Friday, October 21, 2005
Zorro by Isabel Allende
I must say I am glad to have a place I can share my thoughts and impressions on whatever book I have recently read. I have been rereading much of the Owen Archer series by Candace Robb (well worth the read), but in the midst of my rereads - I finally found Zorro at the library. It is a fairly new book written by the Isabel Allende, a woman who was born in Chile and now lives in California. I believe I will be looking for her other books in the near future.
Zorro is the story of the famed righter of injustice, from the days of his birth until he lived into the beginning of his legend in California. I have always been fascinated by swashbucklers and those who fight injustice. I was hoping this book would not disappoint, and it did not. Allende writes very simply. I am so glad to read someone who does not try to impress me with all their metaphors, similes, and detailed descriptions. She writes simply, yet she evokes rich imagery and full characters. It is a wonderful balance. The book is a good size, but does not need to be edited down (see The Historian).
I enjoyed the story. It had action, adventure, true love, loyalty, intrigue, and full characters (yes, Diego de la Vega himself is not perfect - I wanted to smack him a few times for his unending infatuation over a silly and insipid girl). All the classical elements of the Zorro story are to be found, but Allende adds enough invention that the story does not feel worn out. She has breathed fresh life into it. I also appreciate her interpretation of the historical elements of Diego's life. He lived in a time of great upheaval - how could he not be a product of it?
Overall, this was a very enjoyable read. It certainly does contain serious elements - some of the story can be quite heartbreaking. Yet, it's a story that moves and is alive, and is also fun in a number of ways. A-