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Disclosure: I received this audiobook for free as part of a promotion on Goodreads
First a confession: I usually use the Audible app's variable speed feature to listen to Audiobooks slightly sped up (1.25x). I started listening to Gerald J. Davis' translation of DON QUIXOTE slightly sped up and then stopped, reset the speed to its default (1x) and started listening again at the beginning. Why? Between the story itself (as an avid reader, I loved reading a parody about an avid reader), the translation (poetic without making syntax unnatural or complex), and John Hanks' narration (perfect timing and inflection, with wonderful character voices), I didn't want this audiobook to end. The story itself, of course, is a classic and I'd picked it up for Kindle previously but never got around to reading it. I'm glad I heard this translation and especially as an audiobook: There are some audiobooks where the narrator is paired so perfectly to the content that the listening experience is magical... this is one of those rare audiobooks. Highly recommended.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful
'Don Quixote' is a book that has long been on my "To Read" shelf. I had such high expectations for the literature that I was afraid that it may fault short and leave me disappointed. I could not have been more wrong. The translation of this text was very well done; I read along on my kindle as I listened. The story was everything I could have hoped that it would be, full of "giants" and "wrongs" that needed obvious "righting". I had watched the movie Man of La Mancha many times in my youth and so I had somewhat of an idea about what the story was about, but obviously the book was much more in depth.
Don Quixote was just the sort of character that I had imagined that he would be--unpredictable, full of chivalrous notions, and absolutely mad. However, Sancho surprised me. I had thought he'd end up being a kind-hearted, voice of reason for the mad Knight of the Ill-Favored Face. Nope! Nope! Nope! Sancho, though not as mad as his master, was easily suckered into Don Quixote's fantasy with promises of fortune and fame! So wrapped up was he in the idea of gold and glory that he was willing to convince himself of any delusion that his master concocted. It was quite amusing seeing Sancho struggle between the 'truth' and reality, especially when the 'truth' said that he could steal the donkeys of Knights and squires (very confused monks) in combat.
The story was very long, but it was broken into easy chapters. It is less of one flowing narrative, but more a series of adventures that the two characters had faced. However, each story somehow connects to the ones that had previously been told, so it ultimately does wrap into one big story. However, since the story is broken down into these adventures and relatively modest chapters, the book went by very quickly. I was surprised that have finished reading and listening to this tome within a little more than a week's time. So, while the book itself is quite long, it flew by quickly.
Now, as for the audible performance of the book. I was very pleased with John Hanks as the narrator. He had a very lively, but pleasing voice for story telling. He also did his best to make every single character unique in voice. Although some did end up sounding similar (he is only one man, after all), the most important characters had very distinctly different voices. At no point was I confused about whether Sancho or Don Quixote was the one talking, because the two had very unique voice acting. This made it so much easier to slip into the story and all together forget the narrator as I was reading. He even did female voices well, although many of them did have a very similar quality. I would absolutely recommend this book, as well as the narrator to others.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful