Monday, April 22, 2013

Review: Zorro Rides Again by D.J. Arneson

Zorro Rides Again: A Radio DramatizationZorro Rides Again: A Radio Dramatization by Jerry Robbins
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I'm a fan of Zorro, having watched some of the movies when I was younger. I recently read Isabel Allende's take on the legend, and felt I should go back to the pulpy source material. This is only based on McCully's original stories, and it's all the cheesy adventure one might expect.

The story comes in years after Zorro has gone into retirement, for no reason explained in the text. Someone is posing as the hero and doing cruel things, so he has to return to the masked vigilante life to clear his name.

A number of characters return: Don Diego de la Vega, of course, and his alter ego, Zorro. There's Friar Felipe, love interest Lolita Pulido, and Sargeant Gonzalez, and of course the faithful but mute Bernardo, whose hand signals are depicted in the radio edition by woodwind instruments.

The story introduces Captain Rocha, the Governor's nephew and leader of a movement to discredit Zorro in the eyes of the adoring townsfolk.

Despite his long absence and the nasty rumors about his recent behavior, Zorro is still a much-loved figure in his hometown, and lots of allies are willing to stick their necks out to protect him. Most take him at his word that he's innocent, though a trial by combat is needed to prove his word, in one case.

I listened to a radio play dramatization, so the dialogue was spoken by actors. In an action format, that means that sometimes people have to narrate what they're doing, or bystanders have to keep the listener updated. Sometimes, it sounded a little silly, but it worked, in the long run.

Overall, this was a fluffy, entertaining couple of hours. I wanted a silly, pulpy tale before diving into my next book, and that's exactly what I got. I have another radio adaptation of a Zorro story, and I plan on listening to it soon.

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