Old California, In A Bygone Era Of Sprawling Haciendas And Haughty Caballeros, Suffers Beneath The Whip Lash Of Oppression Missions Are Pillaged, Native Peasants Are Abused, And Innocent Men And Women Are Persecuted By The Corrupt Governor And His ArmyBut A Champion Of Freedom Rides The Highways His Identity Hidden Behind A Mask, The Laughing Outlaw Zorro Defies The Tyrant S Might A Deadly Marksman And A Demon Swordsman, His Flashing Blade Leaves BehindFirst Published In , The Mark Of Zorro Has Inspired Countless Films And Television Adventures Now Read How The Legend Began


10 thoughts on “The Curse of Capistrano

  1. says:

    Daring, Dashing and Delightful Originally released as a serialized novel, each chapter reads as a mini story thus producing a loosely connected full novel Zorro, aka Don Diego, wages war single handedly against the corrupted and aids the downtrodden The comical back and forth between the personas as he manipulates the rich men of California lightened and brought life to the novel.He is passionate towards the fight and towards the love of his life And I was swept into this story by his righteousness beliefs and the ardent desire to set things life really motivated the story It s quality that I haven t seen in many novels and it was riveting.However that does not diminish the blatant racism and sexism scattered in unexpected bursts though this novel I had to keep reminding me that this is a product of its time and to change or ignore this would be disingenuous Is this book realistic Nope not one bit There s no way Zorro could so easily fool everyone All his deceptions seemed so blatantly obvious to myself Does it require a suspension of belief Yes the personas of each character are exaggerated and their actions are too choreographed to be considered natural.But, was it fun to read Absolutely The language and the plot aren t encumbered by it s age originally published in 1919 surprisingly readable If all romantic novels were like this, count me in Blog Instagram Twitter


  2. says:

    4.5 StarsBuddy reading with Grand Duke Craig and Grand Duchess Orient D Zorro the Mexican Robin Hood, the terror to the the ruling government, the Curse of Capistrano, a gentleman, a shadow, and chivalrous How couldn t I fall for a man who stands up for the injustice of the people, and takes down the corrupted I have loved Zorro since watching the the 1998 film The Mask of Zorro He is the shadowy figure in the night, taking names, and whooping ass with his rapier The Mark of Zorro is the original work that I feel like a lot of people stumble on I happened to stumbled across it while looking for something on Thank you , because I really enjoyed this fast paced, actioned packed, adventure story of Zorro For me, it was one of those stories I had a hard time putting down I had a lot of fun reading about the sword fights, and how Zorro fooled his enemies Buddy reading with Craig and Orient made it a billion times better, since we are all big fans of Zorro I will be sword fighting with my daughter, instead of throwing balls and screaming KAMEHAMEHA I am lying, we are still screaming KAMEHAMEHA My problems with this book, but they still didn t break it for me, were some of the secondary characters lacked depth They came out kind of flat, and repeated stuff over and over again I guess, the big reveal at the end does lack finesse if you already watched the movie I sometimes intentionally spoil on myself, because I am impatient It didn t bother me too much view spoiler Sometimes I don t really understand why Don Diego played Zorro He could of been a big help to bring justice to the state of California, by creating new laws and other things to help the weak and poor I know he takes justice into his own hands as Zorro, but couldn t he have done as the gentleman Don Diego It would of been a boring book if he was just Diego, maybe Atticus Finch is a great hero of mine Things to think about I suppose hide spoiler


  3. says:

    A playdate BR with Alex and Craig to revive the legend of El Zorro and test our skills in writing the first letter of our names using smth sharp D Yeah, IKR, I should give up reviewing and start carving I guess we don t need introduction to the Spanish Robin Hood But to tell the truth, I didn t know that there were books about Zorro, till recently So probably like some of you, I fell in love with Zorro after watching him on screen In my case it was A Banderas drools To my shame, I didn t pay great attention to Don Diego back then and decided to correct this mistake by reading this book The story in this book is a great example of classics, though, if you look for complicity, well. there is none But what hooked me and made me fall in love with this book is interaction and action scenes It s a thin mystery and quite evident that Don Diego is a pretender as his dullness feels a bit forced, but the credulity of those who surround him, how they see only what they want to see, that was interesting and funny to observe To add the spices, this Mr Fox can be tough, cruel, rude but also witty and charming Also I enjoyed the fights so kindly provided by McCulley The author set quite a quick pace for the story My total faves were fights between Zorro and Captain Ramon What annoyed me a bit As I mentioned before I wasn t fooled by Don Diego s innocent nature at all, maybe it was because I already knew his secret or maybe the mystery was too thin and too long kept hidden And of course, I was a bit annoyed by a really long wooing between Don Diego and his love interest These things took some joy from me while reading this book I guess it s the excitement I got watching the movies about Zorro The way connection between Zorro and Don Diego was concealed on the screen And the suspense I think movies created a thrilling and engaging Zorro for me I just can t wait to see the older movies to continue my playdate with Zorro To sum up, it s quite an enjoyable read, I ll definitely look into books about Zorro as I d like to know the backstories of some of the characters Zorro, Don Alejandro, Bernardo, Don Carlos and his family PS Antonio I want you to know.


  4. says:

    If you are old enough, like me, to remember the late 50 s Zorro series by Disney, then this is a must read for you It s full of the swashbuckling adventure and romance that you would expect of the Old California era The sly fox, Zorro, has the soldiers of Los Angeles running in circles as he dashes about the countryside using two identities protecting the oppressed and persecuted A fun read.


  5. says:

    Johnston McCulley s The Curse of Capistrano, serialised in the pulp magazine All Story Weekly in 1919, marked the first appearance in print of Zorro The character was destined to become one of the iconic adventure heroes of course, but while the novel was quite successful what really got the ball rolling was the 1920 movie adaptation.The movie changed the title to The Mark of Zorro and was a huge hit, propelling Douglas Fairbanks to superstardom It was so successful that the original novel was published in book form under this new title in 1924.The setting is California in the early 19th century when it was still a possession of the Spanish crown it became part of Mexico in 1822 and then part of the United States in 1848 The setting of the novel is not strictly accurate historically but it does succeed rather well in conveying at least part of the particular flavour of Spanish California The ruling class, the caballeros, are obsessed by lineage and honour To have the right blood is everything And their concept of honour hearkens back to the chivalry of the early Middle Ages These are very proud people and they are very sensitive to even the smallest points of honour.This is something of a problem for Don Diego Vega He certainly has the blood No one in the pueblo of Los Angeles can boast a exalted bloodline than Don Diego But while most caballeros are excessively eager to resort to their swords to defend their honour Don Diego is a languid and rather effete young man who prefers to read poetry Respect for blood is so ingrained that no one would dare accuse him to his face of being lacking in manliness, and the Vega family is also immensely powerful and politically influential No one dislikes Don Diego but privately there is some concern about his lack of physical prowess and his abhorrence of violence.The famous outlaw Zorro has become a legend not just because of his skill with the sword but also for his concern for justice The governor is corrupt, taxes are crippling, and many honourable families have seen their wealth ruthlessly stripped from then by the governor and his voracious minions The one man who is prepared to take a stand against this injustice is Zorro Zorro is not just a friend to oppressed and financially ruined caballeros however He also steps in to defend the Franciscan friars who are being victimised and fleeced by the corrupt government He is equally ready to defend the Indians whenever and wherever they are mistreated Zorro is in essence Robin Hood in a different setting.Don Diego s father is rather displeased by his son s apparent lack of spirit, and even displeased that Don Diego has yet to marry and produce an heir This is of course a vital necessity for any aristocratic family and Don Diego is his father s only child Under pressure from his father he is rather listlessly wooing the beautiful young Lolita Pulido Her family has blood almost equal to that of the Vega family but her father Don Carlos has fallen out of favour with the political leadership and has lost most of his land and most of his wealth Don Carlos is desperately anxious for a marriage alliance with the Vegas Unfortunately Lolita is not impressed by Don Diego She wants a real man She also wants a lover who is romantic and passionate, and Don Diego seems uninterested in either romance or passion When Lolita encounters Zorro it is a different story This is a man whom she could love And Zorro is obviously interested While Don Diego is listlessly wooing Lolita a rival has appeared on the scene in the form of Captain Ramon Ramon s courtship is than insistent he goes so far as to threaten her honour This is something that Zorro will not tolerate And while all this happening the Pulido family is facing not just complete ruin but the accusation of treason Zorro has to find a way to save both Lolita s honour and her family He will also have to protect his old friend, the friar Felipe Felipe may be a man of God but he s a pretty tough hombre who is afraid of no one and who stands up for the rights of the oppressed.Don Diego has formed an unlikely friendship with the boastful and violent Sergeant Gonzales Gonzales is flattered to have a friend of such high rank, and the friendship is useful to Don Diego Being a man of peace and something of a wimp it s handy to have a friend who is both a tough guy and an important member of the local troop of soldiers.The true identity of Zorro is not revealed until the end of the book but anyone who has ever seen any Zorro movie, comic book or TV episode already knows who he is and it really is blindingly obvious In fact I suspect that McCulley expected his readers to figure it out pretty quickly what s important is that none of the other characters know his identity Knowing who Zorro really is doesn t affect the reader s enjoyment of the book in the slightest and possibly even enhances it By the time The Mark of Zorro appeared in book form in 1924 the secret would have been known to everyone who had seen the enormously popular 1920 movie But on the off chance that you re not aware of Zorro s identity and you don t want to know until you read the novel, you might want to skip the next two paragraphs.Beginning of spoilersYou have been warned.What the people of the pueblo of Los Angeles don t know of course is that Don Diego is anything but a wimp He is in fact the notorious outlaw hero Zorro.Don Diego s effeteness provides him with the perfect cover for his alter ego No one knows Zorro s real identity but the last person anyone would suspect of being the renowned outlaw is Don Diego Vega This cover has yet another advantage it allows Zorro to keep tabs on the local troops Don Diego has strengthened this advantage by befriending Don Diego Zorro always knows exactly what the troops are up to.End of spoilers.This is pure pulp fiction, with action aplenty The plot races along in fine melodramatic style McCulley s style is pulpy but his characters are colourful and he knows how to spin an exciting tale of adventure and romance This version of Zorro is as heroic and honourable as his various movie and television incarnations but rather ruthless The violence is also somewhat graphic.The unusual and exotic setting is a major plus and is utilised quite effectively McCulley has been criticised for not adhering closely to the historical background but this is pulp fiction and it s the flavour that is important, not strict historical accuracy.Thoroughly enjoyable story telling, and definitely worth a read.


  6. says:

    An old time Spanish adventure, set in old California A mysterious caballero is riding and plundering in true Robin Hood fashion, punishing the state sanctioned plunderers and greedy soldiers, setting by the heels all the boasters who pretend that they are easily able to catch him Of course he runs into trouble when he falls in love with a fair lady whose father is out of favor with the current governor and who soon draws the eye also of his rival, the unscrupulous boaster Captain Ramon.I figured out pretty quickly who Zorro was, but it sure was a fun tale to read through.Free copies can be found at archive.org and Librivox.Content A bit of fighting and a whippingLanguage by the saints frequently d twice


  7. says:

    3.5 starsThe Mark of Zorro is not Antonio Banderas s Zorro This would be Anthony Hopkins s Zorro as a young man before he settled down But it s still Zorro, which means swashbuckling aplenty, secret identities though you ll know Zorro s real identity if you ve seen any of the movies , ridiculously well trained horses, feisty se oritas who will settle for nothing less than ALL the romantic tropes but who can take care of herself just fine thank you very much, and corrupt governors, all set against the backdrop of 1820s California.Originally titled The Curse of Capistrano and written by a man with pseudonyms than Aragon son of Arathorn, this story is just a grand old good time If you want deep philosophical thoughts, look elsewhere This is a swashbuckling novel of the finest order, and everyone is just a little over the top or a lot, ha and the action is pretty well written Some of the material is dated, but not cringingly so and I thought it held up remarkably well considering it ll be 100 years old next year.The narration by Armando Duran is very well done and he s got a nice soothing voice that suits the characters well and expresses just the right amount of flavor and spice to make the story jump off the page without being too overly dramatic It s just overly dramatic enough.


  8. says:

    This isn t a bad book There just aren t any surprises if you know Zorro s true identity before you go in.


  9. says:

    A pulpy knockoff of the Scarlet Pimpernel Not particularly well written Its fine but if you ve seen or read any version of the character then you ll find little of interest While many people have stolen from the Scarlet Pimpernel over the years, such as batman, there are different levels of theft Most Batman stories for example are just taking the general concept, whereas The Dark Knight Rises steals very particular plot points of course the rest of that movie is a remake of Rocky III anyway This story falls into the latter category plagiarizing at least one major element from The League of the Scarlet Pimpernel right down to a particular name, now associated with superheroes view spoiler the Avengers hide spoiler


  10. says:

    Ah Zorro As a kid, I remember really enjoying Disney s Zorro series with Guy Williams More recently I ve had a lot of fun with the new Antonio Banderas movies However, I d never read any of the original adventures so I decided it was high time I change that Being very familiar with the character as presented in TV and film, I found a few things surprising as I read his first adventure The Mark of Zorro Firstly, I was a little bummed that I already knew about the character because the author holds back and doesn t reveal Zorro s true identity until the very end of the novel I obviously knew who Zorro really and had a hard time trying to force myself to forget Based on the characters in the story and the way things played out, I suspect it still would ve been fairly easy to guess at his identity, but I suspect it would have made the experience a bit different.Another difference that I found interesting was the stark similarities to another literary hero with a secret identity The Scarlet Pimpernel Like the Pimpernel, Zorro s true identity is kept secret by the hero s acting like a complete fop or dandy Don Diego feels faint over the slightest exertion and nearly swoons at the mention of any type of violence or bloodshed He is Perciville Blakeney taken to an even greater extreme.Probably the biggest distinction and somewhat a disappointment was that the Zorro of the novel was a bit less of a swashbuckler than in the recent productions While the recent movies had Zorro bounding around fighting dozens of soldiers at a time, the Zorro of the book is certainly an adept swordsman but he forces situations into a very equitable one on one fight by forcing other would be attackers into corners or holding them at bay with his pistol While he is still an imposing force and certainly daring to be confronting soldiers in their own garrisons, the action sequences left a bit to be desired and were considerably less tense and exciting than I had hoped for.That general sense of less than hoped for sort of sums up my reception to this story Again, this is likely due to my being tainted by the high action of recent film productions This is a well crafted story that brings together latin american romance with the fun adventure of an unknown hero standing up for the rights of the poor and oppressed The character development was interesting but fell into stereotypes at times again, this could be partly due to film and tv reproductions These characters were likely not as stereotypical in the early 1900s and in fact I suspect that this book helped form some of the stereotypes we now enjoy in our media today.Generally I m glad I read it I was surprised at the end of the book to see Zorro essentially hang up his cape, hat and mask and state that he would no longer be riding as Zorro It appears this was intended to be a single book adventure with no long term plans for the hero The popularity apparently led to additional novels by the same author as well as some additional stories by other authors I m curious to see if the continuing stories have adventure or intrigue Eventually I may find out 3.5 out of 5 stars