro, but maybe it's Antonio Banderas and Anthony Hopkins that I love. I don't know. This book just rubbed me the wrong way. I found the character of Zorro annoying. He came across as a guys perfect fantasy. I did like some of the action scenes and I did enjoy some of the humor....maybe I'll give it 3 stars instead of 2.
Jan 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
I finally read one of the early Zorro books. Generally, those old adventure classics are pretty great (The Prisoner of Zenda is fantastic, as is Captain Blood). Anyway, The Mark of Zorro was great! While it was one of those books where the hero never even gets wounded, still it was a fun romp. I definitely recommend it to classic adventure fans.
Dan Schwent
Feb 19, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: pulp
This isn't a bad book. There just aren't any surprises if you know Zorro's true identity before you go in.
Sep 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, fiction, shelved
Adios, caballero. A book of multiple personalities and one Lolita (no, not that Lolita). A fun, light read.
Morris Graham
Mar 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
Since I had read the recent version of the Zorro tale by Chilean author Isabel Allende published in 2006, and watched all of the movies on TV and even the recent Antonio Banderas versions, I decided to go back to the past and read the original. I can't deny it. I love the Zorro tale, a swashbuckling, courageous defender of the weak and helpless. So now to review the original published in 1919.

The original story had multiple punctuation errors, namely placing a period in front of words that did n
Jun 15, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: classics, adventure
I wanted to like it better than I did. I read rather like a first draft - not horribly written, but lacking polish, and the fight scenes were strangely dull. As you'd expect for a work of its time, it suffers from some sexism and racism, and (weird in a story where the hero defends the downtrodden) classism. But what killed it for me was the character of Zorro.

I get that it's supposed to be somewhat humorous and all, but Zorro was too... perfect, I guess. It's not that he's a skilled horseman an
Joel Ballard
Oct 03, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Often referred to as a footnote in the many presentations of the Zorro franchise, The Curse of Capistrano is for all intent and purposes, just that, a sketch.

Far from the elaborate exploits of the larger than life vigilante, both intimidating yet righteous, and fighting strategically with two personas, here, he is thinly painted a nuisance and a pest. So unlike the hero portrayed in films over the decades; battling for social justice, the tale of "Senor Zorro" is merely a collections of awkward
Feb 03, 2010 rated it really liked it
Picked up at Newton library. I know. What was I thinking? Zorro? Hee hee.

Fun though. This is the ORIGINAL Zorro written in 1919-yep the one that started it all.

I almost bagged it in the beginning, because the writing leaves something to be desired. Lots of braggadocio and one already knows the story and all that.

However, Don Diego grew on me and the story actually wasn't exactly what we've always seen and it turned out to be a fun read.

More of a Spanish "Scarlet Pimpernel" than I remembered.
Mar 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another book I've just read for the first time, and it turned out to be a great read! This is the story that started Zorro, though it was originally published under a different name. Somehow I've never encountered it before, and frankly I didn't expect much in either story or execution. Instead of a clumsy story I found a nicely paced adventure that I genuinely enjoyed.

The contrast between Zorro and Don Diego was amusing, and I especially liked seeing how Diego carefully chose his words so he c
Sean O
Feb 02, 2016 rated it liked it
This book was written in 1919, and it contains a LOT of tropes that end up in superhero lore.

1. Worthless playboy/badass (Bat-man but also Iron Man).
2. The trusted servant (Bernardo, Alfred, Kato, J.A.R.V.I.S.)
3. The two person love triangle (Clark Kent-Lois Lane-Superman.)
4. The wealthy person who uses his wealth to attain peak condition (Batman.)

Basically, Zorro is "What if Batman lived in Los Angeles in the 1820s."

I liked the story, and it moved pretty briskly, like a pulp magazine story shou
Jan 26, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: collection, audio
My thoughts: This was a good old fashioned, swashbuckling story. I love Zorro stories (though I've never read one, so I'm basing it on the movie), but this one was just perfect, complete with do-gooder outlaw, beautiful lady, and corrupt leaders. While the story is a bit simplistic, black and white, and just plain obvious, I think it is meant to be that way. And it still is charming. I really liked the full cast narration (Val Kilmer was not hard to listen to). The accents and the voices and the ...more
IL have read this book this quarter and i feel very different when i read this. I dont know why, but i just feel like doing something nice for someone and not let anyone know who i am or why i did it. It makes me think of cops and charities. I think of cops because they help innocent people just like zorro. I think of charities because he does it for free and he helps the people who cant help themselfs. I love zorro because he is very kind and he doesnt even care about getting all the fam. Part ...more
Jun 25, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of caped crusaders
Shelves: 2011
An excellent page-turner of an adventure story, though the audio version alters a few things from the original version of The Curse of Capistrano. The most notable alteration, and the only reason I gave this particular version 4 stars instead of 5, is that it entirely skips the dénouement, a.k.a. the last couple pages of the written version. Audio listeners thus miss out on Zorro's reveal, which entirely changes the end of the story. It's a shame, really, because this is otherwise a gloriously f ...more
Mar 19, 2016 rated it liked it
I'll be honest. Westerns aren't my thing. So my reading of this is probably pretty biased. I just figured that it might be easier to break into westerns with a history and character that I'm familiar with. Honestly there's nothing wrong with this book. The writing and character just seem pretty simplistic. And there's nothing all that new to draw me in.
Mar 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
Fun read. It dawned on me toward the end of the book that I wasn't supposed to know his secret identity until the end and that may have changed part of how I read the book, but this story has been around so long that there is no way of not knowing. Still worth it if you are looking for a summer read.
Jul 03, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: romantics and action fans
Recommended to Amanda by: Myself
Really good so far!

Okay, I finished it, and -- SPOILER! -- I really liked his double identity as Don Diego Vega, a caberello, and Senor Zorro, a highwayman and thief. Really different from the movie, though.
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Why is it so difficult to find original Zorro stories aside from this? 3 16 Jul 30, 2013 09:30AM  
  • The Sea-Hawk
  • Prince of Foxes
  • Williwaw
  • The Soldier's Art (A Dance to the Music of Time, #8)
  • The Four Feathers
  • Death of a Hero
  • The Elusive Pimpernel
  • The Ship
  • Covenant With Death
  • The White Company
  • South Wind
  • A Knight of the White Cross
  • Confederates
  • Fair Stood the Wind for France
  • Rebel's Keep (Crown and Covenant, #3)
Johnston McCulley (February 2, 1883 – November 23, 1958) was the author of hundreds of stories, fifty novels, numerous screenplays for film and television, and the creator of the character Zorro.

Many of his novels and stories were written under the pseudonyms Harrington Strong, Raley Brien, George Drayne, Monica Morton, Rowena Raley, Frederic Phelps, Walter Pierson, and John Mack Stone, among othe
More about Johnston McCulley...
“Zorro also is part of the bandido tradition, most closely associated with the possibly mythical Joaquin Murrieta and the historical Tiburcio Vasquez. As well as these local California legendary figures, Zorro is an American version of Robin Hood and similar heroes whose stories blend fiction and history, thus moving Zorro into the timeless realm of legend. The original story takes place in the Romantic era, but, more important, Zorro as Diego adds an element of poetry and sensuality, and as Zorro the element of sexuality, to the traditional Western hero. Not all Western heroes are, as D. H. Lawrence said of Cooper's Deerslayer, "hard, isolate, stoic, and a killer," but in the Western genre the hero and villain more often than not share these characteristics. What distinguishes Zorro is a gallantry, a code of ethics, a romantic sensibility, and most significant, a command of language and a keen intelligence and wit.” 2 likes
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