The inhabitants of a Greek village, ruled by the Turks, plan to enact the life of Christ in a mystery play but are overwhelmed by their task. A group of refugees, fleeing from the ruins of their plundered homes, arrive asking for protection – and suddenly the drama of the Passion becomes reality.
Kazantzakis’s autobiographical novel Report to Greco was one of the last things he wrote before he died. It paints a vivid picture of his childhood in Crete, still occupied by the Turks, and then steadily grows into a spiritual quest that takes him to Italy, Jerusalem, Paris, Vienna, Berlin, Russia and the Caucasus, and finally back to Crete again. At different times Nietzsche, Bergson, Buddha, Homer and Christ dominate as his spiritual masters.
Set before the start of the First World War, this moving fable sees a young English writer set out to Crete to claim a small inheritance. But when he arrives, he meets Alexis Zorba, a middle-aged Greek man with a zest for life. Zorba has had a family and many lovers, has fought in the Balkan wars, has lived and loved – he is a simple but deep man who lives every moment fully and without shame. As their friendship develops, the Englishman is gradually won over, transformed and inspired along with the reader.
Zorba the Greek, Nikos Kazantzakis’ most popular and enduring novel, has its origins in the author’s own experiences in the Peleponnesus in the 1920s. His swashbuckling hero has legions of fans across the world and his adventures are as exhilarating now as they were on first publication in the 1950s.