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Zorba El Griego

Zorba El Griego

Escrito por Nikos Kazantsakis

Narrado por Fabio Camero


Zorba El Griego

Escrito por Nikos Kazantsakis

Narrado por Fabio Camero

valoraciones:
4/5 (21 valoraciones)
Longitud:
3 horas
Editorial:
Publicado:
Jan 1, 2001
ISBN:
9781611553611
Formato:
Audiolibro

Descripción

Alexis Zorba, un viejo minero, es persona voraz, sin escrupulos pero que sabe gozar la vida, hasta el punto de que ni en sus mayores fracasos pierde la alegria de vivir.
Editorial:
Publicado:
Jan 1, 2001
ISBN:
9781611553611
Formato:
Audiolibro

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21 valoraciones / 27 Reseñas
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Reseñas de lectores

  • (5/5)
    This book alternatively gave me a great sense of spiritual well-being and bitter sorrow. Camus, on accepting his Nobel Prize for Literature, said that Kazantzakis was more deserving. (He was half-right - both were).

    Update: I am re-reading this book (or rather, re-listening to the audiobook narrated by the incomparable George Guidall), as of October 2017. This book is like a spiritual touchstone for me. Since I first read it over three years ago, I feel as though I have completed one full revolution - one cycle - through the spiral of life. Fitting, then, to come back to this and drink once again at the well of Kazantzakis’s thought.
  • (4/5)
    Forget Anthony Quinn and Alan Bates in their smart suits - there's no-one even remotely Mexican or British in this novel. Although ... Alan Bates does have more than a whiff of D.H. Lawrence about him, and what with coal-mining, homosocial bonding, fights, sexually-charged scenery, cycle-of-the-seasons, and intellectuals trying to get in touch with their human side, this sometimes does feel like Women in Love with added citrus trees ...The narrator is a young writer who, still smarting at being accused of being a mere bookworm by his best friend (who has gone off to do humanitarian work in the Caucasus), decides to take a break from intellectual life and have a go at "being a capitalist" in the real world by running a lignite mine he's inherited on the Cretan shore. As sidekick and adviser on practical matters, he recruits a working man he's picked up in a bar in Piraeus, the gloriously muscled and moustached Alexis Zorbas. The two of them rapidly become close friends as they move into their hut on the beach and connect with the local Cretan villagers. The narrator enjoys Zorba's stories of his long and varied life, in the course of which he has formed his own eccentric moral system, based not on any arbitrary rules or conventions but on his unmediated experience of what gives pain or pleasure to himself and the people around him. And when he runs out of words, he picks up his santuri or starts to dance.But the narrator is tortured by a growing appreciation of the sterility of his own book-learning. Fortunately, he doesn't just have to sit there and enjoy vicarious experience through Zorba - the two of them get involved with the cycle of village life, with the Cretan scenery, with the mine, with the monks up on top of the mountain, and with relationships with two local women. Or rather non-relationships: the real conversations in this book are always between men, whilst interactions between men and women are only ever about food or sex... Lots of sunshine, olive and citrus trees, beaches, caiques, moustaches, passion, poverty, tragedy-of-war, evocations of Greek, Cretan, Ottoman and Slav culture and the glorious past, and lots of juxtaposition of complex, transcendental experiences of God with the prosaic, smelly detail of everyday Orthodox religious practice. Whatever else you might say about Kazantzakis - and there are a lot of good things you need to say about him - rather like Lawrence, he is not a writer you will ever catch out understating something. Whenever he gets the adjectives out, you need the subwoofer engaged and the dial turned to eleven.
  • (4/5)
    I enjoyed this one, the visceral departures from the now standard screen version were welcome. thats aid, I was left just short of satisifed and, now, it is awkward to articulate why.
  • (2/5)
    I am not sure exactly what I expected from this novel, although certainly images of Anthony Quinn darted through my mind. I was disappointed. Reading this felt like reading a very, very pale version of Fernando Pessoa's wonderful writing which was abundantly rich with wisdom to live by. Oh well, win some, lose some!
  • (5/5)
    A book with few yet very memorable characters!
  • (4/5)
    this is a reread for me, but this time I listened to the excellent narration by Guidall. As usual, listening afforded different perspectives. I don't recall the philosophical discussion so intensely from my 'silent' reading, although the other episodes in the novel were more or less as I recalled. Somewhere around the middle, the story changed for me, from a philosophical argument (already well discussed) to a more picaresque one. But the climactic events were still powerful.Hearing the story, I was more and more aware of the primitive (for lack of a better word) view that men had of women in this society: enticements to evil, sources of pleasure, creatures desired and feared, the source of joy and disgrace, somehow responsible for all man's troubles. Not all of this is religious in context - I get the feeling that this hearkens back to pre-Christian views of nature and the world. It leaves this book very much about the love between men, not necessarily with any homosexual slant or activity, but as a group privileged and buffeted and weighed down by life.The last exchange between Nikos and Zorba left me feeling very sad, as if Nikos never did understand, or could not act on, the deep feeling between them, and by analogy, the deep primitive feelings in himself.
  • (4/5)
    After reading the reviews here, I prefer keeping my fond memories of Zorba to rereading the story and being angry about Kazantzakis' view of women, which I think I thought did not include me. Zorba is larger than life and important issues are discussed and reading the book was an exhilarating journey.
  • (5/5)
    One of my favorite all-time books. Kazantzakis words are to be savored.
  • (4/5)
    "I think of God as being exactly like me. Only bigger, stronger, crazier."By sally tarbox on 9 July 2017Format: Audible Audio EditionThe narrator of this story is an introverted, bookish chap;his close friend has just left to fight for the Greeks suffering in the Caucasus, leaving the narrator traumatized. Shaken by his friend's parting criticism of him as a bookworm, he determines to embrace real life and, while waiting to sail from Piraeus to Crete, where he plans to run a mine, he encounters Alexis Zorba.A colourful 60-something, Zorba is taken on to run the mine, and together the two enter a primitive world.Zorba's attitudes, shaped by years of experience, are irreligious and very much of the 'seize the day' variety."I don't believe in anything or anyone,; only in Zorba. Not because Zorba is better than the others; not at all, not a little bit! He's a brute like the rest! But I believe in Zorba because he's the only being I have in my power, the only one I know. All the rest are ghosts... When I die, everything'll die."Dancing, drinking, women and the music of his santuri are his interests; but he works hard, has grand plans, and discusses the meaning of life with his contained boss, who's working on a study of Buddhism, and whose continence exasperates Zorba. Zorba's actions sometimes seem kindly - his loving words to Madame Hortense - but it's all dissimulation to keep her sweet.Some of Zorba's musings have a point. Some are seriously wrong - his cavalier attitude to God; his casual encounters with women. Nonetheless the relationship between the two men is well portrayed,, their final leave-taking moving.Zorba is more clearly drawn than the narrator - despite an encounter with a woman, we strongly suspect the latter to be homosexual, his feelings for the absent Stavridaki consume him. I was baffled at his lack of apparent emotion when said woman is involved in a serious incident.Life in early 20th century Crete is vividly brought to life: the festivals, the church, the people and the scenery, life, love and death.This is an enjoyable work, very memorable characters, though you wont find a coherent answer to the meaning of life!
  • (4/5)
    Did I read the book or just imagine it after seeing the movie? I did read a few things by K and I think this was the first.
  • (4/5)
    Zorba provides a great role model on how we should live our life. Although, I am much more similar to the narrator - cautious 'pen pusher' - I found Zorba an inspiration. Carpe Diem!
  • (4/5)
    The story of a free spirit and the search for joy in life. Written in a fairly simple style. Introduces some political and social debate.
  • (3/5)
    After reading this I found out that Kazantzakis wrote the novel in something like 45 days, while living in meager conditions on Aegina, early in the German occupation. Which maybe addresses my difficulty here. Zorba is bigger than life, thriving on wits and whimsy. But the book races forward in this mode, philosophical spouts directed at the "boss", who doubles as his pupil on how to live. Enjoyed the message, the dialogue, but the book needed a sustained, meaningful second narrative or subplot, in my view. The astoundingly quick completion of the work (with little reworking?), could, as noted, explain the thinness. The book went with me to (beloved) Greece, but read few pages in country given the wonderful and fast paced time we spent there.
  • (4/5)
    Despite the somewhat out of date viewpoints about women...this is a fantastic book that, if you really think about it, is touching upon issues many philosophers also touch upon. Except that since this is done in a work of "fiction"...it's a little less dry and easier to understand.

    This was a really interesting read that makes you wonder--are you living your life the way you should? Is there a should to your life?

    A thought-provoker...
  • (3/5)
    Live life in your head or live life large. Zorba is large. Parts of this story really would grab me and parts seemed to be just toooo draggy. The author, Nikos Kazantzakis was born in Crete and he was a runner up for the Nobel in 1952. He is the author of 30 several novels, plays and books on philosophy. The narrator is unnamed. He has been called a ‘Bookworm’ by his friend and this has made him angry and early on we know he is reading the works of Buddha and aspiring to be an ascetic. He meets Zorba who invites himself to accompany the narrator. The narrator likes this larger than life man and agrees to take him to Crete where they will mine coal. Zorba is the exact opposite of Zorba and lives life for the moment, aspiring to enjoy life to the fullest in the moment. This is where the philosophical aspects are demonstrated as the two characters play out their opposing qualities. Through most of the book it appears that Zorba’s hedonistic bent is the winner but then things get tough. The narrator learns a lot from Zorba, does Zorba learn from the narrator. This quote by the narrator is a good example of the narrator's reflections; “While experiencing happiness, we have difficulty in being conscious of it. Only when the happiness is past and we look back on it do we suddenly realize-sometimes with astonishment-how happy we had been. But on this Cretan coast I was experiencing happiness and knew I was happy." This book was funny but it also was full of deep reflections and also of great loss.

    What I really experienced in reading this book was great desire to be in Crete instead of Minnesota. Especially this winter.
  • (5/5)
    Zorba the Greek is one of the great characters in literature: larger than life, and living it on his terms, to the fullest, and with intensity in everything he does. In his simplistic way he is profound and embodies philosophy; he does not read the words of other men or seek out religion to find a higher meaning, he just lives it, seeing “everything every day as if for the first time”. The intellectual who meets him on his way to Crete has his values questions and life transformed by their adventures together. It’s a great book.Quotes:On compassion:“But at times I was seized with compassion. A Buddhist compassion, as cold as the conclusion of a metaphysical syllogism. A compassion, not only for men but for all life which struggles, cries, weeps, hopes and does not perceive that everything is a phantasmagoria of nothingness.”On saying goodbye:“I watched him and I reflected what a truly baffling mystery is this life of ours. Men meet and drift apart again like leaves blown by the wind; your eyes try in vain to preserve an image of the face, body, or gestures of the person you have loved; in a few years you do not even remember whether his eyes were blue or black.”On living life:“Look, one day I had gone to a little village. An old grandfather of ninety was busy planting an almond tree. ‘What, granddad!’ I exclaimed. ‘Planting an almond tree?’ And he, bent as he was, turned round and said: ‘My son, I carry on as if I should never die.’ I replied: ‘And I carry on as if I was going to die any minute.’ Which of us was right, boss?’”“I said nothing, but I felt a deep joy. This, I thought, is how great visionaries and poets see everything – as if for the first time. Each morning they see a new world before their eyes; they do not really see it, they create it.”“This is what a real man is like, I thought, envying Zorba’s sorrow. A man with warm blood and solid bones, who lets real tears run down his cheeks when he is suffering; and when he is happy he does not spoil the freshness of his joy by running it through the fine sieve of metaphysics.”And this one, on the dangers of living life too safely:“Luckless man has raised what he thinks is an impassable barrier round his poor little existence. He takes refuge there and tries to bring a little order and security into his life. A little happiness. Everything must follow the beaten track, the sacrosanct routine, and comply with safe and simple rules. Inside this enclosure, fortified against the fierce attacks of the unknown, his petty certainties, crawling about like centipedes, go unchallenged. There is only one formidable enemy, mortally feared and hated: the Great Certainty. Now, this Great Certainty had penetrated the outer walls of my existence and was ready to pounce upon my soul.”On reading, writing, and education:“If only I could live again the moment of that anger which surged up in me when my friend called me a bookworm! I recalled then that all my disgust at the life I had been leading was personified in those words. How could I, who loved life so intensely, have let myself be entangled for so long in that balderdash of books and paper blackened with ink!”“I stooped to pick up the pages scattered on the floor. I had neither the strength nor the desire to look at them. As if all that sudden rush of inspiration had been merely a dream which I no longer wished to see imprisoned in words and debased by them.”“African savages worship the serpent because its whole body touches the ground and it must, therefore, know all the earth’s secrets. It knows them with its belly, with its tail, with its head. It is always in contact or mingled with the Mother. The same is true of Zorba. We educated people are just empty-headed birds of the air.”“You swallow everything your books say, but just think a moment what the people who write books are like! Pff! a lot of schoolmasters. What do they know about women, or men who run after women? Not the first thing!’ … ‘All those who actually live the mysteries of life haven’t the time to write, and all those who have the time don’t live them!’”On God:“I closed my eyes, soothed. A quiet, mysterious pleasure took possession of me – as if all that green miracle around me were paradise itself, as if all the freshness, airiness, and sober rapture which I was feeling were God. God changes his appearance every second. Blessed is the man who can recognize him in all his disguises. At one moment he is a glass of fresh water, the next your son bouncing on your knees or an enchanting woman, or perhaps merely a morning walk.”“’Have you ever noticed, boss, everything good in this world is an invention of the devil? Pretty women, spring, roast suckling, wine – the devil made them all! God made monks, fasting, chamomile-tea and ugly women…pooh!’”“Would God bother to sit over the earthworms and keep count of everything they do? And get angry and storm and fret himself silly because one went astray with the female earthworm next door or swallowed a mouthful of meat on Good Friday? Bah! Get away with you, all you soup-swilling priests! Bah!”On happiness:“I was happy, I knew that. While experiencing happiness, we have difficulty in being conscious of it. Only when the happiness is past and we look back on it do we suddenly realize – sometimes with astonishment – how happy we had been.”“I felt once more how simple and frugal a thing is happiness: a glass of wine, a roast chestnut, a wretched little brazier, the sound of the sea. Nothing else. And all that is required to feel that here and now is happiness is a simple, frugal heart.”“This is true happiness: to have no ambition and to work like a horse as if you had every ambition. To live far from men, not to need them and yet to love them.”On money; I’ve always liked this analogy of money not being everything in life, but providing ‘wings’:“He was waiting impatiently for the day when he would earn a fortune, when his wings would be sufficiently big – ‘wings’ was the name he gave to money – for him to fly away.”On old age:“What scares me, boss, is old age. Heaven preserve us from that! Death is nothing – just pff! and the candle is snuffed out. But old age is a disgrace.”On recurrence, and life, and oneness:“For thousands of years young girls and boys have danced beneath the tender foliage of the trees in spring – beneath the poplars, firs, oaks, planes and slender palms – and they will go on dancing for thousands more years, their faces consumed with desire. Faces change, crumble, return to earth; but others rise to take their place. There is only one dancer, but he has a thousand masks. He is always twenty. He is immortal.”On transience:“The unfailing rhythm of the seasons, the ever-turning wheel of life, the four facets of the earth which are lit in turn by the sun, the passing of life – all these filled me once more with a feeling of oppression. Once more there sounded within me, together with the cranes’ cry, the terrible warning that there is only one life for all men, that there is no other, and that all that can be enjoyed must be enjoyed here. In eternity no other chance will be given to us.A mind hearing this pitiless warning – a warning which, at the same time, is so compassionate – would decide to conquer its weakness and meanness, its laziness and vain hopes and cling with all its power to every second which flies away forever.”
  • (2/5)
    I really don't get the attraction to this book. Maybe it is the classic "you had to be there." That is, maybe it was groundbreaking and different enough in 1952 that the world came clattering. In 2013, I found it to be a plodding account of a character that I did not care to meet.The narrator quickly finds himself caught up with Zorba and his enterprises. And, from this we learn that Zorba is a man who loves life and explores life. He is a reprobate with a heart of gold. He cares, but he still lives his own life. (To quote the blurb on the back "his years have not dimmed the flame by which he lives, the gusto with which he responds to all that life offers him.")Yep, that's the interpretation we are supposed to have. Instead, I saw an old man who had his own set of morals (not particularly nice ones) who only owns up to his responsibilities when absolutely forced to. It appears Zorba is supposed to be a role model for the narrator – a role model who can help the narrator get out of his shell. Instead, Zorba is a teacher with a poor life lesson to tell. That lesson would be fine if it was just "grab life and make the most of it". But there is something more to Zorba's lesson. In grabbing life, it is as if he has forgotten he is grabbing it from fellow human beings. Zorba is not a particularly nice person, and for him to be idolized (as he is in this book) is wrong. Maybe I missed a level in all this. Maybe everything I've said above was the real point. But I don't believe that to be true.I did not like the character of Zorba. I did not like what he preached. I did not like what he did. And I cannot find forgiveness for the character.Accordingly, I cannot find forgiveness or anything of value with the book.
  • (3/5)
    “The human soul is heavy, clumsy, held in the mud of the flesh. Its perceptions are still coarse and brutish. It can divine nothing clearly, nothing with certainty. If it could have guessed, how different this separation would have been.”I’m sure I lost something by reading this in English. Well, at least Wikipedia tells me so, and I’m only too willing to agree. Demotic Greek versus Katharevousa? The head fairly spins for, yes, it is all Greek to me. Or: Είναι όλα ελληνικά για μένα. See what I mean? Like when I’d found out after reading ??? ???? ?????????? ?? ?????? that Greek had become fluid enough to co-opt nouns as adjectives, and you’d know from which region of Greece it had come from by the suffix. (If memory serves me right, the translator had said Kazantzakis used the specific name of a tree to describe the color of the sky and it was impossible to faithfully render into English.) Ιησούς Χριστός!And like its original language, I’m sure the original culture from which this novel had sprung can be just as easily lost on a modern reader. Or an American reader. This monolingual American, to be more precise. However, this work did seem awfully sexist—women in the kitchen or bedroom; men in the mines or chugging demijohns of raki at a prostitute’s. Men are allowed to dance and flourish and spit in the eye of God, contemplating their place in this world—the aftermath of explosive being or an afterworld of perfect harmony with a humming, eternal present. Women can cook the bread and sesame sweets and ensure that the male line continues its exploitation. And if you fail the order, the expected norm, you can get your head quite literally cut off. Talk about spinning heads!Yes, I’m oversimplifying. There surely is much more going on here. Philosophical questions and religious conundrums. But I can’t help feeling the arguments as cheap and watered-down rum against the blood of women spilling on Cretan sand, never having been asked their opinion.I know it’s about life with a character who’s bigger than life in a world that’s unfailingly tainted by the brutality and force of past generations. I think Zorba could’ve been bigger, actually. He certainly outshone the narrator. But what does it all add up to? If it were merely emblematic of an age, OK . . . I guess. It still seems like weak raki to me. For all its moments of fire and whisking knives and collapsing tunnels, I would’ve preferred less braggadocio and more bravery.But what the fuck do I know? I don’t speak Greek. “Man’s heart is a ditch full of blood. The loved ones who have died throw themselves down on the bank of this ditch to drink the blood and so come to life again; the dearer they are to you, the more of your blood they drink.”
  • (4/5)
    Zorba really is quite a character. Have a sense of awe at life, and never be afraid to dance.
  • (4/5)
    I understand why Zorba's character lives on in literary fame more than half a century. It also makes sense that there was a movie made from the book, and of course I have to watch it now. The book read like poetry in some places,and like a Classical fable/play in others. There was a different cadence and flow to the language, and it transported me as I read it. Whenever I get to Greece, this book will be a must to read from while on the shores or hillsides.
  • (3/5)
    I will be the first to admit it wholeheartedly. I did not enjoy Zorba the Greek. There, I said it. I am beginning to feel I have a built in prejudice against translated stories because this is not the first time I have said this. Something gets lost in the translation. I am sure of it. Not only that, but this time I was bored.
  • (5/5)
    It was a pleasure to read, the story of two men living on the island of Crete, and the opposite ways they had of dealing with whatever came their way, a synopsis of life. Most of us are like Boss and would, maybe, do well to be more like Zorba. There is much to do with Nature and the way it provides the backdrop for everything. Also there is constant comment on women who only play the supporting role with no particular emphasis or importance except to create extremes. I would like to understand that better and the blaspheme of God. I know there is a lot of symbolism and painting of life dioramas. It's a lot to take in, not light reading, but worthwhile.
  • (4/5)
    This book put me through the wringer! At first I loved it but found it slow going, having to reread sections and slow down to absorb all that was there. Then I hated it. I was sick of hearing about how great Zorba was while a distinct lack of plot dragged on. I avoided the book. Then I loved it again and was moved by the ending. Despite the humor, this is not easy or light reading, but many have commented on how Zorba taught them about life. Recommended if you're in the mood for fiction with philosophical substance.
  • (3/5)
    Although some passages capture the romance and mystery of Greece (Crete), I recommend seeing the movie, rather than spending time on the book.
  • (4/5)
    This was a RL book group read. I really struggled with this book. I found the writing to be florid, and the story lacking in focus. It was written back in the 50s and has an old fashioned style, which always causes me trouble. I also thought Zorba was a lazy, lying, thief and would run off at the first sign of difficulty. The Narrator was vague, diffident and the story was rather undefined. I developed a bad attitude about the book very quickly.I really disliked Zorba’s attitude to life. He acted as though he was a child in a man’s body, he wanted all the pleasures and opportunities but none of the responsibilities. He thought nothing of using others for his pleasures, especially women. The idea that he had many marriages and families but thought nothing of deserting them, was repellent. The Narrator is never named, and it is unclear what he is doing or why. He often seems as though he is required to do something and yet he never comes out and says it. I am unclear how he supports himself. He talks about having some money to open the coal mine in Crete. Yet he eventually leaves and seems to drift around, with no explanation of how he survives. Is he rich and slumming in Crete, does he do some kind of work, or is he the one who is the sponger ?He has these intense relationships with other men that were also perplexing. He exchanges letters and is in love with this one and that one. So why are they separated ? I suspect that the ‘love’ is not necessarily sexual or romantic, but how the Greeks express strong friendship (?). I found the book to be rather boring until about the middle. I was not interested in Crete, though the descriptions of nature were beautiful. When the mine collapsed, I was sad that it didn’t end the book. I had just about worked myself into quitting (I am a completist).Suddenly everything changed. I thought I didn’t care for the characters or the story, and wasn’t interested in Crete. Huh, that didn’t sound right (the part about Crete – love to travel by book and in real life). I had put the book down, but it had started to whisper to me.I kept thinking of the evocative descriptions and the narrative. It had gotten under my skin. I took another look at the story so far and realized that Zorba had faults, but he was loyal, hard working, and a true friend to the Narrator. He also had moments of kindness and valor that showed he could rise to the occasion. He changed in my mind from worthless to someone like one of those big dogs that mean well, but destroy everything (wasted Narrator’s money on a woman; his creation was a disaster; he turned the monk’s mind to arson).I also got to know the Narrator more and through his musings, he became more interesting to me – though not any clearer as to his goals and methods.Finally the longer they were there the more the villagers were exposed. You got to see their hardness, and insularity, the suspicion, and hatred of those who were outsiders or different. The horrible disrespect they had when Boboulina died, and the murder of the young widow showed how different they were from Zorba and the Narrator. The casual violence of their lives showed when the monk tried to roast the monastery with the monks in it.I was sad when they parted, and was glad to have news from Zorba and the Narrator after their time in Crete. It was sad when Zorba died. Again with the Narrator it was unclear what he was doing and why - in the real world. Philosophically he spent the book trying to be what he wasn’t: a man of action. He was a man of thought and words, and felt it was not a worthy mode of living. He wanted to be a man of action, but never figured out how to be, even with Zorba to show him the way. It wasn’t in his nature.Zorba was a force of nature and lived each minute to the fullest. He didn’t plan or calculate he just experienced. Sometimes he was kind and thought of others, and sometimes he thought only of himself and his enjoyment. While both ideas of life have value, I think being all one type is not really a recipe for happiness or a full life. The Narrator never thought he was good enough, and Zorba was too restless to settle and enjoy a stable life (until the end).So in the end I enjoyed it and it will stay with me for a while. I had seen parts of the movie but couldn’t stand to watch much of it. Perhaps after enjoying the book, I will change my mind. The great thing about reading is it opens your mind and changes attitudes if you let it. I almost didn’t, but was able to in the end. Besides the story, I will always think fondly of Zorba for that..
  • (5/5)
    'The Creation of Joy'"The aim of man and matter is to create joy, according to Zorba" (p. 272)Contrast the man of action, who creates joy as he lives life with the man of thought who ponders the meaning of life and carries the works of Dante in his pocket...Nikos Kazantzakis gives us these two men in a story demonstrating this contrast and develops a dialog between the characters to which we as readers can respond. His narrative asks big questions such as: what is liberty to a man; how can you be true to your nature as a human being; and, what is the relationship of the real to the ideal? In its pages you find references to Buddha, Nietzsche, Marcus Aurelius and others -- but most of all you encounter a good story full of life and love and the adventure that results from two men who challenge each other in their pursuit of the spirit of living.Kazantzakis' Zorba the Greek is a life-affirming novel of ideas. It presents insightful observations on both the nature of man and the real, and the ideal approaches to life. The contrast between the Apollonian and Dionysian spirits of the primary characters highlights this vibrant story of life and love.
  • (5/5)
    I read Zorba the Greek every couple of years, and it never fails to inspire (and, at times, disgust) me. Zorba is the ultimate expression of a "free" human being. He is unfettered by social convention and lives always in the present. In Zorba the Greek, Kazantzakis fully captures the agony, beauty, filth and vulnerability of being human.