Zorro

( 13 )

Overview

¿Quién no conoce al Zorro, el astuto y travieso enmascarado? Lo que no sabíamos — de cómo surgió el héroe — se resuelve en estas páginas, que nos revelan el misterio de su doble personalidad. Aquí reencontramos a su amigo Bernardo, su corcel, Tornado, su prodigioso látigo, la Z con que firma sus hazañas y mucho más.

Nacido en 1795 en la California hispana, Diego de la Vega está atrapado entre dos mundos. Su padre es un heroico militar convertido en un próspero hacendado, su madre es una valiente guerrera indígena...

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Overview

¿Quién no conoce al Zorro, el astuto y travieso enmascarado? Lo que no sabíamos — de cómo surgió el héroe — se resuelve en estas páginas, que nos revelan el misterio de su doble personalidad. Aquí reencontramos a su amigo Bernardo, su corcel, Tornado, su prodigioso látigo, la Z con que firma sus hazañas y mucho más.

Nacido en 1795 en la California hispana, Diego de la Vega está atrapado entre dos mundos. Su padre es un heroico militar convertido en un próspero hacendado, su madre es una valiente guerrera indígena y su abuela materna es la sabia chamán de su tribu. Del primero, Diego aprende las virtudes de un hidalgo, desde esgrima hasta el arte de hacerse obedecer, mientras su madre y su abuela lo inician en las tradiciones indígenas y el conocimiento de la naturaleza y la magia. Junto a su inseparable amigo Bernardo, vive aventuras en la niñez y se da cuenta de las injusticias que soportan los indios a mano de los colonos europeos.

Diego se hace hombre en Barcelona, donde su padre lo manda a estudiar justamente cuando España, ocupada por las tropas de Napoleón, soporta una cruenta guerra. Le toca de todo, desde duelos a muerte hasta enamorarse a primera vista, enrolarse en una sociedad secreta, huir con una tribu de gitanos, ser secuestrado por piratas y, sobre todo, enfrentarse al hombre que habrá de ser su peor enemigo. Por último regresa a California a reclamar la hacienda donde nació e impartir justicia, luchando por los indefensos. Así, entre el Viejo y el Nuevo Mundo se forma el carácter del más legendario y romántico de los héroes.

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Editorial Reviews

Houston Chronicle
“One of those rare and perfect matches of subject and author... Sinfully entertaining ... Serious fiction.”
Chicago Tribune
“Lively and fascinating.”
USA Today
“Wonderfully crafted . . . Allende gives Zorro the feel of a folk or fairy tale.”
Austin American-Statesman
“A tale of adventure, history and romance, just in time for long reads on summer afternoons.”
Los Angeles Times
“Allende’s discreetly subversive talent really shows . . . You turn the pages, cheering on the masked man.”
Miami Herald
“Zorro is great fun . . . A thrilling journey into a world in which cultures clash as often as swords.”
People
“Equal parts adventure, historical novel and family saga, Zorro is a moving portrait of a hero who is heartbreakingly human.”
Fort Worth Star-Telegram
“This is a full-blooded retelling of the old masked-man legend, and it crackles with action.”
People
“Equal parts adventure, historical novel and family saga, Zorro is a moving portrait of a hero who is heartbreakingly human.”
Craig Nova
It is not possible to sum up the surprises, rescues from prisons, flirtations (between Zorro's true love and, for example, a pirate), but the book has plenty of what Hollywood would call non-stop action, and this is told with a pleasure so keen on the author's part that it's difficult not to be swept up in it.
— The Washington Post
Library Journal
Allende's retelling of Zorro displays her essential belief that the fabric of the story-the making of the man-is as important as the actions. Born to an aristocratic Spanish father and a tamed Shoshone warrior in 18th-century California, Diego de la Vega learns the lessons of injustice early. His mother's Indian blood and the violence perpetrated against the Native Americans by European settlers ignite a slow-burning fire in Diego. When Diego is sent to Barcelona with his "milk" brother Bernardo to be educated in the ways of his forebears, he studies with a fencing master and joins an underground resistance group, where Zorro the romantic revolutionary is truly forged. Allende's Zorro is not quite the violent, swashbuckling rogue that Johnston McCulley created in his serial potboilers, but this Zorro doesn't have to be for his character to be compelling. One does long for a little more swordplay, but Diego's crisis of identity, his relationship with Bernardo, and his love for a woman he cannot have make for enthralling reading. Allende (Daughter of Fortune) is a beguiling storyteller, and Zorro provides a rich palate for her customary embellishments. Recommended for all public libraries. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 1/05.]-Misha Stone, Seattle P.L. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A graceful imagining of the saber-wielding, justice-dispensing freedom fighter of yore. Children of the '50s may happily remember Guy Williams's TV portrayal of the legendary Zorro, who carved his signature initial into his enemies' flesh with the point of his sword and kept the entire Spanish army in Alta California busily searching for him. Latter-day Californian Allende (Kingdom of the Golden Dragon, 2004, etc.) provides a backstory that brims with modern concerns: In her hands, Zorro is an ever-so-slightly tormented revolutionary whose sense of justice comes from the accident of his birth. The child of a Spanish officer and a Shoshone Indian woman, Diego de la Vega grows up with a profound knowledge of the injustices wrought by Europeans on California's native peoples. He takes his vulpine identity-zorro is Spanish for "fox"-early on, after a fox delivers him from danger; says his grandmother, helpfully, "That zorro is your totemic animal, your spiritual guide. . . . You must cultivate its skill, its cleverness, its intelligence." He does, reaching adolescence "with no great vices or virtues, except for a disproportionate love of justice, though whether that is a vice or a virtue, I am not sure." A Rousseauian child of nature, de la Vega travels to Spain to acquire a continental education. Becoming radicalized in the bargain, he defies the country's Napoleonic rulers and joins an underground alliance to battle them, then takes the fight back to America. But first de la Vega must endure being shanghaied by pirates, who, neatly enough, haul him before the legendary uber-pirate Jean Lafitte for a parlay. He acquires yet more education in the bayous, then makes for California once more tovisit mayhem on corrupt officialdom on behalf of truth, justice and the Spanish way of life. Allende's tale risks but resists descending into melodrama at every turn. The up-to-date, even postmodern ending makes for a nice touch, too, and will gladden the heart of anyone ready in his or her heart to carve a few Zs into the bad guys.
People Magazine
"Equal parts adventure, historical novel and family saga, Zorro is a moving portrait of a hero who is heartbreakingly human."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060779023
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 4/25/2006
  • Language: Spanish
  • Edition description: Spanish-language Edition
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 515,644
  • Product dimensions: 5.31 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.86 (d)

Meet the Author

Isabel Allende

Isabel Allende is the author of twelve works of fiction, including the New York Times bestsellers Maya’s Notebook, Island Beneath the Sea, Inés of My Soul, Daughter of Fortune, and a novel that has become a world-renowned classic, The House of the Spirits. Born in Peru and raised in Chile, she lives in California.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 13 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 13 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 16, 2009

    Zorro By Isabel Allende

    The novel Zorro by Isabelle Allende is about a boy named Diego de la Vega a boy with parents from two different back rounds. His father is an aristocratic military Spanish nobleman who has become a landowner. Diego's mother is a Shoshone Indian. Diego is brought up with his best friend Bernardo who is an Indian. When Diego's father is away on business Diego's grand mother White Owl, teaches Diego and Bernardo Indian traditions. One of them is to find their spiritual guide. Diego's is a fox or zorro which is fox in Shoshone.
    As Diego grows up his father decides to send him to Barcelona where the war with France and Napoleon is going on, he will study and get a European education. He stays with one of his father's old friends who has two daughters named Juliana and Isabel, Diego falls in love with Juliana as soon as he sees her. Diego has some competition, Monacada a wealthy privileged man who loves Juliana as well. As time goes on Diego is invited to join la justica, they help the poor and helpless. After the war with France ends la justica stops its work and Juliana's father is killed for associating with the French. When Juliana is next to be killed Diego, Juliana and Isabel decide to go to a port far away from Barcelona and then return to California to live with Diego's father and mother. On the way home to California they encounter a monstrous storm and pirates. Diego develops into Zorro protecting the people of California and helping the Native Americans of the area to get the justice that they deserve.
    I really enjoyed this book because there was always something happening there wasn't a dull page in the entire book. Whether it was a fight between two swords men or a daring rescue, the book was full of exciting adventures, it also had some historical facts in it so you learn something as well. I wouldn't recommend this book to people that don't like long books or adventure. Any one else will enjoy this book very much.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 19, 2007

    Zorro - Not my best reading

    The book Zorro 'written by Isabel Allende and published by HarperCollins Publishers' tells the story of Diego de la Vega, who grows up to become the legendary hero Zorro. The book starts off, telling about how his father Alejandro de la Vega met his mother Regina. Regina was a Shoshone Indian captive who stole Alejandro's heart while he was on a mission for Padre Mendoza. It goes on to tell that Regina and her friend both had children on the same day and were treated as brothers. Regina¿s child was named Diego and her friend¿s child was named Bernardo. They grow up and were taught the ways of the Shoshone Indians by their grandmother White Owl. During their childhood, Regina and White Owl put the two boys on a quest to find their totemic animals 'these were animals that described the boys¿ personalities'. As a result, Bernardo¿s animal is a black horse and Diego¿s is a fox 'which translates to zorro in Spanish'. Diego and Bernardo are raised on Alejandro¿s ranch near Pueblo de los Angeles. At the age of sixteen he goes to Barcelona to receive a European education. There, he learns swordplay and becomes part of a secret organization that helps to poor and innocent. Spain at the time, however, was under the siege of Napoleon. He returns to California and sets out to continue the ways he learned there in Spain. He dons his famous mask, cape, and sombrero as he fights for what is right and for those who cannot fight themselves, under the name of his totemic animal Zorro. I did not enjoy reading this book and had a hard time getting through it. It was really well written and detailed but it¿s just not my favorite book genre. I¿m sure that many other people would enjoy reading this book though. The book is filled with detailed adventures and the mental pictures it gives the reader are amazing.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 23, 2005

    Very entertaining

    If you grew up watching Zorro on TV, and you have read Isabel Allende before, you will definitely enjoy this book. It is very light reading and perfect to divorce yourself of the world for a couple hours at a time... Pirates, adventures, duels, secret societies, gypsies, love, revenge... you name it. It is not even close to the best she's written, but it can provide you almost 400 pages of fun and make you understand why Bernardo was mute, why Garcia never hated Diego De La Vega and so many more things that the TV series never touched¿ worth the reading.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 3, 2005

    Where's the action?

    The writing is nice throughout (Spanish version), but the story is a bit dull. I expected more action, but there isn't much. As well, there is supposed to be some sort of mental telepathic connection between Diego (Zorro) and his hermano de leche, Bernardo, but I never felt it. The characters can all be in the same room, but often seem to be acting in different plays.

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    Posted October 25, 2008

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    Posted December 15, 2009

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    Posted March 4, 2009

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