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Don Quixote

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  • Posted April 29, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Don Quixote: A Book that Exceeds Expectations

    Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes is an outstanding novel that engages the reader in ways no other novel has accomplished. The Story is centered on a Middle aged man named Alonzo Quixano, from the region of La Mancha, who enjoys reading books of chivalry. He eventually becomes so obsessed with these stories that he reads so many until he puts it upon himself to become a Knight-errant to defeat the wicked and defend the helpless. He names himself Don Quixote de la Mancha (Sir Thighpiece) and finds himself a nag and names it Rocinante (Hackafore) and swears an oath to Dulcinea del Toboso, a peasant women that he labels as a princess. He convinces his local Sancho Panza to follow him as a faithful Squire, promising to make him a wealthy governor of an isle.
    The book is divided into two separate parts, with Part I being published first and Cervantes later publishing Part II. In the story many of the characters have read Part I, making the story even more interesting and entertaining. Throughout the novel the reader follows Don Quixote and Sancho as they go on many adventures throughout Spain, creating mischief as they run around in their fantasy world. Don Quixote and Sancho go around Spain attacking random citizens for insulting Don Quixote, stealing and committing acts in the name Dulcinea. For every wrong Don Quixote does he makes an excuse that he was blinded by an enchanter and as Sancho takes the heat for his actions. Don Quixote has many famous recognizable adventures such as Don Quixote's attack upon the windmills, mistaking them for giants, or when he is tricked and frees a devious galley slave. Or the time when he sees a herd of sheep moving down the desert, and he mistakes them for an army as he charges and ensures carnage upon the sheep.
    I think this was a outstanding book that kept the reader interested all the way through. Cervantes writing style helps enhance the story as it engages the reader with an different writing style. Personally, I like Part I better than Part II, because throughout Part I Don Quixote is reckless and basically does whatever he wants stating that because he's a knight-errant he can basically do what he wants. While in the Second Part he becomes wiser not striking out when he becomes angry or insulted; not being as crazy and reckless. I would recommend this book to anyone even though it is a long book; it is completely worth it as you read about the comical and enchanting tales of Don Quixote de La Mancha.

    11 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 7, 2010

    The magic is all in the writing style.

    I was very fortunate to have randomly chosen what I consider to be the best translation, by John Rutherford. Alas, I cannot read Spanish, least of all the 17th-century variety, but I believe that Mr. Rutherford may be capturing the enchantment of the writing itself better than any other. Unfortunately, through a technical glitch B&N readers are not able to compare translations (I would have been so interested to see the one by Tobias Smollett), since only the Edith Grossman one is featured on the web site, regardless of whichever edition the prospective buyer clicks on.

    The Grossman may be the most accurate, but it's also rather dry, more modern, more utilitarian, while the Rutherford is more poetic and a whole lot more fun, though much more archaic in style. Compare just the first paragraph of Chapter I. In Grossman's description of the Don's lifestyle, "He had a housekeeper past forty, a niece not yet twenty." Well, here is Rutherford's version: "He maintained a housekeeper on the wrong side of forty, a niece the right side of twenty..." And on it goes.

    I find that the best way to enjoy this classic is not to look for a gripping plot or high drama, which you are not likely to find -- wasn't that just what drove the old guy crazy in the first place? -- but to pick a translation (or, of course, to read the original, if you are so fortunate) that will captivate you, and let it sail you right through this huge work on a magic carpet of comedic lyricism.

    In any case, this book is a real beauty, a wonderful place to spend your time!

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 14, 2007

    highly entertaining novel

    This novel is very long! Well worth the time and price. Strongly reccomended!

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 8, 2013

    This started out very amusing but then it got so incredibly repe

    This started out very amusing but then it got so incredibly repetitious. I hate to say it about a classic, but I think this could use an editor and fresh new reprint. 

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 15, 2012

    Highly recommended

    An exceptional read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 8, 2005

    This book OWNZ!

    This book was great I really loved it. It only took me about 1 1/2 weeks to read the book. IT IS GREAT! I also recommened other great classics and Left Behind:... Series for all AGES! And I'm only 14 so read this book if I can read it so can YOU!

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