Sunday, March 17, 2013

Review: Zorro by Isabel Allende

Title: Zorro
Author: Isabel Allende
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: Harper Collins
Published: 2005 (as El Zorro: Comienza la leyenda)
Pages: 416

Rating: 4 out of 10

After finishing this book, I still cannot really see why it is so popular. It was alright, but nothing more than average.

This story, based on the famous Zorro legends, is the tale of Diego de la Vega, set in the late 1700's and early 1800's. The son of a Spanish captain and a Native American Indian woman, he lives between two worlds, never quite sure where he belongs. Accompanied through out his life by his best friend Bernando and two sisters, one that he loves and one that loves him, he takes on the alias of Zorro.

I went through this book almost always disinterested. I did not feel any inspiration of sympathy or interest in the characters or events of the story. I had been looking forward to starting to read Allende, since she writes about topics and settings that interest me. However, I hope that her style changes slightly from book to book, or else I will probably not become an avid fan.
The writing style was off putting, in my opinion. It seemed flat, factually told, and distanced.

I never liked any of the characters, and I felt that some of them never lived up to whatever potential they were introduced with. What of Diego's parents? They sounded so interesting - especially his mother, a revered sort of sorceress warrior in the Shoshone tribe. His parents come into the story in small ways, but they are never prominent characters.
Diego's best friend Bernando, who is more like a brother, was not featured enough to even deserve this title. He falls in love with an Indian girl (who we never get to know) and leaves Diego, re-appearing later to talk about how in love they are. He was pretty pointless.

Not a book that I could enjoy, though I hope my next Allende will be a better one.