Zorba the Greek by Nikos Kazantzakis
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Finishing this book was like finishing a meal that tastes bad. It was sheer determination alone that got me through it. Yes, while reading this, I did try to relax, set the clock back five decades, and ‘wear a different hat’. It did not work.
From the start, I disliked Zorba intensely. He’s a cur. He is childish and selfish and vulgar. He believes his own lies about life, about women, about work and about success. The author created a person who is actually the embodiment of a witless sluggard but all through the book tries to convince the reader that he is a charming, self-fulfilled, impish philosopher. Had I read this at the age of 16, I don’t think I would have been swayed to hold this view for a single second.
How in the world it comes to appear on so many “You Must Read” book lists, I will never, ever understand. Aside from the fact that the main character is an imbecilic slouch, the book is missing a plot. It’s just not there.
This book does one thing – it serves a certain flavor of Kool-Aide. That’s all. Problem is …. I never drink Kool-Aide.
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