This is the first/original pulp novella which introduced the legendary character Zorro. Published as a serial in 1919, Douglas Fairbanks used it as the basis of his silent classic movie. Later McCulley wrote several sequels.
As a long time fan of pulp fiction, I was VERY pleasantly surprised at what an entertaining read this was. Rather than the sometime turgid, overblown prose of other pulps, this was light, breezy and fun. It had a slight comic flair- not at all too serious.
Don Diego Vega is Zorro (although we never see him change from one persona/costume to another in the book). He is fighting the evil governor and Captain Ramon, also Sargeant Gonzalez who blusters about his fencing prowess. Meanwhile, Zorro wooes the lovely Lolita, who has already rejected the foppish Don Diego. A one shot story (not intended to launch a series), it is fairly romantic and quite a joy. Highly recommended.
Kindle comments: The formatting is fine, but there are a fair number of typos- about 1 every 5 pages. Not a problem, though.
I must comment on some of the lesser known movie versions. The original silent is very entertaining, and a good intro to silent films The Mark of Zorro The serial featuring Reed Hadley, is particularly excellent, and, also, a good intro to the movie serials. Zorro’s Fighting Legion – The Complete Serial There is even a female Zorro in another serial, which is fair. Zorro’s Black Whip – Volumes 1 & 2 (Complete Serial) (2-DVD). There was a recent live action TV series that was very good, but I do not believe that it has been released on video.
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This book was really good, but had a few typos. Nothing to take away from understanding it though. Unlike other versions in print, it has all its pages (added in italics). All together a great read!
This is a good, but not great, vintage adventure story. Zorro’s “secret” identity will be painfully obvious to anyone over the age of six, even if you have never seen any of the film or TV versions. There are some good action sequences, though the characterization is slapdash and I did not get a real sense of historical verisimilitude. An OK story, but not nearly as well-written as some other adventure yarns from the same era, such as Captain Blood or The Scarlet Pimpernel.
This Kindle edition, however, is full of annoying typos and other flaws (at one point, the text switches from regular type to italics and back again for no apparent reason), and the first half of Chapter 2 (where Don Diego makes his first appearance) is missing.