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
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.
I am not really great with reviews since I like everything and suspend reality quickly but I do it anyways. Umpire and classic books yay
Your highness Don Sancho Panza,
I wish to submit to you a review of the grand tale of Don Quixote of which you are the central figure. Of course your lordship knows that the book is named for your master but your wit, proverbs, and wise counsel make this story a joy to read. As the wise Miguel de Cervantes tells your history, he increases the enjoyment by really starting the second book of your adventures with extreme sarcasm and a bite of which the meanest of giants would be jealous. The constant reminder that the pseudo history written by an inferior author has no place in your noble adventures.
This audio version of your story is well casted by a great reader and impressionist for when he spoke I could not tell if I were listening or standing in your presence. Oh wise governor, may your story live in the hearts of your people and bring awe and fear to the hearts of those who dare besmudge the name of the great Don Sancho Panza.
Your humble servant,
I've been listening to audiobooks for over 3 years now, over 35 books, 2 hours a day in my commute. Of all the books I've listened to, this is easily the best. It's the first that had me laughing so hard I was worried about the effect on my driving. George Guidall's unparalleled narration took me completely into the drama of the story, brought out the characters as if they were alive in another country - not some un-relatable figures from the 14th century.
I can't fully put in words how much I enjoyed this listen and I have to make this review short as I am at work.
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.
World Champion Parallel Parker
I read, somewhere, this book called the "best ever written." The performance by Guidall is also of that caliber - his character voices, of Don Quixote, Sanco Panza and all the others, are so individual that you soon forget this is a book. You can forget you are at home, washing dishes, believing instead that you are on a dusty plain in the burning sun, thirsty, with empty saddlebags, listening to the story of an enchanted shepherd. The voices are SO good that sometimes the dramatic pauses, sighs and perils-of-pauline-type purple-prose start in one register and fall down the scale, "Oh-h (high) - oh - oh-h oh-h (low) h-oh," in D-sharp minor. This book can't be rushed.
At first I was slightly bored by it, thinking OK, it's a classic, it's got to be good, and if it isn't, at least I can say I read it. Then, gradually, the humor started showing through. Now I don't want it to be over (I'm not done yet), I want to enjoy every moment, and I may even listen to it again.
Moreover (literati), this book is about books from a time when books were television, movies, YouTube, twitter, vines and all social media combined. It's also a history, capturing not only what was going on in Spain in the 16th century but referencing what had been going on in Europe from the 13th to 15th - it could be read side-by-side with Barbara Tuchman's In a Distant Mirror (the two versions of Knight Errantry fit rather well). It's the ideology of heroism about the ideology of heroism, knights saving widows and orphans (Tuchman points out that the reality was more like knights raping, then killing, widows and orphans) and the funny thing is, that same ideology is here with us today in Hollywood movies and other heroic shows. That's the mark of a classic, that it's timeless, plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose. Cervantes managed to poke fun of the 21st century from the distant mirror of the 16th.
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.
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.
It is a pleasure to listen to this fantastic tale about human nature; Sancho and Don Quixote are all of us. Take your pick about the perspective you want to use while listening to this tale: is it an essay about the human condition, a philosophical treaty,a magnificent allegory or a funny, gentle dialog about human weakness ?
Christian, Texan, electrician, lover of reading-I lean towards Sci-fi/fantasy but enjoy the classics, history, and science titles also.
Classic, endearing, and (to my surprise) fun.
Sancho Panza was easily my favorite character. He was a very dutiful squire who actually believed in his knight even when he KNEW Don Quixote was an all out whack job.
Mr. Guidall brought both of these honorable long winded characters to life in a way that now that I have completed the book I find myself missing both Panza and Quixote.
The world is full of adventure! Well sort of.
This is one of those books that I picked up because I really wanted to HAVE read it however I quickly found myself truly enjoying it.
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.
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