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Don Quixote Audiobook

Don Quixote: Translated by Edith Grossman Audiobook

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Publisher's Summary

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

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  •  
    Joe SEATTLE, WA, United States 05-24-13
    Joe SEATTLE, WA, United States 05-24-13 Member Since 2017
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    "500 Years Old And Stil Brilliant"
    If you could sum up Don Quixote in three words, what would they be?

    Hilarious. Genius. Amazing.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Don Quixote?

    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.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    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.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    15 of 18 people found this review helpful
  •  
    W Perry Hall 06-02-17

    "There is scarcely any passion without struggle." Camus, The Myth of Sisyphus and Other Essays

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    "Rarest of Gems: Comedy/Tragedy in Equal Measures"

    Rare is the story that works well as simultaneously a comedy and a tragedy. Come to think of it, I don't recall reading or seeing so brilliant a comedy/tragedy in a novel or film (I admit my knowledge of theatre is sorely lacking). The only one that comes to mind that most closely approaches Don Quixote, though still miles below it, was the film version of Forrest Gump.

    Like Don Quixote, Forrest Gump is episodic in nature, the story progressing through sketches over time, many of them humorous with at least two tragic threads tying them all together: society would always exploit, but was never going to accept, a slow-witted man despite the fact that he was such a significant participant in history and, though Jenny loved Forrest, she would not accept him as her lover and mate until she was nearing death, raising a son of which he had no idea, conceived in their one sexual encounter. Flashback to 1994:

    ". . .You died on a Saturday mornin.' And I had you placed here under our elm tree. And I had that house of your father's bulldozed to the ground.... I miss you Jenny. If there's anything you need, I won't be far away."

    I came late to Don Quixote, only reading it a couple of years ago. As most everyone knows, the novel follows the misadventures of Alonso Quixano, an idealistic hidalgo who has absorbed every known book of chivalry, which he describes as giving him an expertise on knight-errantry including the deeds, holdings, history and general character of each knight ever recorded. He believes himself to be a valorous knight-errant whose name is Don Quixote de la Mancha and sets out to right all wrongs, revitalize chivalry and live out a noble's narrative.

    One cannot doubt that today Don Quixote would be committed at least temporarily as a danger to himself and/or others for analysis and treatment of potential mental disorders. He thought windmills were giants, sheep enemy soldiers and fell in love with "Dulcinea del Toboso," whom he describes as a vestal maiden with rosy cheeks, alabaster skin and flowing hair when she was in reality a strapping peasant woman named Aldonza Lorenzo who has barely acknowledged Don Quixote.

    Don Quixote's "faithful squire" Sancho Panza calls him the "Knight of the Woeful Countenance." Sancho accompanies Don Quixote for most of the trip suggesting pragmatic, logical options in lieu of Quixote's fantasies unbound by reality. The droll and portly man is full of common sense but has not a grain of spirituality. He provides some comic relief by dropping pithy epigrams, such as "he who's down one day can be up the next, unless he really wants to stay in bed, that is...." He also acts as a "sanity check" on Quixote's world of whimsy. ("Is it possible that your grace is so thickheaded and so short on brains that you cannot see that what I'm telling you is the absolute truth?”).

    Don Quixote is filled with hilarity but tinged always with the tragedy borne of sympathy for this man who is ridiculed and played jokes on by people who care not one wit how it might hurt him, for this man who faces long odds and tries and tries and is bound to fall ultimately under the weight of a society, then and now, which did and will not tolerate people who deviate so far from accepted norms; and, the tragic fact that the idealism of nobility and chivalry of centuries ago are no longer nearly as important (and haven't been since at least the early 1600s).

    Despite its tragic elements, the novel contains some of the funniest scenes in all of literature. In a way, and what I found most surprising in reading this classic is, the humor is nearly timeless. I've seen dozens and dozens of bits in comedy films and television shows and comic skits that are in some way derivative of the classic comedy and satire of Don Quixote.

    Cervantes' paradoxical question seems to be whether it is better to view the world as it is or as it should be? Artist types would say the latter. Kafka said, for example, "Don Quixote's misfortune is not his imagination, but Sancho Panza." Emily Dickinson wrote, "Much madness is the divinest sense."

    I sometimes fall into the camp of Kafka, Dickinson and Quixote, when I get to thinking how the world (and life) is sometimes just too damn sad not to block out some reality.

    Then I ponder, am I so different than most today? Why do we love reading novels of other worlds and times for which we must temporarily suspend our disbelief (a form of momentary, voluntary madness) hours on end to enjoy the story, why watch movies in which we get to live a different life in the mind for a couple of hours, why root for a sports team playing a game in which we have no *rational* interest in the outcome?

    Why, we value escapism and temporary madness so much that many of today's mythical figures in society's eyes are entertainment icons, media stars and sports heroes! But, I digress....

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrew 02-03-17
    Andrew 02-03-17 Member Since 2016
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    "You Need to be Very Patient"

    Many people regard this as the greatest and one of the most important books of all time. I wanted to find out exactly why. At first, I was amused but slightly astonished by what I found - the book is farcical. I never disliked it, and the comedy and poetry of the writing were always enough to carry me along. But the further I went, the more the book melted down my defenses. By the end, I think I loved it and have a sense of what is so admired about this book. It is certainly unlike any of the other literary classics I have ever read before. Now I can't imagine missing out of the opportunity to have read the book.

    The narrator is quite good.Very clear with a subtle change in voice for each character. His performance of Sancho Panza is the highlight. I have heard several narrators on audible who leave me awestruck. This wasn't one of those performances - this is the only reason for the 4/5 stars. I would however highly recommend this version (it's not clear to me what is missing from the performance - it just wasn't "magical"). The sound quality is excellent.

    I can't comment on the translation. Some claim, this isn't the best translation. If that matters to you a lot, I would research this a bit more carefully

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pat Furrie Deltona, FL 11-05-16
    Pat Furrie Deltona, FL 11-05-16 Member Since 2014
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    "Great book, fantastic reading"

    I had decided I needed to read Don Quixote, and did a search on Audible for a good version. The Edith Grossman translation was well regarded in the Audible reviews, so opted for this version... and was very well rewarded!

    Translation is a funny thing, more art than science. Ms. Grossman did an outstanding job of translating not just the language, but the intention and soul. She has made this four-hundred year old classic accessible to 21st century readers, while still preserving the flavor of the age.

    Typically, I download and read non-fiction works, where the narration is more documentary-style, and that suits the subject. For Don Quixote, George Guidall was better than I would have ever expected, in every way. The pacing, the myriad of voices for the wide cast of characters, the subtleties and dialect and understanding of the subject... were all reflected in this superlative reading.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Canon John 3 08-20-16

    Fr John

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    "The Real Don Quixote"
    Any additional comments?

    For all of my adult life I have been bombarded with snippets of Don Quixote never quite understanding the meaning and purpose of this figure. Listening to this excellent translation and performance, I reveled in the humor and wisdom and pathos and social critiques therein to be found. Remarkable!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Barbara Quick San Francisco Bay Area 07-21-16
    Barbara Quick San Francisco Bay Area 07-21-16 Member Since 2015
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    "A rare novel that is better listened to than read"

    What a delight to have finally experienced this magnificent novel! I had always meant to read Don Quixote--but, honestly, listening to it, narrated so skillfully, was even more of a delight than simply reading it would have been. The translator and the narrator conspired to make all the arcane bits utterly accessible and delightful. I laughed out loud several times. It's unbelievable how modern a novel Cervantes wrote some 400 years ago! He was a genius. Don Quixote and Sancho Panza will live in my heart forever.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    D. Villalpando USA 07-13-16
    D. Villalpando USA 07-13-16 Member Since 2017
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    "Absoultely, amazingly delightful"
    What made the experience of listening to Don Quixote the most enjoyable?

    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.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Oh, puuulllleeeeze!!! Anyone who says their favorite character isn't Sancho Panza is lying or has been recently tossed in a blanket.


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

    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.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    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.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Danimike 02-06-15
    Danimike 02-06-15
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    "Amazing Translation, Extraordinary Performance"
    Any additional comments?

    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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Emrys Alfred, NY, United States 08-31-13
    Emrys Alfred, NY, United States 08-31-13 Member Since 2017
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    "Great overall, but with some tedious bits"

    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.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David 02-04-17
    David 02-04-17 Member Since 2017

    Indiscriminate Reader

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    "Quixotic classic in two parts"

    I was a bit daunted at taking on this huge classic. As an audiobook, it runs for over 30 hours. I had read only a little bit about the background of Don Quixote - I knew that it's considered by many to be the "first modern novel," and that there were two parts, published nearly a decade apart. Most of my knowledge of Don Quixote came from the musical, Man of La Mancha.

    Don Quixote, Man of La Mancha, tilter at windmills, reviver of the profession of knight errantry, is a Spanish gentleman who has read too many books about the age of chivalry, and comes to believe they are true. Saddling up with a pot for a helmet and cobbled together armor, he sets out as Dox Quixote, the Knight of the Sorrowful Face, doing deeds of chivalry to glorify the name of his lady, Dulcinea (who never actually appears in the book).

    A neighboring peasant, Sancho Panza, agrees to follow the mad knight as his squire, being fully aware that Don Quixote is mad and yet somehow convinced at the same time that the "knight" will fulfill his promise of achieving glory and riches and giving Sancho a governorship.

    The adventures of Don Quixote are both amusing and tragic. Most of the book is picaresque, full of amusing, farcical characters not much less silly than the bemusing knight who is prone to attacking travelers, clergy, and windmills, under the misapprehension that they are giants or wizards under an enchantment. Most of Don Quixote's adventures end badly, with him riding off into the sunset leaving things worse than before. He and Sancho are a comical couple, always sticking together despite their frequent fights, Don Quixote mad and deluded (but, as the people he encounters frequently note, quite intelligent and lucid on all subjects except knight errantry), Sancho Panza a greedy, gluttonous fool who spouts made-up proverbs and amuses everyone with his simple logic.

    Part One is mostly a series of misadventures, but in Part Two (written much later than the first part), Don Quixote and Sancho Panza develop more as characters, and there are also more recurring characters, such as the Duke and Duchess who, having heard of the "famous" knight Don Quixote, decide to humor him and be entertained by his adventures.

    There is also a lot of meta-textual humor in the second part. Apparently after the publication of the first part of Don Quixote, one of Cervantes' rivals published an unauthorized sequel. Don Quixote makes reference to this "false" narrative about himself and encounters people who have read the fake Don Quixote stories - there are clearly a lot of in-jokes and little digs at the other author.

    Don Quixote is a bloated, rambling novel that doesn't make a lot of sense at times, and like most early works of literature, is more of a stitched together series of stories than a single coherent work, but its recurring characters and a premise that carries through the (large) two-part book introduced ideas that would then be copied by other novelists henceforth. It's entertaining and should certainly be added to any well-read person's bookshelf, though I fear any translation loses much of the wit and linguistic wordplay, as well as the historical and social context, of Cervantes's original text.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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