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Book 20

  1. Stone, Irving — The Agony and the Ecstasy (439 of 763 pages)
  2. Morpurgo, Michael — The Mozart Question (68 pages)
  3. Unsworth, Barry — Stone Virgin (312 pages)
  4. Phillips, Caryl — The Nature of Blood (212 pages)
  5. Howard, Robert E. — The Conan Chronicles, Volume 1: The People of the Black Circle (549 pages)
  6. Lockwood, Richard & Steve Potz-Rayner — A Little Book of Lies (170 pages)
  7. Vickers, Hugh — Great Operatic Disasters (65 pages)
  8. Howard, Robert E. — The Conan Chronicles, Volume 2: The Hour of the Dragon (574 pages)
  9. Rennison, Nick — 100 Must-Read Classic Novels (164 pages)
  10. Augustine of Hippo (John K. Ryan, translator) — The Confessions of Saint Augustine (422 pages)
  11. Fitzgerald, F. Scott — The Great Gatsby (146 pages)
  12. Harrison, Fraser — Infinite West: Travels in South Dakota (188 pages)
  13. Banks, Iain M. — Consider Phlebas (466 pages)
  14. Banks, Iain M. — The Player of Games (307 pages)
  15. Carter, W. Hodding — Flushed: How the Plumber Saved Civilization (239 pages)
  16. Mandela, Nelson — Long Walk to Freedom (750 pages)
  17. Banks, Iain M. — Use of Weapons (411 pages)
  18. Banks, Iain M. — The State of the Art (215 pages)
  19. Banks, Iain M. — Excession (450 pages)
  20. Kazantzakis, Nikos — Zorba the Greek (345 pages)
Page count
6492
book cover: Zorba the Greek.

In August the Mad Fisher and I travelled to Crete for a friend's wedding. As I have stated on numerous occasions, I like to read something specific to the destination when I am on holiday, and Zorba seemed the natural choice for Crete. By coincidence, one of the hotels we stayed at outside of Keraklion happened to be a stone's throw from the Nikos Kazantzakis museum, and we also visited the beach on which the last scene of the movie was filmed.

Not having seen the movie, I didn't know what to expect, but I was pleased with what I found. Zorba ranks amongst the most memorable characters in literature. I found myself drawn to the simplicity and profundity of his philosophy. The relationship between the narrator and Zorba is pure gold, and the depth of real feeling between them is palpable. Kazantzakis does not paint a flattering picture of native Cretans (which makes we wonder why they idolize him so), but it is unflinching and, dare I say, real. And the episodes between discursive philosophical ramblings come to life vividly and memorably. This is a truly remarkable book.

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