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Sunday, June 26, 2005
by Isabel Allende #19

This book is wonderful in the way that pirate swashbuckling wild-west stories are wonderful. I recommend it to anyone who has an interest in any of those things. Yes, there are sword fights involving chandeliers, yes there are disguises, secret societies, gypsies, pilgrimages, magic, and a voodoo priestess (!!!)

Allende writes up this story of Zorro (the Fox) as if one was being told many years after the events in question happened. In fact, the narrator makes its presence felt at the end/beginning of each new segment. It took me a little doing to get used to it at first, accustomed as I am to lots of dialogue and Live In the NOW style storytelling - but once I got over my own hurdle (I don't think this is a problem for the book, because I think it is the perfect way for this sort of over the top story to be told) I enjoyed the book immensely.

The whole idea that she is writing this story is interesting to me - Allende is an acclaimed writer of original fiction - what is she doing writing a book for the people who hold the Zorro copyright? Whatever her reasoning (and I read an interview with her where she acknowledged that all her writer friends thought she was crazy) I am so glad! She has a lot of fun and weaves together a plausible and oh so entertaining story, but leaves plenty of space for other adventures. Be sure to look at her author illustration/photo on the back flap.
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