An excellent narrator and an excellent novel. Contrary to the statement concerning the received opinion about philosophical and literary merits in Wikipedia, the first part is better than the second, unless you really really like the idea of jokes being played on Don Quixote at his expense. I find audio books an excellent way of finishing really long books that I have never managed to read to completion on the printed page. Cervantes makes Don Quixote pay for his misguided love of chivalric tales with more beatings than the human body could realistically stand. This sadism is presumably the result of Cervantes' feelings regarding this literary genre. But ironically, in the novel nearly everyone else gets caught up in Don Quixotes' madness, and the common Romantic reading of the book is to find Don Quixotes' behavior admirable. The book is heralded as a eulogy to chivalry and Quixotic enterprises when the intent was to ridicule and quash. One can admire doomed enterprises for a worthy cause - but Quixotes' undertakings are all misguided and/or cause more harm than good. It's a pity another emblem for such things cannot be found.
The narrator does a good job presenting this classic by Cervantes but the translation is quite archaic so that at times you really have to listen closely to get what the narrator is saying. This would have been much better if they had used a modern translation. That said, this is a great novel. It is a "best seller" that has kept its reputation for centuries and is well worth the effort to read (or listen to) in its entirety.
I am pleased the reader is English, but for Americans this may not be as pleasing. I really enjoyed the interpretation and characterisation of the voices. It added much to the humour of the story. I never managed to read the book, but now dip back into it to read back favourite passages. This was my first foray into audio books and I declare it a huge success.
It would be difficult to find 40 hours to listen to this book again, but for the performance, it's almost worth it. Robert Whitfiled is a master voice actor. He manages to uniquely portray dozens of characters with nothing but vocal nuance. I don't know how much editing was involved, but at times, he performs conversations among 5 or 6 separate characters, and it's always clear who is speaking.
Don Quixote is a lengthy, rambling story, and I would only recommend this book, either in audio or print form, to someone who has patience for the--let's say--rich language, which can become tedious at times. I don't speak or read Spanish, but I'm told that Cervantes transformed that language with this single work. My guess is that his colorful prose did not exactly lead to a leaner, more austere form of expression.
If you like baroque writing, brilliant voice performances, and you have 40+ hours of spare time (perhaps a lengthy commute), then you'll find it time well spent.
I cannot recommend this edition more! The narration is great! The 36 hour runtime just flew by. When purchasing this edition you are getting BOTH volumes of Don Quixote. That includes the original and the sequel written by Cervantes 10 years later in response to an unofficial sequel written by another author.
I actually enjoyed the second half (volume 2) even more than the 1st (tilting at windmills) volume. The Don and Sancho's back and forth is so much more real and touching.
This is a wonderful tale.
Robert Whitfield's narration of this classic is engaging. I frequently found myself grinning like an idiot or laughing out loud listening to this on my iPod, to some embarrassment on my part when in public.
Virtually all the characters have distinct and recognizable voices - one doesn't need to hear (for example) "Sancho said" to know that it was indeed the Honest Squire speaking. Bravo Robert!
The translation is modern and idiomatic. Now the nit. If I have a complaint against this translation it is that the translator obviously does not know that "whence" means "from where." Instead, we constantly hear "from whence" all the time which means "from from where." Similarly, hence, henceforward, thence, thenceforward are almost always proceeded with the redundant “from.” Very irritating, given the frequency of use of these words in this translation.
Computer Programmer and Worship Leader. Have enjoyed reading since my mom got me hooked on Nancy Drew and Agatha Christie prior to my teen years. My brother got me hooked on audio books after I started having a longer commute to work. Love a variety of genres.
As some of the others have said, I feel a little funny criticizing a book with a pedigree such as this one. However it took me a long time to finish this, and by a sheer act of the will.
On one hand, there are some REALLY FUNNY stories in here - stuff that had me laughing and chuckling on the way to work. Both of the characters just get better as the book goes one.
On the other hand, the book goes on - and on - and on -and on. It would have been much more effective if it was about half as long.
Once again, this is just my opinion. It is worth reading, for the literary background, but make sure you have a strong constitution.
Regarding the narrator - I thought he was excellent. Yes he does have British accent (in a Spanish Novel), Yes - he doesn't scream and yell in the battle scenes, but the voices are just great (especially Sancho Panza). There are a few mispronounced words throughout (Castillian and Marquis) however, I applaud the narrator for having the stamina to perform a work of this length so well - BRAVO!
Don Quixote is a whimsical classic. Its quirky, non-standard, self-referenceing writing makes it unique.
I thought the plot was slow. And the writing a bit tedious at times, but I really liked its realism and unpredictability.
I love classic literature, and based on customer reviews I chose this version because of the praise for the narrator. However, I simply cannot get myself to complete this novel, not because of the length but because it cannot hold my attention. Far be it from me to criticize the story which has stood the test of time triumphantly; no, I lay blame on the narrator. He has different voices for all the different characters (although these Spaniards all have British accents), but the repetitiveness of his interpretation is a failure, especially with Quixote and Panza. They speak during battle the same way they do preparing for sleep. A few hours of this, not bad. Over 30 hours-- I just can't do it.
I put off listing to this book for way too long. This has to be one of the most entertaining stories ever written. The tales of Sancho and Don Quijote are far-fetched but at the same time somewhat believable. Because the story is set in the 17th century book written in the early 18th century its interesting to hear the turn of phrase and the customs of that long forgotten era.