Zorro by Isabel Allende
A Novel

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Synopsis

A swashbuckling adventure story that reveals for the first time how Diego de la Vega became the masked man we all know so well

Born in southern California late in the eighteenth century, he is a child of two worlds. Diego de la Vega's father is an aristocratic Spanish military man turned landowner; his mother, a Shoshone warrior. Diego learns from his maternal grandmother, White Owl, the ways of her tribe while receiving from his father lessons in the art of fencing and in cattle branding. It is here, during Diego's childhood, filled with mischief and adventure, that he witnesses the brutal injustices dealt Native Americans by European settlers and first feels the inner conflict of his heritage.

At the age of sixteen, Diego is sent to Barcelona for a European education. In a country chafing under the corruption of Napoleonic rule, Diego follows the example of his celebrated fencing master and joins La Justicia, a secret underground resistance movement devoted to helping the powerless and the poor. With this tumultuous period as a backdrop, Diego falls in love, saves the persecuted, and confronts for the first time a great rival who emerges from the world of privilege.

Between California and Barcelona, the New World and the Old, the persona of Zorro is formed, a great hero is born, and the legend begins. After many adventures -- duels at dawn, fierce battles with pirates at sea, and impossible rescues -- Diego de la Vega, a.k.a. Zorro, returns to America to reclaim the hacienda on which he was raised and to seek justice for all who cannot fight for it themselves.

 

About Isabel Allende

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Isabel Allende is the author of nine novels, translated into more than twenty-seven languages, including the New York Times bestsellers InÉs of My Soul, Portrait in Sepia, and Daughter of Fortune. In 2004 she was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Born in Peru and raised in Chile, she lives in California. hr Nacida en PerÚ y criada en Chile, Isabel Allende es la autora de nueve novelas incluyendo mÁs recientemente Zorro, Retrato en Sepia, Hija de la Fortuna e InÉs del Alma MÍa. TambiÉn ha escrito cuentos cortos, tres libros autobiogrÁficos incluyendo Mi PaÍs Inventado y Paula, y una trilogÍa de libros para jÓvenes. Sus libros han sido traducidos a mÁs de 27 idiomas y son bestsellers a travÉs del mundo entero. En 2004, fue nombrada a la Academia de Artes y Letras de los Estados Unidos. Vive en California.
 
Published January 1, 2005 by Harper-collins Publishers. 400 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction, Action & Adventure, Horror, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Crime. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Zorro

Kirkus Reviews

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A graceful imagining of the saber-wielding, justice-dispensing freedom fighter of yore.

May 20 2010 | Read Full Review of Zorro: A Novel

Publishers Weekly

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A starred review indicates a book of outstanding quality. A review with a blue-tinted title indicates a book of unusual commercial interest that hasn't received a starre

Feb 28 2005 | Read Full Review of Zorro: A Novel

The New York Times

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But Allende ignores this paradox, providing a one-dimensional Zorro who is merely, as even his closest friend admits, ''an eternal adolescent.'' By the time Don Diego and his party, returning to California, are captured by pirates, historical fiction has collapsed into soap opera, archetype i...

May 15 2005 | Read Full Review of Zorro: A Novel

The Guardian

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Zorro by Isabel Allende Fourth Estate £16.99, pp390 In the 23 years since she wrote The House of the Spirits, Isabel Allende has become somewhat less magical and somewhat more realistic.

Apr 24 2005 | Read Full Review of Zorro: A Novel

The Guardian

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Zorro: The Novel by Isabel Allende 400pp, Fourth Estate, £16.99 Reckless, unstable, attention-seeking, hysterical, sexually provocative, given to histrionic gestures, and with at least a split, dual or possibly even a multiple personality, Zorro is the archetypal neurotic-as-hero.

Jun 04 2005 | Read Full Review of Zorro: A Novel

Publishers Weekly

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Escalante recruits Diego into the society, which is dedicated to fighting all forms of oppression, and thus begins Diego's construction of his dashing, secret alter ego, Zorro.

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BC Books

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The most memorable, at least in a cinematic sense, were Tyrone Power's turn as the masked crusader for justice in Spanish California in The Mark of Zorro, and Antonio Banderas' portrayal of the original Zorro's successor in The Mask of Zorro (a mask Banderas is set to wear again, in the upcoming...

Aug 08 2005 | Read Full Review of Zorro: A Novel

BC Books

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Jul 13 2005 | Read Full Review of Zorro: A Novel

BC Books

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Even the brilliant performances by George Hamilton (Zorro, the Gay Blade) and Antonio Banderas (The Mask of Zorro) in the role could not quite disabuse me of this.

Aug 29 2005 | Read Full Review of Zorro: A Novel

NPR

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Alan Cheuse reviews Zorro by Isabel Allende. The novel takes place in early nineteenth-century California and Spain. It spurs to life the legendary romantic hero Zorro.

May 10 2005 | Read Full Review of Zorro: A Novel

Book Reporter

Back at home, Diego finds many more challenges for Zorro,.

May 03 2005 | Read Full Review of Zorro: A Novel

Booklist Online

But there’s good news—by subscribing today, you will receive 22 issues of Booklist magazine, 4 issues of Book Links, and single-login access to Booklist Online and over 160,000 reviews.

Feb 15 2005 | Read Full Review of Zorro: A Novel

USA Today

To which de la Vega responds: "No, maestro, but I plan to do everything in my power to make it so."True to her signature use of magical realism, Allende combines elements of mysticism, Indian folklore and ancient traditions to explain how the fox came to be Diego's totem and spiritual guide.Zorro...

May 19 2005 | Read Full Review of Zorro: A Novel

Gather Books

Diego and Bernardo, end up being sent to Spain to stay with Diego's father's old friend, Tomas.

Feb 09 2007 | Read Full Review of Zorro: A Novel

Bookmarks Magazine

… [She has created] a lively and fascinating version of the Zorro story, with enough verve and swash to keep the reader with her all the way."

Jan 09 2008 | Read Full Review of Zorro: A Novel

CNN.com

(Entertainment Weekly) -- The masked renegade with the foxy nickname has been around since 1919, when pulp writer Johnston McCulley cooked up "The Curse of Capistrano" and introduced the wrong-righting Don Diego de la Vega and his early-19th-century California landscape.

Apr 21 2005 | Read Full Review of Zorro: A Novel

Reader Rating for Zorro
75%

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