Don Quixote (AKA Don Quixote de la Mancha)

Overview

While Don Quixote thinks of himself as a brave knight, his trusty sidekick, Sancho Panza, finds out the truth as they battle real and imaginary enemies.

Retells the adventures of an eccentric Spanish country gentleman and his companion who set out as a knight and squire of old to right wrongs and punish evil.

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Don Quixote

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Overview

While Don Quixote thinks of himself as a brave knight, his trusty sidekick, Sancho Panza, finds out the truth as they battle real and imaginary enemies.

Retells the adventures of an eccentric Spanish country gentleman and his companion who set out as a knight and squire of old to right wrongs and punish evil.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
As in Williams's Greek Myths for Young Children and Joseph and His Magnificent Coat of Many Colors , engagingly busy, ornately bordered, comic strip-style artwork gives new and buoyant life to a familiar story. The characteristic understatement of her text, juxtaposed with the humorous mutterings of a quirky cast (delivered in cartoon balloons), breezily chronicles Quixote's hapless quest to ``right all wrongs and protect all damsels.'' (Though Williams's rendition seems appropriate for the intended audience, literary purists may object on principle to the abridgement of such a venerable classic.) Here the would-be knight is rendered as quite the buffoon, as he prepares to tilt at windmills he mistakes for ``giants'' and battle two ``armies'' that are actually flocks of sheep. Time after time, Quixote and sidekick Sancho Panza are badly battered (the former is shown losing his ear and some teeth), but always brush themselves off and continue ``on their way in search of new adventure worthy of so famous a knight and his faithful squire.'' A fun way to become acquainted with this masterpiece. Ages 7-up. (Mar.)
Children's Literature - Marilyn Courtot
As she has with other stories, Greek Myths, Sinbad and Robin Hood, Williams creates another comic strip version of a well-known tale. The "official" story run along with the cartoons while comments and asides are presented within the cartoon frames. This particular tale, about an eccentric country gentleman who imagines himself a knight who must right wrongs, may be a little difficult for the publisher's suggested age group (5 and up). It will probably work better for older elementary kids and reluctant readers. 1995 (orig.
Library Journal
Cervantes's masterpiece Don Quixote , Henry Fielding's favorite novel, was also much admired by Fielding's contemporary Smollett, who published a vigorous, highly readable translation in 1755. Eighteenth-century collections will be enriched by this edition (not reissued since the 19th century, and never published in America), which includes Smollett's life of Cervantes, his note on the translation, and his annotations to the novel. The foreword and introduction by Fuentes, however, are disappointing; concentrating on Cervantes and his times they tell us almost nothing about the raison d'etre for this edition, Smollett's translation. Smollett's pungent, jocular prose is ideally suited for his task; his translation makes a delightful alternative to the various attempts to render Don Quixote into modern English. Peter Sabor, English Dept., Queen's Univ., Kingston, Ont.
From Barnes & Noble
This classic book, published in 1605, is the first and greatest of all modern novels & an adventure tale that brings to life two of literature's most beloved characters, Don Quixote & Sancho Panza. A timeless and rewarding reading experience.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780393090185
  • Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 3/28/1981
  • Series: Critical Editions Series
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 1001
  • Product dimensions: 5.08 (w) x 8.34 (h) x 1.43 (d)

Meet the Author

University of Edinburgh
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Table of Contents

Introduction

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First Chapter

The Life of Cervantes

Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra was at once the glory and reproach of Spain; for, if his admirable genius and heroic spirit conduced to the honour of his country, the distress and obscurity which attended his old age, as effectually redounded to her disgrace. Had he lived amidst Gothic darkness and barbarity, where no records were used, and letters altogether unknown, we might have expected to derive from tradition, a number of particulars relating to the family and fortune of a man so remarkably admired even in his own time. But, one would imagine pains had been taken to throw a veil of oblivion over the personal concerns of this excellent author. No inquiry hath, as yet, been able to ascertain the place of his nativity;1 and, although in his works he has declared himself a gentleman by birth, no house has hitherto laid claim to such an illustrious descendant.

One author* says he was born at Esquivias; but, offers no argument in support of his assertion: and probably the conjecture was founded upon the encomiums which Cervantes himself bestows on that place, to which he gives the epithet of Renowned, in his preface to Persiles and Sigismunda.2 Others affirm he first drew breath in Lucena, grounding their opinion upon a vague tradition which there prevails: and a third* set take it for granted that he was a native of Seville, because there are families in that city known by the names of Cervantes and Saavedra; and our author mentions his having, in his early youth, seen plays acted by Lope Rueda, who was a Sevilian. These, indeed, are presumptions that deserve some regard, tho', far from implying certain information, they scarce even amount to probableconjecture: nay, these very circumstances seem to disprove the supposition; for, had he been actually descended from those families, they would, in all likelihood, have preserved some memorials of his birth, which Don Nicholas Antonio would have recorded, in speaking of his fellow-citizen. All these pretensions are now generally set aside in favour of Madrid, which claims the honour of having produced Cervantes, and builds her title on an expression? in his Voyage to Parnassus, which, in my opinion, is altogether equivocal and inconclusive.

In the midst of such undecided contention, if I may be allowed to hazard a conjecture, I would suppose that there was something mysterious in his extraction, which he had no inclination to explain, and that his family had domestic reasons for maintaining the like reserve. Without admitting some such motive, we can hardly account for his silence on a subject that would have afforded him an opportunity to indulge that self-respect which he so honestly displays in the course of his writings. Unless we conclude that he was instigated to renounce all connexion with his kindred and allies, by some contempt'ous flight, mortifying repulse, or real injury he had sustained; a supposition which, I own, is not at all improbable, considering the jealous sensibility of the Spaniards in general, and the warmth of resentment peculiar to our author, which glows through his productions, unrestrained by all the fears of poverty, and all the maxims of old age and experience.
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Sort by: Showing all of 19 Customer Reviews
  • 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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