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GROUP READS > Zorro

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message 1: by SRC Moderator (new)

SRC Moderator | 5362 comments Mod
This is the discussion thread for the Fall 2018 Group Read Zorro by Isabel Allende. Please post your comments here. This thread is not restricted to those choosing this book for task 20.10, feel free to join in the discussion. Warning- spoilers ahead!

The requirement for task 20.10: You must participate in the book's discussion thread below with at least one post about the contents of the book or your reaction to the book after you have read the book.


message 2: by Rina (new)

Rina | 564 comments I loved this book.
It is a great book about how Don Diego de la Vega became Zorro. The story itself is not very deep or complex, it is Isabel Allende's passionate writing that makes this story compelling and magical.
Now, after reading Zorro, I want to read the original Zorro series by Johnston McCulley.


message 3: by Nick (last edited Sep 20, 2018 01:17PM) (new)

Nick (doily) | 2685 comments I loved the book too. In fact it was my first book recorded when I joined Goodreads. I was not planning on doing a re-read, but I am glad to have the opportunity. I listend to the audio version with the actress Blair Brown narrating.

A certain frustration exists because the book is more of a "How Zorro became Zorro" tale than it is an "Adventures of Zorro" tale, which is what the reader would expect, if he/she knew the series. Allende's tale spends more time in Spain and the Caribbean than in California. But it's all great stuff!

The adventures of Diego's mother and grandmother in part 1 are thrilling. Then, having an education in swordfighting in Barcelona sounds like a great time for the 19th century young man, and he even has his Indian "brother" with him to fight the dastardly Bonapartes. Then the Caribbean adventure and back to California.

No, not very deep or complex. But maybe there is a complexity under the surface of the myth which breaks out...especially with all the feminine voices who play a part.


message 4: by Sara (new)

Sara G | 890 comments I liked this book but I didn't think it was as great as some of Allende's other works. I think there were some obvious constraints on how to tell Zorro's story, but the strong female characters and the heavy Native American influence on Diego's life were a really nice surprise. It feels like a superhero origin story to me, heavy on the background details and ending with a showdown against his arch nemesis. I'd definitely be interested in reading the original Zorro series sometime too.


message 5: by Book Concierge (new)

Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 3976 comments I read this a few years back, and thought it was an entertaining historical romantic adventure story. Nothing to do with South America, though that's the category it was chosen for.


message 6: by Lois (new)

Lois | 2087 comments This is our selection for the category Literature from South America, but don’t expect a book that has anything to do with South America, though the author is Chilean-American. She is an American citizen and lives in California.

The story starts in old Alta California, then wanders around Spain, the Caribbean, and back to California. Along the way there were many adventures on land and sea: bad guys, pirates, gypsies, swordfighting, and daring escapes. There was an annoying narrator who didn’t reveal her identity until the very end of the book.

I agree with Nick that this is not what a reader might expect of a book about Zorro. It’s a Zorro origin story: how Diego de la Vega became Zorro. Despite all the adventure, I still found it a little slow. I’ve liked her other books better.


message 7: by Lois (new)

Lois | 2087 comments Just one more thought, to share a quote from the book about reading novels that I found amusing: "Diego devoured them, even though his father scorned novels as a minor genre plagued with inconsistencies, basic errors, and personal dramas that were none of his business."


message 8: by Dlmrose (new)

Dlmrose | 18257 comments Mod
I hade mixed feelings about this book. I liked the early backstory in part 1. Part 2 was ok, but by part 3 I thought it was tedious (something an adventure should not be). By the time they meet Lafitte I was waiting for it to be over.
But I may have had higher expectations for a book by Allende.


message 9: by Kettleen (new)

Kettleen | 65 comments I didn't like the style of this book even though the story itself was fine. I constantly felt like I was at a distance from the characters, which maybe that was because it was supposed to be almost a memoir of a character. But even that should give more insight into the feelings of at least one character. Because the narrator is one of the most intriguing characters to me. Parts felt like a history lesson, and I agree with Dlmrose, the earliest sections were the most compelling.

I understand it's not necessarily indicative of Allende's work but it certainly wouldn't make me go and seek out any more of her books.


message 10: by Gayla (new)

Gayla Bassham (sophronisba) I went through a Zorro phase when I was five or six, so I really enjoyed revisiting the legend! It's not Allende's best work but it was very entertaining. I do agree that the final section wasn't up to the same standard as the rest of it.


message 11: by Brooke (last edited Nov 30, 2018 05:08PM) (new)

Brooke | 1419 comments Brooke TX

I feel like I'm in the minority here, but I didn't enjoy this as much as I expected to. There were definitely parts that had a satisfying level of swashbuckling adventure, but these were spaced out with long sections that I found super tedious, and it took forever for me to finish the whole novel. Maybe Allende just isn't for me, because I actually hated the one other book by her that I've read.


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