Don Quixote is the classic story. Called the first modern novel, this marvelous book has stood the test of time to become irrevocably intertwined with the fabric of society. Sixteenth-century Spanish gentleman Don Quixote, fed by his own delusional fantasies, takes to the road in search of chivalrous adventures. But his quest leads to more trouble than triumph. At once humorous, romantic, and sad, Don Quixote is a literary landmark. This fresh edition, by award-winning translator Edith Grossman, brings the tale to life as never before.
©2003 Edith Grossman (translation) (P)2003 Recorded Books
Well, I have to read this monster for a college class. Not that I don't want to read it for pleasure, but in this case it's especially important that the translator and narrator are as clear as possible. I have liked all of the beginnings of the unabridged versions available here, but I've kept spending credits hoping I'd get one that really knocked me out. This is the one. After a bit of cursory research, I found the Grossman translation highly recommended. And my own ears tell me that the Guidal narration is the best. This reading is four hours longer than most of the others, and it sounds so far like the extra time is well spent in helpful pauses. There is the added benefit for me that Grossman's translation is easily attainable in printed, annotated form so that I can dig up good notes for my paper after absorbing the audio a few times. I can't say I've listened to the whole of any of these, but if the first hour of four different versions can be trusted, I can easily call this one the best by far. Happy listening.
Hillarious, dynamic, thought provoking (I know that is 4 words but the last 2 go together!)
I have not but George Guidall's reading was wonderful. He did the voices marvelously and really brought out the characters' emotions.
I saw on a list published in 2000 that Don Quixote was the best book ever written. I was intrigued so I decided to check it out. I am not much for lists and what "academics" think is the best literature out there but several other books I loved were on this list so I figured it couldn't be all hokum, right! Well, Don Quixote did not disappoint. I admit, it was a little slow in starting and I was thinking, "the best book, really?" but as it went on I really found myself enjoying it and looking forward to getting back to listening and was actually pretty sad when it ended. The character development was wonderful and it was hillarious. I am not sure it is the best book I have ever read but it is certainly in my top 10 and worthy of reading again in the future.
Potential listeners should not be discouraged by the considerable length of the work. It turns out to be far more exciting that one could expect. The key is that the novel should not be considered at face value but as a parody of chivalric romances that apparently abounded in Cervantes' days. Thus, the reader discovers that a major theme of the work is the contrast, or rather the unfathomable gap, between literature and reality.
The work actually includes two separate books. The second written some time after the first was published includes many ironic comments on the latter. There are many funny moments throughout, as when Don Quixote meets for the first time another character claiming to be a knight errant ... who has defeated the famous Don Quixote. The description of the actual Dulcinea Del Toboso is also memorable.
It must be underscored that the excellent translation is very lively and includes a variety of styles and forms, apparently as in the original.
This work is consequently very highly recommended.
Very worthwhile. The book is all these things: funny, satirical, poignant, tragic, philosophical, profound, repetitious, and sometimes a bit tedious. The narrator is good, especially the way he does Sancho Panza, although there's not too much variation in the other voices. The obsession with women keeping their virginity, and the way moors (who are muslim) are sometimes discussed, can be tedious. But the whole book is rich in observations and reflections.
Hilarious. Genius. Amazing.
Where to even start? There's the most obviously memorable part where the Don tilts against the windmills. Everyone knows that scene but it is one of the very early adventures that Don Quixote has, chapter 8 r 9 or so. Then there's the part where Sancho is too scared to leave his master's side so he does his busies right then and there. I believe that's where the term "scared the sh#t out of me.." comes from. 500 year old poop jokes! Ha!!! I had no idea that people that long ago were funny. I just figured everyone back then was very serious and dour all of the time. There are far too many good scenes to recount them all.
If I had infinite time and nothing to do, I would have. The fact that it is almost 40 hours long renders this a moot point.
This is an incredible book. One of the coolest things about it is the fact that here is some much in it that is cliche, but when the book was written it was all new. This book MADE those things cliche. Don Quixote was so far ahead of it's time, that if I didn't know better I would think it was written in the modern ear. I can't believe I've waited this long to read it, I'm mad at myself for that. The fact the George Guidell is narrating it is icing on the cake. He can do no wrong.
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.
A fan of the Three Stooges
Something with some depth
His voice is fantastic; it has a unique timbre.
Anger that I wasted a credit on such nonsense
This book was recently deemed the best work of fiction of all time by some bunch of supposed literary bigwigs. This just goes to show what a bunch of supposed literary bigwigs know, which when it comes to an enjoyable, readable and well-written story is, apparently, nothing. Don Quixote is essentially one long gag: A mentally ill person, deluded into believing that he is a knight and that the various people and situation he encounters are in keeping with the adventures of such a person, convinces a person of low intelligence to accompany him on a number of misadventures, all of which end in the two unfortunates being pummeled a la the Three Stooges. For me, this continued for many hours of listening until, in search of the literary depth and complexity I had been led to expect, I finally decided life is too short and there are too many good pieces of literature, classical and otherwise, to read, and I gave up. I kid you not: This is just like the Three Stooges; it involves endless scenes of people being pummeled and beaten, all of which is supposed to be humorous, all of which is essentially the same: There is no plot; there is no depth of technique or narrative; there is no depth of character; it is nonsense. How in the name of God this book has become not only a part of, but the shining beacon of the pantheon of western literature, over the likes of James Joyce, John Milton, Franz Kafka, and Fyodor Dostoevsky, just for a smattering, is a tremendous mystery. One must guess that the ghost of this hack, Cervantes, is coming back from the beyond to bribe the members of today's literary elite with free passes to Disneyland and sets of crystal martini glasses. You tell me. In my opinion, this book is not worth the 1s and 0s it was converted to. Then again, it's all subjective. If you like the Three Stooges, you'll love Don Quixote.
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