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
This is a superlative performance, thanks to George Guidall's unforgettable interpretation. I can't remember when I've had more fun. Don't be dismayed by the opening chapters, which are a challenging. Once Don Quixote and Sancho Panza hit the road, every scene is a delight. The characters are sharply drawn, the wit is sly and sophisticated, and the social commentary is relevant even today. Though I don't speak Spanish, I can't imagine a better translation. This is a book with a giant heart. You'll smile all the way through. I'd give it 10 stars if I could.
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.
It is mpossible to separate the three geniuses who made this such a fantastic listening experience. Of course they are Miguel de Cervantez - who wrote such an amazing piece over 400 years ago, Edith Grossman - who gave us such a glorious translation which reads like it was written both half a millennium ago and yesterday, and George Guidall who gives such an amazing performance that his every inflection becomes hilarious. The three together make this story wonderfully enjoyable from beginning to end.
Oh, puuulllleeeeze!!! Anyone who says their favorite character isn't Sancho Panza is lying or has been recently tossed in a blanket.
George Guidall's understanding of the humor and his ability to deliver it is spot on glorious. I think that had I read the book in print, I would have walked away thinking, "That was really good," but not "That was quite possibly the most hilarious and entertaining thing I've ever read." An absolute tour-d-force. One of my favorite narrations EVER.
Well, when poor Sancho got tossed in his befouled blanket, and then proceeded to remind us about the incident 200 times thereafter. Also the running "Helmet of Mabrino" gag was hilarious every time it came up.
Okay, here's a point I really want to make. My family and I listened to this recorded book (I had listened to it once before) on a couple road trips, which spanned maybe 6,000 miles. I have an 11 year old and a 13 year old, and mostly all they want to do is play video games non-stop. One of the best parts of the experience for me, was when the narrative was winding down, AFTER 39 HOURS, and my 11 year old says, "I wish Don Quixote never had to die and could just keep going on adventures forever." Seriously, this kid enjoying anything that isn't on a screen moving 200 majillion pixels/hr bores him, and he was thoroughly entertained by a classic four centuries old. Bravo Recorded Books, and thanks Audible for picking this title up.
I re-listened immediately
The narrator was exceptional. It would have been difficult to replicate in my mind the hilarity that he brought out of each episode or exchange.
Hard to pick just one. Sancho in the blanket and the numerous recollections; the heavy blows, bruised ribs, missing molars; I liked the whole damn thing.
George Guidall and Edith Grossman have done a service to humanity with this work.
If you haven't read Quixote, you haven't experienced one of the best works of literature ever produced in the western canon. In fact, it is my favorite work of imaginative literature. In addition to its captivating story, humor and characters, there are so many layers and so many fruitful avenues of interpretation that it never ceases to engage or challenge the reader's worldview.
This performance disappointed me in two respects. First, Guidall's Quixote is too often choleric, when I think melancholic or even stoic would be more appropriate. His Quixote comes across more as a belligerent old man than as the deluded, self-appointed savior of the world Cervantes presents.
Second, Guidall's Sancho is a bit too sober, keen and alert to make his gullibility convincing. Further, Guidall's Sancho sounds more like a thin, frenetic bean counter than the pudgy, bungling, wine-loving peasant of the text. The discord between the performance and the text made it difficult to sustain the disbelief necessary to stay fully engaged. I often had to listen "past" Guidall to the text, rather than trust Guidall to bring the text to me.
Grossman's translation is easy to follow, and the novel is so worth experiencing, that if you do not have time to read the text, then this is your next best bet. It is just too bad that Guidall misrepresents the demeanors of the main characters.
Avid audio book listener, harsh critic too.
As a young, avid reader I thought that every book should be unabridged, but in my reading maturity I've learned that there is indeed a time and place to abridge a book. Now is the perfect time if you're wanting to digest Don Quixote. Parts of the story are really good, but there are more slow, insignificant, irrelevant, boring parts in this book than there are clouds in the sky. The abridged version is a fun little story.
Interested in personal growth, productivity, fantasy, sci-fi, spy stories, music and dogs!
i thoroughly enjoyed this classic as I had not read it before. I did find it difficult to finish. The ending was quite powerful to me. The narrator was very authentic. I might search other books he's narrated just because I enjoyed his learned but conversational tone. The chance to enjoy this tale is worth the lag times.
A must read brilliantly performed by the reader. He brought the story alive in a deep and engaging way. Listen well and discover the wisdom of Don Quixote.
With apologies for brevity:
A hugely entertaining yarn, surprisingly humorous and at times tender and touching.
A performance by the narrator that is, literally, astounding. It's been a delight to spend 33 hours in the company of the author, the translator, and the performer. I only wish the experience could be longer and I regret how quickly the next six hours will pass.
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