So many people over the years have recommended I read Zorba the Greek, and I finally did this past month. It was a bit slow to get started, but when it did, boy was I hooked. Such heart and such poetry in a novel. I distinctly remember the lump in my throat and the strange liquid in eyes as I reached the end of the story.
This book is an inspirational tale of loving life and women and living for the day. it's about finding meaning in people and the world around you, not in books or writing or pursuits which are purely intellectual. Yes, some of the literal messages about women may seem shocking/outdated: ideas like women are "sensitive, delicate creatures" who get more pleasure from giving pleasure and are easily made to feel embarrassed/delicate, the importance of being careful with them, sometimes providing them with a firm man's touch and confidence so they feel secure. But I think these all contain some grain of truth that doesn't change with time, and the core feeling is one of love and admiration; women are the only thing that can tame and control Zorba's wild spirit.
The book is also an irreverent loud voice calling for loving each other and adventure in life rather than externally imposed structure, constraints, or religion. I think Penn Jillette would like it a lot.
Below are some of my takeaways/main ideas.