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Zorba the Greek

by Nikos Kazantzakis


The classic novel, international sensation, and inspiration for the film starring Anthony Quinn explores the struggle between the aesthetic and the rational, the inner life and the life of the mind.

The classic novel Zorba the Greek is the story of two men, their incredible friendship, and the importance of living life to the fullest. Zorba, a Greek working man, is a larger-than-life character, energetic and unpredictable. He accompanies the unnamed narrator to Crete to work in the narrator’s lignite mine, and the pair develops a singular relationship. The two men couldn’t be further apart: The narrator is cerebral, modest, and reserved; Zorba is unfettered, spirited, and beyond the reins of civility. Over the course of their journey, he becomes the narrator’s greatest friend and inspiration and helps him to appreciate the joy of living.

Zorba has been acclaimed as one of the most remarkable figures in literature; he is a character in the great tradition of Sinbad the Sailor, Falstaff, and Sancho Panza. He responds to all that life offers him with passion, whether he’s supervising laborers at a mine, confronting mad monks in a mountain monastery, embellishing the tales of his past adventures, or making love. Zorba the Greek explores the beauty and pain of existence, inviting readers to reevaluate the most important aspects of their lives and live to the fullest.

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Recommendations: 1

Categories: ClassicsLiterature & Fiction

Reading time: 89 hours

Recommendations


Tim Ferriss
Entrepreneur, Investor, Author, and Podcaster

I really like to gift people I know, Type A, driven people fiction because I think many of the principles and truths contained in stories are better absorbed through fiction. Zorba the Greek, specifically stands out, which chronicles the adventures of this very brainy, very analytical person, which I see as more myself, who makes all manner of mistakes in life because of that, and then this free-wheeling, crazy person, Zorba the Greek. So, I highly, highly recommend that book.