Let’s be clear: I probably wouldn’t have picked Isabel Allende’s Zorro up if it weren’t for my Latin American Literature course. It doesn’t exactly count as ‘literary fiction’ and I’m in this weird place where that’s all I want to be reading if it isn’t poetry. I’m irrational, I know.
I didn’t hate it, but I was intrigued about how many things Allende did that would’ve been called out as atrocious by any self-respecting workshop. There’s an ending after the ending in which the narrator is revealed—even though, as the narrator points out, you should already know. Several times the narrator stops the story to refill his/her ink or otherwise make points irrelevant to the story. Etc.
But it was an epic, and it sucked me in, and—gosh darn it—I would love to have Zorro around if I ever needed saving.
I just wish the first 150 pages weren’t bogged down in his childhood. His roots may be interesting to some, but aside from the incident with the bears, I was bored to tears.
I won’t mention my aversion to translations. I’m sure I’ll have plenty of time for that the further I get into this course’s reading list.
Unrelated: Matt Bell, a writer I quite like, is also keeping a list of books he’s read this year. He’s beating me by a lot (and I suspect he will continue to do so), and it seems he has impeccable taste.