My friend Paul Quarrington, a wonderful novelist himself, reviews Isabel Allende’s Zorro in this weekend’s Globe and Mail.

This is a book rife with coincidence, love at first sight, pirates,
secret societies — hey, it’s a book where a guy can put on a mask,
draw a little moustache on his face and fool people who have known him
all of their lives.

And it is hugely enjoyable. It appealed both to the sober-sided book
reviewer that I am and the bespectacled, television-viewing lad that I
was. I have been missing this kind of thing for 40-odd years; it seems
simply not to be around. We have lost our appetite for narratives of
frolicking farfetchedness and preposterous implausibility.

His review was so much more fun to read… and revealing about the book… than the dull piece in the LA Times Book Review a few weeks ago. Although Paul puts himself into the review in a big way, Mark Sarvas’ big gripe about LA Times book reviewers, at least he doesn’t do it to tell everyone which Ivy League university he went to or mention the books he’s written. Besides, Paul is lively and funny, something LATBR writers rarely are. They much prefer being somber, dull, and self-important.

(By the way, Paul’s non-fiction, very funny book on fishing, FISHING WITH MY OLD GUY,  is a classic…whether you like to fish or not. We  worked together on the first season of MISSING up in Toronto and I must have imposed on him to sign a dozen copies of the book for my family).

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