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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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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Amazon Customer on 09-06-04

Don Quixote (revised sorry)

To only see Don Quixote de la Mancha as merely a book of humour, simply a manifestation of belly-laughs (which it does provide in abundance), would be seeing just the very fringe of its brilliance. What would be missed? Missing would be Cervantes as one the shrewdest observers of human nature ever.

Don Quixote seems a book running full-tilt at phantoms that have no existence, save in Quixote and even Sancho's imaginations. But the truth is, this book touches at the imaginings, and mines at the characters of us all. Don Quixote opens the window to all experiences, real or imagined, of existence -- our existence. Sancho is the first filter, the first critic of that experience, seventeenth-century Spain the second, and we, dear reader, the third. In this last taking we become the co-dependant Quixote and Sancho looking through the mirror; measuring the world amongst the impractical, the idealistic, the fanciful, and the truest of all illusions -- reality.

Still not said is the Cervantes' plays within plays, adroit social comment, and the author's cutting jibes at pretense. (And of course his broadsides at the pretenders to the True History of Don Quixote.) These departures present themselves carefully -- although sometimes abruptly -- as soliloquies, cutting criticism, contemplative moments, sonorous stories, and even as novels. In this, Cervantes is always intentional in leaving us wedded to the Adventure, while implementing these punctuating asides to incite and motivate our viewpoint.

Perhaps the greatest book ever written.

As to the reader of Don Quixote, Robert Whitfield? I would listen to him read the phonebook. Perfection!

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41 of 54 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By James on 01-08-09

Excellent

I was a little apprehensions about the length of this "book" and due to some of the comments about the narration. After having given it one listen I can attest to the quality of the narration and to the fact that it uses a good translation (Tobias Smollet) which I thoroughly enjoyed especially due to the "Shakespearean" quality of the text. The narration is very well done using different voice characterizations and a variety of British accents to differentiate each character. Very funny. "You are in the right, friend Sancho."

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31 of 42 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
3 out of 5 stars
By Anthony on 09-26-06

Much stranger than I thought

This is a good rather than great reading of a fascinating text. We all think we know Don Quixote, but the novel is much stranger than I expected, full of meandering digressions and stories within the story. I usually like digressive fiction (hell, I write it!), but here I was desperate to get back to the main narrative of Don Quixote and Sancho. I haven't the space or the time to give a detailed critique of the novel, but I can say that it's one of those that I'm very glad to have read, rather than one I've loved reading. The translation here is the one by Smollett. It's (of course) very old fashioned, but at least you are getting two great writers for the price of one.

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16 of 18 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By David on 07-07-14

A long listen, but an utterly worthwhile one

Where does Don Quixote rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

I would rank Don Quixote highly among the other audiobooks to which I have listened. While the story at time goes off on massive tangents, the characters and their classic encounters make this an essential listen. The story has a bit of everything; it is by turns a comedy, a romance, an adventure, a drama, and ultimately a poignant tale of friendship. This translation, by Tobias Smollett, is written in a robust and lyrical style. I felt this suited the narrative, though I understand it may not be to everyone's taste.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Sancho Panza. The only real choices here are Sancho or Don Quixote himself, and of the two, Sacho is by far the better character. He is the real heart and soul of the story.

Have you listened to any of Robert Whitfield’s other performances? How does this one compare?

I have never listened to Robert Whitfield before but I was most impressed with his performance. I loved the voices he gave to the main characters and his performance was delivered with great energy and wit.

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

It's as big as the bible, so no! However - and this isn't a criticism of the audiobook, but of the book in general - there are vast sections of text which could be lost and it would only benefit the novel.

Any additional comments?

Overall, this is a great book, and deserving of its place in literary history. However, there is no denying that it is far too long in places. For this reason I have only given it four stars for story, as it really did try my patience at time. However, once you get past that, you are in for a real treat.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By mitchell on 09-22-15

Brilliant

It does go on and on a bit but I feel better for having persevered. It is like Hamlet in its vastness.

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1 of 3 people found this review helpful

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