Current Reading: Zorro

Zorro by Johnston McCulley, Volume 1 of The Complete Pulp Adventures by Johnston McCulley, Bold Venture Press.

Let’s face it: Zorro is cool. I first encountered him in a movie, though I’m not sure which one, and then there were the Disney-produced Zorro episodes shown on ABC when I was a kid, which I loved. Then, not a decade ago, I finally got around to reading The Mark of Zorro, which is contained herein. I loved it. I made an effort to get my hands on more of the books Johnston McCulley wrote, but it was difficult. I did get one, from a German publisher, who promised to reprint all the books, but that didn’t happen. Too bad.

Until now. In recent years Bold Venture has been reprinting the books, starting with this Volume 1, and there are now six volumes:

The Story:
In the early 1800s, California was still under Spanish rule. Some of the military commanders plundered and won riches at the expense of the peace-loving settlers. Against these agents of injustice the settlers were powerless, until one man arose whose courage stirred the hearts of Californians. He alone gave them the spirit to resist tyranny. That man was Zorro!

Each book, and the short stories, contains the tale of Zorro fighting against the evil Spanish rule, as well as against outlaws and other bad guys.

Contents of Volume 1: 
Zorro’s California by Sandra R. Curtis (with map)
The Mark of Zorro
“Zorro Saves A Friend”
“Zorro Hunts a Jackel”

Pulp Page to Silver Screen by Ed Hulse

My Take: As you can see, we have a novel and two longer short stories, plus an informative introduction and in this case a look at Zorro on film. These pulp stories are a lot of fun, and having them all available is a Very Good Thing. These are available in both hardcover (expensive!) and softcover trade editions, still a little pricey at $20 each. There are niggles to pick, if you like, the print is a little larger than need be in the first few volumes, and there’s a typo here and there. So what?  For the fan, having these as a set will be worth it. It is to me.

About Richard Robinson

Enjoying life in Portland, OR
This entry was posted in Adventure, Books & Reading, current reading, Fiction. Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to Current Reading: Zorro

  1. tracybham says:

    I agree, Zorro is cool. I have watched Zorro on TV and in movies but never read the book. I guess it should try reading it.

    I just finished reading Paper Son by S.J. Rozan, the newest in the Lydia Chin / Bill Smith series. Haven’t decided what to read next.

  2. Jeff Meyerson says:

    “Out of the night
    When the full moon is bright,
    Comes the horseman known as Zorro.
    The bold renegade
    Carves a “Z” with his blade,
    A “Z” that stands for Zorro.”

    Yes, I’m a fan, though I have never read the books. Glad to see you’re enjoying them. When the Disney show was on, my brother and I and a good friend all dressed as Zorro for Halloween. This would have been 1957, so we were 7 and 8 at the time.

    I’m having trouble deciding what to read now. I started two or three books, which either didn’t appeal to me at all or just didn’t grab my interest enough to push through 350+ pages. I am still reading short stories, currently an R. A. Lafferty collection. Another problem is, sometimes when you really enjoy a book it is hard to transition to something else that does not engage you immediately. This week I read BITTER WASH ROAD by Garry Disher, set in far northern areas of South Australia, followed by Adrian McKinty’s very tense THE CHAIN.

    • Cool, Jeff. These are/will be fun to read. I know that feeling when finishing a very good book causes difficulty in choosing the next one. I have three library books stacked up here waiting while I finish the last of a long series. Must…read…faster.

      • Jeff Meyerson says:

        I see that William Kent Krueger and Louise Penny both have new books. I thought of you.

        I downloaded two library ebooks that I didn’t realize were out, after reading about them in the newDeadly Pleasures.

        • The Penny is in hand and Barbara is reading it. The Krueger has yet to appear. It’s not a Cork O’Connor, so it won’t be as high a priority for me, though I do like everything he writes.

  3. I’m reading Susan Orlean’s THE LIBRARY BOOK about the fire at the LA Library. Brilliant!
    I rarely reread books but I’m rereading a Jack Vance paperback from the 1970s. You’ll learn the reason why in a couple of weeks on my blog. There’s another Library Book Sale coming up on Friday that I’ve found primo SF paperbacks at in previous sales.

  4. You’re right about Jack Vance being my favorite SF writer. I usually reread one or two of his books per year. Diane is busy reading Louise Penny’s new mystery, A BETTER MAN.

  5. Jerry House says:

    I think Jeff got the lyrics wrong. Isn’t it “The bold renegade carves an ‘R’ with his blade, an ‘R’ that stands for Rick”? Well, maybe not…

    After you finish the series you may want to try Isabel Allende’s ZORRO. There’s also Moonstone Books anthology TALES OF ZORRO, which has been on my gotta-have list for a decade now.

    My reading over the past two weeks has been the seven books by Max Allan Collins I covered in my FFB post on Friday. Beyond that, really nada. Moving, doctors, and grandkids took up a large part of our week. Things will be back to normal in a few days.

    I have it on good authority that Hurricane Dorian is NOT going to veer and his the west coast so you’re going to have to settle for the hot weather. Stay calm and don’t melt, my friend.

  6. Patti Abbott says:

    Finished the book by Tursten and am trying to decide what next. Despite having a hundred books here I could read, it will probably be a library book. I don’t understand that about me.

  7. Evan Lewis says:

    Zorro is cool, and so is your review. Allende’s book, though, is not. She’s a fine novelist, but as an adventure writer she leaves plenty to be desired. And she made up a truly nonsensical backstory – Diego’s mother was an Indian witch, and he and Bernardo were “milk-brothers.” Z-z-z-z-z-z-. Spare me.

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