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Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra
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Don Quixote (original 1605; edition 1964)

by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Walter Starkie (Translator)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
17,217207100 (4.08)6 / 490
Member:Marse
Title:Don Quixote
Authors:Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra
Other authors:Walter Starkie (Translator)
Info:New York: New American Library, 1964
Collections:Your library
Rating:***1/2
Tags:Spanish, Fiction, 16th century, Cervantes, -UL

Work details

Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra (1605)

  1. 61
    Don Quixote de La Mancha, Part II by Alonso Fernandez De Avellaneda (g026r)
    g026r: The spurious continuation, published in 1614 while Cervantes was still working on his own Part II and which affected that work to a significant degree.
  2. 51
    Monsignor Quixote by Graham Greene (hdcclassic)
    hdcclassic: A modern-day retelling.
  3. 40
    The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens (keremix)
  4. 41
    The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman by Laurence Sterne (ateolf)
  5. 63
    The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer (Othemts)
  6. 53
    Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert (DLSmithies)
    DLSmithies: Don Quixote was Flaubert's favourite book, and I've read somewhere that the idea of Madame Bovary is to re-tell the story of Don Quixote in a different context. Don Quixote is obsessed with chivalric literature, and immerses himself in it to the extent that he loses his grip on reality. Emma Bovary is bewitched by Romantic literature in the same way. There are lots of parallels between the two novels, and I think putting them side by side can lead to a better understanding of both.… (more)
  7. 10
    Le Morte d'Arthur by Sir Thomas Malory (CGlanovsky)
    CGlanovsky: Read the two concurrently and got a good sense of the kind of chivalric literature that gave birth to Quixote's madness.
  8. 10
    Selected Non-Fictions by Jorge Luis Borges (CGlanovsky)
    CGlanovsky: In several of his critical essays Borges makes insightful and unique mention of Don Quixote sometimes directly and sometimes in reference to other works.
  9. 10
    The Female Quixote by Charlotte Lennox (Rubbah)
  10. 10
    Orlando Furioso: Part 1 (Penguin Classics) by Ludovico Ariosto (Lirmac)
    Lirmac: References to then-famous romances, such as this one by Ariosto, provide much of the humour in Don Quixote. In addition to enriching Cervantes' work, Orlando Furioso is entertaining in its own right (especially in this modern verse translation).
  11. 11
    Handling Sin by Michael Malone (allenmichie)
  12. 11
    Guzmán de Alfarache by Mateo Alemán (roby72)
  13. 24
    One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez (caflores)
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English (166)  Spanish (22)  Dutch (6)  Italian (3)  Norwegian (2)  Portuguese (2)  Swedish (2)  Korean (1)  Catalan (1)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  French (1)  All languages (207)
Showing 1-5 of 166 (next | show all)
This is book #10 on the list of 1,001 Books You Must Read Before You Die, and it is the first of any good quality of any kind, let alone required reading before death. Not only is it the first worthy book, but it is of superior construction.

If the 1,001 list is to be trusted as showcasing the actual evolution of fiction, then it seems the first nine were truly scrabbling around, trying to figure out how the medium should work, when Cervantes came along and showed them how it's done.

The novel is unique and distinct in many ways, and it seems that certain methods of its storytelling are so venerated that they haven't even been copied at all. Particularly, the chapter introductions, the half spoken proverbs, the singular madness of our protagonist, and the enjoyable acerbic repartee of his squire. The pair's DNA is present in all squabbling, bickering, honoring tandems of literature and cinema.

The book could be seen as a fully-fleshed Monty Python episode, and no doubt, it has inspired much of the troupe's great material.

The narration also stands alone, and the device with which the author stages the recording of events, and the clever acknowledgement of the "false" second book of quixote is excellent.

I understand the hype now, which is well deserved.

I was so invested in the material - having taken two full months to read the block of cinder - that I found myself saddened by the passing of our hero (spoiler alert? 400 years later?), but gladdened by the return of his sanity, as a form of penitence perhaps, which was as fitting an epitaph as the author could have imagined. ( )
  MartinBodek | Jun 11, 2015 |
Wheeeeee! I’m done!

Obsessed with books and stories of chivalry, Don Quixote dons makeshift armor and rides out with his trusty squire Sancho Panza as a knight errant, seeking out adventures and to right wrongs and battle injustice. Unfortunately, he was born into the wrong time, because the knights are no more and his fancies evaporate, his giants become windmills, his castles fade into humble roadside inns.

I didn’t expect to laugh out loud as much as I did. While it certainly helps to have read some Arthurian and other chivalric romances in order to fully appreciate some of the tropes Cervantes is satirizing the genre, it’s not required. Don Quixote’s adventures are amusing on their own. There is also considerable amount of body humor (fart and poop jokes), which I didn’t expect and was most amusing. Part I also had some interesting side characters, who meet with Don Quixote and share their own tales of woe, whom he tries to help through chivalry, while these same characters (recognizing he is mad) try to lead him home.

That said, there were plenty of moments where the story dragged, mostly when the characters have some sort of discourse on the nature of books, writing, chivalry, or polite behavior. Sancho’s long speeches thick with proverbs also lead me to start speed reading in order to get through them more quickly.

If you want examples of meta, you can certainly look to Don Quixote in which Cervantes has characters talking about the value of Cervantes’ work on a number of occasions. The second part also comments on itself — a large reason as to why Cervantes ever bothered to write Part II was because writer author took up the slack and attempted to continue the Don Quixote adventures. Part II is infused with references of Don Quixote’s adventures having been written down by two different authors, one who wrote with beautiful nobility and another who was just a hack.

Knowing the Cervantes didn’t really want to write Part II explains a bit as to why it was so tedious. The joy of writing the estimable Don Quixote and the droll Sancho Panza was no longer there, which plays out in how he treats them. Instead of characters hoping to assist him in finding home again, he meets with a litany of characters who have heard of his madness and set about playing tricks on Quixote and Sancho for their own amusement. Some of these tricks are quite cruel and conveyed a feeling of underlying bitterness beneath all the fun, as though Cervantes was punishing these two fellows for being more popular than the works he really wanted to write.

Honestly, the best adventures appear in Part I. You could skip Part II entirely and the story would feel complete enough to enjoy. ( )
1 vote andreablythe | May 28, 2015 |
The most important book from a Spanish author (Cervantes) in history. The adventures of Don Quijote and Sancho Panza ar related in the book. ( )
  danim116 | Mar 24, 2015 |
Much as I love Shakespeare, Don Quixote is a more accessible work of 17th century literature. This book has been waiting on my bookcase for almost 22 years. Finally I have read it, and it was worth it. Funnier than I expected. Charming in its telling of the story of a madman and his wise but foolish squire. I enjoyed the connection between the adventures, with characters returning for further encounters with Don Quixote, and people spoken of in travellers' tales eventually materialising themselves. I struggled with the last 200 pages, not because the story telling weakened, but because I felt fatigued with reading about the futile wanderings of Quixote and Panza. ( )
  missizicks | Jan 29, 2015 |
ZZZzzz.
This was moderately painful to get through. Never again. This is probably the one text I would have preferred abridged. ( )
1 vote benuathanasia | Jan 3, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 166 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (161 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Cervantes Saavedra, Miguel deprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Adler, Mortimer J.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ayala, FranciscoIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Blecua, José ManuelContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Braunfels, LudwigTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bulbena i Tosell, AntoniTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cohen, J. M.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dam, C.F.A. vanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dam, C.F.A. vanIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
de Riquer, MartínIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Doré, GustaveIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Edman, IrwinIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Estrada, ManuelCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Frenk, MargitContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fuentes, CarlosIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Giannini, AlfredoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Givanel i Mas, JoanForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
González Echevarría, RobertoIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
GrandvilleIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Grossman, EdithTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Guidall, GeorgeNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Guillén, ClaudioContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Haamstede, N. vanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hahn Jr., A.Illustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Heine, HeinrichIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hollo, J. A.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hutchins, Robert MaynardEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jarvis, CharlesTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kraaz, GerhartIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Legrand, EdyIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Martini, FritzAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Motteux, Peter AnthonyTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nordenhök, JensTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ormsby, JohnTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ozell, JohnEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pascual, José AntonioContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pol, Barber van deTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Putnam, SamuelTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rico, FranciscoEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rojo, GuillermoContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rutherford, JohnTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schüller tot Peursum, C.L.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schüller tot Peursum, C.U.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Slade, CaroleTranslation Revisions / Introduction / Notessecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Smollett, TobiasTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Spemann, AdolfTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stade, GeorgeConsulting Editorial Directorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tieck, LudwigTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Valcárcel, CarolinaDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vargas Llosa, MarioIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Werumeus Buning, J.W.F.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Werumeus Buning, J.W.F.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Idle reader, you can believe without any oath of mine that I would wish this book, as the child of my brain, to be the most beautiful, the liveliest and the cleverest imaginable.
Prologue: Idle reader: I don't have to swear any oaths to persuade you that I should like this book, since it is the son of my brain, to be the most beautiful and elegant and intelligent book imaginable.
Chapter 1: In a village in La Mancha, the name of which I cannot quite recall, there lived not long ago one of those country gentlemen or hidalgos who keep a lance in a rack, an ancient leather shield, a scrawny hack and a greyhound for coursing.
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Don Quixote was originally published in two parts. This is the complete and unabridged version, containing both parts. Please do not combine with abridged or incomplete versions.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0060934344, Paperback)

Edith Grossman's definitive English translation of the Spanish masterpiece. Widely regarded as one of the funniest and most tragic books ever written, Don Quixote chronicles the adventures of the self-created knight-errant Don Quixote of La Mancha and his faithful squire, Sancho Panza, as they travel through sixteenth-century Spain. You haven't experienced Don Quixote in English until you've read this masterful translation.

This P.S. edition features an extra 16 pages of insights into the book, including author interviews, recommended reading, and more.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:48 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

El ideal de vida del simptico y honesto don Quijote choca violenta y dolorosamente con una realidad grosera y vulgar que no le comprende. Este libro de texto y su disco compacto son diseados para el desarrollo de las cuatro destrezas: leer, escribir, escuchar y hablar.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 40 descriptions

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