This is my favorite work of fiction. I love the story of Don Quixote. If you haven't listened to or read this book, it is a must.
This book is very long, but is broken up into smaller stories told by people who run into Don Quixote on his travels and by a series of ridiculous "adventures" of Don Quixote and Sancho Panza themselves. (You will never see a blanket the same way again, for example. And everyone knows about the windmills... err... giants).
I have recommended this book to a few friends and some of them have gotten an hour or so into and thought it was dumb. I don't agree. I think the beginning is very clever, but it doesn't make much sense if you aren't familiar with the story- if you read the book and then re-read the beginning it will seem much more clever. My advice is to suffer through the beginning if you don't enjoy it- the book makes more sense before too long.
I have been waiting for audible to get this version of the book in their library. I have now purchased this 3 times. Once on tape, once on CD and now, finally MP3.
Now for the headline explanation. To me, this book is more about Sancho Panza than Don Quixote. The way George Guidall performs Sancho is such a joy. I remember the first time I finished the book I was a little depressed thinking that my friend Sancho was gone. One word of caution, though- Mr. Guidall's performance of Sancho became so iconic to me over the course of this book that other books read by him become hard to listen to. Mr. Guidall uses the "Sancho" voice in other books and whatever character he uses it on becomes Sancho in my head. It is very hard to separate. Try to take a serial killer seriously when he sounds like Sancho Panza. You'll half expect him to be murdering people in an effort to get his insula. Despite that, I would rather have Sancho be Sancho than have a scary villain.
Do yourself a favor- put down whatever book of chivalry you are reading now and read this one instead.
I feel like there is a tendency for the teens to be super-intelligent, deep planners in one instance only to have them turn around and do something very, very foolish in the next. I remember being a teen so I am empathetic to the hormones raging and whatnot, but this book goes a bit overboard with that. It feels like the characters spend too much of the book doing things just to keep the plot moving in a certain direction, not because they would actually do what they are doing. Mild, mild spoiler if you know absolutely nothing about this series: the protagonist could solve so many of his problems if he would remember that he is basically a super-hero. This is especially frustrating because the author covers most of these problems well and so the ones he doesn't really stand out. Finally, be prepared to hear some of the same things over and over. Almost every intense thing happens "INSTANTLY!" in this series, for example.
This is the sort of book I call "Ear Candy". What I mean by that, if you can't guess, is that it's a fun book with a fast paced story. If my boss walks by and talks to me, I'm not worried I will miss an important plot point. I like to listen to these while I do the boring stuff at work. I've often wished for a good Avengers or Spider-man audiobook and this sorts of fits in that empty spot in my heart.
Many of the reviewers of this book are spot on with their critique of Neil Kaplan's reading. In my opinion he is a great reader when he is just reading. Very animated. His character acting is ridiculous for this sort of book, though. He would be PERFECT for something meant for very young children. I almost stopped listening the first time he did a female character. He makes Sam sound like a stuffy-nosed nerd from a 90's cartoon. John Smith, the- mild spoiler alert- superhero level lead sounds like a 9 year old almost all the time. ANY secondary character would sound right at home in a Sponge Bob episode. I would say this in fairness, though- I did eventually learn to tune out the silly voices and make them sound in my head like they were probably meant to.
Read the next two books.
Report Inappropriate Content