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Zorro, novel by Isabel Allende



The idea behind the book is great- shading some light on an fascinating fictional hero. In some ways it does adds some dept to Zorro, but mainly by filling in information and feeling around him, not really developing the Zorro himself. Basically, it's a good novel, but it has its flaws. 

The main problem I had with this book was the protagonist. As I said, I don't think he was portrayed that well, he remained a bit one dimensional. For me, the whole concept of his mixed origin was extremely interesting, yet I did not really get into his character. Actually, it is the Zorro's mother and grandmother that stuck in my memory( together with some other characters like that friar character in the beginning, I liked him, he reminds me on the friars I know)...Yes,another important character- Zorro's best friend - he is cool, but doesn't he take all the attention from Zorro? Is it good to have a hero that's not really sympathetic although he is in the focus of the story? Zorro was often sort of lame, I think that is probably what bothered me the most.

I really enjoyed the first part of the novel. Some of novel's virtues are: an interesting introduction into Indian culture, the dynamics of the relationship between Zorro's parents( also reflecting the relationship between the natives and the Spanish) and the fascinating story of his growing up...The idea of Zorro's conflict between cultures is exceptional and in many ways its potential is fulfilled. There are many funny moments in the story I enjoyed, there's a great sense of humour to be found in the novel. However, as the story progressed I became less and less interested. The narrative still had action and things going on, yet there was nothing there to really grab my attention...some good episodes, and that's about it till the end of the novel. Maybe because of the fact that a lot of things that happen didn't seem very plausible, but it lost my attention. The novel has its perks, but it also has its flaws. 

On the whole, I would recommend it but don't expect perfection. I do think that this author can do better and I'm interested in reading some other book by her. Isabel has a great potential as a writer.

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