The most influential work of the entire Spanish literary canon and a founding work of modern Western literature, Don Quixote is also one of the greatest works ever written. Hugely entertaining but also moving at times, this episodic novel is built on the fantasy life of one Alonso Quixano, who lives with his niece and housekeeper in La Mancha. Quixano, obsessed by tales of knight errantry, renames himself "Don Quixote" and, with his faithful servant Sancho Panza, goes on a series of quests. Many of these adventures, including tilting at windmills, are established in European literary consciousness.
Originally published in two volumes a decade apart (in 1605 and 1615), Don Quixote has been brought to life in its entirety in this audiobook.
Public Domain (P)2011 Naxos AudioBooks
I didn't know much of anything about this book. If I had listened to it by itself, my take on it would probably be that it is funny, but way too long, and not much more. I enjoyed it much more than that because I decided to listen to a Yale course online (which is free) as I listened to the book. Each lesson gives the professor's take on the chapters assigned. I highly recommend this for those who aren't already very familiar with the book and its significance. You can google the audio course if you're interested, search Cervantes' Don Quixote with Professor Roberto González Echevarría.
I would never have thought I'd enjoy a book about a madman wandering around Spain in Shakespearean times so much, but I found myself looking forward to every listening session then smiling and chuckling throughout. The narrator brought the characters to life, the best I've heard.
I LOVED this book! I enjoy the classics, but had not read Don Quixote before listening to this Audible version. It is an absolutely wonderful book, is laugh out loud funny, and the narrator did an extraordinary job making all the characters come to life. Be prepared to use the bookmark feature often, you'll definitely want to go back to the funniest parts!
I'll certainly listen again. This is the best audiobook I have ever listened to. The performance by Roy McMillan is unbeatable. I cannot recommend this enough.
It's Quixote. The best novel in the world.
McMillan's performances of Don Quixote and Sancho Panza are pitch-perfect. He understands the characters from within. The host of minor characters is also excellently done. McMillan is a versatile and wonderfully entertaining reader.
Quixote encountering his beloved Dulcinea in the shape of a village wench stinking of garlic.
Thanks for offering Don Quixote - never would have made it through without Audible. A great book. Not a modern translation, but a great performance.
Funny, endearing, engrossing
Don Quixote's encounter with the sheep is one of many that I have enjoyed so far, but much of the book is still ahead of me.
Hard to say as there are so many, but I loved the line where the Don was described as retiring to bed after one of their adventures to dream of his fair Dulcinea while Sancho Panza retired to his 'like a man who had been soundly beaten'.
The gentle satire makes me smile and occasionally laugh out loud. At the same time I am torn between feeling that something must be done to curtail the activities of this would be knight who is roaming around inflicting real damage on imagined opponents and a dread that he will be rounded up and diminished by the collapse of his illusions.
This is a great book, not just by reputation but in reality and I am grateful to Audible books for making it accessible to me. Cervantes has created a memorable character in the Don. He is both demented and truly noble, possessing a dignity that mysteriously is not touched by the absurdity of his actions and beliefs. His unfailing optimism and self belief in the face of constant setbacks is quite wonderful. I feel Cervantes has an enormous affection for him and for all the other characters of his world. It would be hard to imagine the book being read aloud better than it is by Roy McMillan. The subtle differences of class, attitude etc between characters when they speak are clearly expressed and the reader's tone conveys the humour in a tongue in cheek style that is never laboured.
This is one of literature's classic works, ushering in a new era of literature. Roy McMillan reads it excellently, rendering many of the regional Spanish dialects into an appropriate analogue from the British Isles: the goat herders have a Welsh accent, for example.
I took advice from one of the other Audible reviews, and listened in conjunction with Yale University's literature course by Professor González Echevarría, who places the book into the important context of the contemporary literary styles it references and parodies.
The two 'volumes' were published ten years apart, and are therefore quite distinct in style. The first volume in particular has rather too many side-stories irrelevant to the main plot. For this reason, an abridged version might be preferable.
The narrator did a great job making the story come to life.
It was just so long, and ultimately the half dozen interesting parts could not offset the dozens of boring parts. I found myself dozing as I listened.
No, the story was read superbly. The subtle changes in narrators intonation for each of the characters in the book made it very easy to follow who was talking at all times.
No, this is a long story and, although very entertaining, not always fast paced.
It is no wonder that this book remained a classic through the century's. Find out what makes our misguided hero so quixotic. Yes, that word originates from the main character of this book. Don Quixote's faithful sidekick Sancho Panza will keep you entertained with his wise words and plentiful proverbs.
"The Mother and Father of all novels"
Although I have a dread of dusty old fiction, curiousness overcame caution and I downloaded this book. I am very glad that I did. Not only is the story itself bewitching, the narration is outstanding. This is the only audio book which I have listened to a second time for the pure pleasure of it. A true comic masterpiece, peppered with wit, wisdom, foolishness and absurdity in perfect balance. Roy McMillan's pace and intonation are perfect for the tale too.
"An excellent listen."
Excellent narration brings this epic tale to life. I really enjoyed the flair and verve with which the book was read.
"A Worthwhile, Rewarding Experience"
If you are even considering listening to this book, or worried about the length, I can honestly say to go for it, this has been a hugely enjoyable experience. As with any audio book, the narration can make a massive difference to the enjoyment of the book, here Roy McMillan is at his best, I know feel like I really know Don Quiote and Sancho Panza and they have living voices in my head and every time I now think back to the book there is always some new adventure I remember the duo went on. Don't get my wrong, this is a LONG book (perhaps the better value for it) and I felt slightly weary around the 20 hour mark knowing how long I had to go. However, after experiencing their lives together for 35 hours I felt a real sadness at it coming to a conclusion and didn't want it to end. I feel this above all is testament to the enjoyment I found in the novel and in the narration. I would recommend this to anyone, the characters are engaging and the reading excellent. 5*'s
"What happens when you read too many books"
My readings of Don Quixote were patchy and, as a curious storyteller, I wanted to fill in the gaps.I couldn't have done better than choose this audiobook. Don Quixote, his head filled with idealism and fantasy from reading too many books on chivalry, is accompanied on his adventures by Sancho Panza, stolid and down to earth, a marvellous comic partnership, Roy McMillan is a jaunty,affectionate narrator who brings the characters, farce, enchantments, combats, wounds, courtships torments and foolishnesses to life. There are nevertheless repetitions and slownesses, especially in the early stages, but when the story is so well narrated that is forgiven .The seemingly endless string of episodes becomes addictive. It is like The Canterbury Tales or The Arabian Nights. The second half of the book really takes off with one rollicking encounter after another and I found it hard to press pause.
"Worth the effort"
When I started listening to this book I regretted getting it straight away. I found it hard to get into, but eventually I realised how good it was; and now I've listened to it a couple of times.
I find it easy to listen while driving or on the bus, I cannot read on public transport or in the car it makes me feel sick. Easy listening!
I have enjoyed listening to this and have picked up on references to the characters in all sorts of places, I did not understand these before but now feel quite pleased with myself
They are all interesting characters, all adding to the whole.
"It's interesting and well written but long"
My lasting impression of this book will be that it was seemingly unending. I enjoyed each section I listened to, but just when you thought you'd heard every jovial tale and smiled at Panza's cheerfully endured misfortunes, a quick look would reveal 30 more hours to go.
As with any enjoyable read, there are many memorable set pieces, of which the attacking windmills is far from foremost. I am really glad to have read and enjoyed the book, it is surprisingly well paced and very well written. Other novels of a similar length have seemed infinitely shorter because they involve the reader deeply in the story. I think because Don Quixote is such a gentle amble of a book, it lacks that quality which makes one devour some novels in a single sitting.
The narrator performance a vast cast of characters very well and creates a comfortable feel to this easy going story.
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