(P)1998 Blackstone Audiobooks
Lyrical, funny, poignant. I'd been opposed to reading this - a man attacking windmills, c'mon. And instead I've found myself going back to listen over passages, laughing out loud over many passages, honestly. it's been unexpected. Other readers have commented that this translation is in the old english, and this seems appropos to me. It is a remarkable work of genius.I am very particular on readers - I believe that really makes a story come alive, or deep-sixes it. Whitfield has a good enough range, and some of his characterizations remind me of Monty Python. Just makes me laugh out loud. For me, it works, and it's kept me wanting to come back to this as a story.
Initially I'd rented this as an mp3 through Overdrive and my local library system. Since it is 36 hours in length ... well I needed to renew it which meant having to re-download the 32 parts. I found that at the dinner table at night I would comment "Have I mentioned how much I love the book 'Don Quixote?" -- and have found it a work I want to go back to periodically in the future. So I downloaded it from Audible -- for me it's made sense to have this particular translation / rendition in my audio library.
I love this novel, surely one of the greatest ever written. I was very happy to be able to hear an unabridged version, for I found a fresh treat in almost every chapter. For all that, I finished this in large part because of Robert Whitfield's narration. His tone as narrator was perfect. His handling of the characters was very much a performance, not a reading, His Don Quixote - a deluded old man determined to make his dreams come true - and Sancho Panza - a peasant hoping that his master is what he says he is even though he knows better - was as good or better than any film performance I've seen, Whitfield also excelled at creating a huge number of different voices, including excellent female voices.
It is a classic and of its time. If I was a literature student and needed to know the story, this would be an easy way to get the story. But right now, it is turgid.
Probably a good mystery, as after this I am ready for some snappy plot development and characters speaking in modern speech.
I missed reading this when studying comparative literature, and always wanted to add it to my canon. So, that is done. But I missed Moby Dick as well, and I don't think that I am going there!
At one level it is the comical story of the misadventures of a man with a poor grip on reality. At a deeper level it is the story of a man striving to live a life of meaning struggling with the reality of the oppressive world that keeps him from doing so. Cervantes work stands the test of time and deserves its place in the list of most important and loved novels of all time.
Translator and reader, yes. Cervantes, no.
More psychological penetration; more invention in characters, situations, and action.
He makes the various characters alive and distinctive. For English (including American English) listeners, the accents make the story more vivid.
I was surprised how funny this book was. My favorite character by far was Sancho Panza, that guy is full of wisdom and comic relief. The reader dose a wonderful job of bringing all the characters to life. I had no idea that they had such a good sense of humor in1605, this book seems very modern. Don Quixote would ramble on some times and i would have to take a break, but it all was picked up again. The ending was a little weak, but overall it was pretty entertaining.
Another book I wanted to have read, as any educated person should IMO. It was really enjoyable, and well done by the reader. I highly recommend it. I had to be patient to "get into it", not like Dickens or Trollope, but it was well worth it.
Given when this book was written, the parallels one can make to today's world make it a special piece of literature. It's well worth the time it takes, even if all you want to do is laugh.
The adventures and the humor. I was running during the (Spoiler!) scene when Quejada drank the tonic and threw up in Sancho's mouth. Had to stop because I was laughing so hard at the very calm, literary way Cervantes handled the situation. Loved the absurdity and how folks continuously exploited the protagonist for their own benefit. His naivete became absolutely lovable.
Yes, though many of them would give up because of the sheer length of the thing.
No way. Didn't have a week to spend.
The ending was disappointing, because I wanted it to be like Man of La Mancha. In retrospect, however, the ending was fitting to what Don Quixote had endured. Reasonable at last--cured of adventure. Sad, but pretty darned good ending.
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