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Publisher's Summary

Don Quixote is one of the world's first novels and by far the best-known book in Spanish literature, was originally intended by Cervantes as a satire on traditional popular ballads, yet he also parodied the romances of chivalry. By happy coincidence he produced one of the most entertaining adventure stories of all time and, in Don Quixote and his faithful squire, Sancho Panza, two of the greatest characters in fiction.
(P)1998 Blackstone Audiobooks

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The Flummoxed Don Quixote

Don Quixote, written by: Miguel de Cervantes, Tobias Smollett (translator), and narrated by: Robert Whitfield. Renowned as the first novel of all time. This tale started the concept of narratives to entertain and put forward a set of thoughts and philosophies.

Don Quixote, in his dotage, begins to imagine himself as a knight obligated to go out into the world and where he finds a wrong; right it for the good of all mankind. He is a Christian soldier. Yet, truly he is inane as to understanding what is actually happening in the world around him and delusional as to what he finds as harm and what he believes he is seeing. You must know of his attack on windmills that he believes to be brutal giants.

By his side he has Sancho Panza, his squire; who although is with Don Quixote only for the riches he is promised, and himself not too much smarter than the delusional DQ, manages to be there to protect the foolery and add humor with his background comments as he finds himself flummoxed with his knight’s encounters. (Do you like that run on sentence?)

Story after story is repetitive; DQ, in an effort on behalf of chivalry and doing good in this Christian world, screws up and creates more danger than necessary. Yet, all works out well in the end and one cannot help but smile and smile again at the unforgettable Don Quixote.

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A true classic

I put off listing to this book for way too long. This has to be one of the most entertaining stories ever written. The tales of Sancho and Don Quijote are far-fetched but at the same time somewhat believable. Because the story is set in the 17th century book written in the early 18th century its interesting to hear the turn of phrase and the customs of that long forgotten era.

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Completely unexpected brilliance & fun

What made the experience of listening to Don Quixote the most enjoyable?

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.

Any additional comments?

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.

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Don Quixote (Unabridged)

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.

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Listen only if you need to know the story

What would have made Don Quixote better?

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.

What do you think your next listen will be?

Probably a good mystery, as after this I am ready for some snappy plot development and characters speaking in modern speech.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

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!

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The classic struggle to live a life of meaning

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.

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The First Sit-Com

Would you try another book from Miguel de Cervantes and Tobias Smollett (translator) and/or Robert Whitfield?

Translator and reader, yes. Cervantes, no.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

More psychological penetration; more invention in characters, situations, and action.

What does Robert Whitfield bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

He makes the various characters alive and distinctive. For English (including American English) listeners, the accents make the story more vivid.

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  • Arthur
  • Bellingham, WA, United States
  • 11-20-12

this book is way funny.

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.

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  • Pamela
  • Charleston, SC, United States
  • 03-05-12

Who knew this would be so good?

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.

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Timeless.

Any additional comments?

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.