“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, oops I mean spring. Just feels like it is still winter. ”