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Don Quixote (Penguin Classics) Paperback – 24 Apr 2003


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Product details

  • Paperback: 1072 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics (24 April 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0142437239
  • ISBN-13: 978-0142437230
  • Product Dimensions: 12.8 x 4.6 x 19.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (103 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,129,524 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"The highest creation of genius has been achieved by Shakespeare and Cervantes, almost alone." Samuel Taylor Coleridge "A more profound and powerful work than this is not to be met with...The final and greatest utterance of the human mind." Fyodor Dostoyevsky"What a monument is this book! How its creative genius, critical, free, and human, soars above its age!" Thomas Mann"Don Quixote looms so wonderfully above the skyline of literature, a gaunt giant on a lean nag, that the book lives and will live through his sheer vitality....The parody has become a paragon." Vladimir Nabokov if (contentWritten=="no" && CoreSetId=="0" && SYM=="ACD") { contentWritten="yes"; document.write(""); } else { document.write(""); }

About the Author

Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra (1547-1616) , the son of a poor Spanish surgeon, achieved enormous success with the publication of the first part of Don Quixote in 1605.

John Rutherford is a fellow of Queen's College, Oxford, where he teaches Spanish and Spanish-American language and literature.

Roberto González Echevarríais Sterling Professor of Hispanic and Comparative Literatures at Yale.

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First Sentence
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. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

74 of 77 people found the following review helpful By Big Al on 2 July 2006
Format: Paperback
How can a person provide a review of one of the most important works of literature in the world? In my case, I don't think I can, but I can offer observations on what it felt like to read.

I first read Don Quixote in a previous translation, and finally made it through the first volume in a few months. It was like pulling teeth. I knew that it was a famous story, and techically interesting, but the first three hundred pages seemed like repetitive episodes of the same joke. It appeared little wonder that the most quoted chapter around tilting at windmills was the first one.

This time around, with Edith Grossman's translation, it was a great deal more enjoyable. The text flows beautifully, and where it is impossible to translate nuances or technical terms, she explains all in informative footnotes. For once, I can only agree with the publishers: it is the definitive translation.

This is well worth the effort of braving the initial episodes, and taking the time to read properly. For me, it's only after the famous events such as mistaking sheep for an approaching army and suchlike are out of the way, that the book becomes really interesting. There are fascinating novellas that dwell on relations with the Moors, and the perils of young love in the 16th Century, which are at least as good as the main text.

So, by all means, buy this version. Particularly the paperback. The hardback was too heavy to read in bed.
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72 of 75 people found the following review helpful By Rizwan Din on 21 Feb. 2006
Format: Paperback
This is the best book I have read in a very long time. Edith Grossman has made the story very readable and deserves to be commended. When I started reading Don Quixote, even though it is over 900 pages in length, I tried rationing myself to ten pages a day, hoping to savour the imagery and stretch out the joy for as long as possible. Suffice to say I couldn't do it. I am now very close to the end of the story, and I am already feeling sorry for having raced through the last few hundred pages.

As for the storyline, it concerns the many adventuers of an old man who adopts the life of a knight errant (Don Quixote), and his squire (Sancho Panza). The novel contains many sub-novellas (short stories and digressions), and so it could be thought of not as one book but many. I will not give any more detail, but I will say the mix of the absurd and intelligent, and the masterly writing style of Cervantes (and expert translation by Grossman), makes for one of the best books of all time.

This is the only book of fiction that I am not going to sell on; I hope to revisit Don Quixote every year from here on. Also worth mentioning is the wonderful illustration on the front cover by Pablo Picasso.

Follow up - March 2011: I have read my copy of Don Quixote so many times that the spine has cracked and pages are coming loose and falling out. I also saw fit to rip out the rather off-putting introduction by Harold Bloom, where Bloom compares Cervantes to Shakespeare...it is a rather horrible thing that had to be done away with. Grossman's translation has had me transfixed and at times perplexed (do we admire or pity Quixote?).
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77 of 81 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 24 April 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I had put off reading Don Quixote for many years imagining that it wouldbe difficult to read. The weight of the book, physically andmetaphorically just seemed too oppressing!
I couldn't have been morewrong. I had read so many rave reviews of Edith Grossman's translationthat I thought I would give it a go. I'm so pleased I did. This book is"laugh out loud" funny - I was not expecting to read bits aloud andgiggle! I think I expected to have to work hard to get through it but it'sa complete page turner! It also has a cinematic feel which to a nonliterature student like myself seems way ahead of its time and thecharacters, major and minor shine from every page. I now know why peoplesay this was the first modern novel - it contains all the elements of agreat read that we now take for granted. I have not read any othertranslations but Grossman's prose truly brought the book alive for me. I'mamazed how a book written in the late 16th and early 17th century can nowbe read in such an easy and accessible manner. Don Quixote can be read onmany levels (the joy of all great books) but if, like me, you were put offby it's stature, don't be, just dive in and enjoy.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By "foilman2" on 14 Jun. 2004
Format: Paperback
I came to this book knowing very little, and at first found it quite hard going. But once I got into it, I became determined to make it to the end, and I was glad I did. It's split into two volumes, and the second is quite different in style and content to the first. Whereas in the first part we follow Quixote & Sancho on their misadventures through Spain, with LONG diversions into the lives of minor characters (almost like mini-novels within the full text and filled with outrageous coincidences), the second part deals mainly with characters who have actually read the first volume and decide to play along with the duo's delusions and have some fun at their expense. Both Quixote & Sancho change a lot through this second volume, going to some truly unexpected places (especially Sancho on his "island").
By the time the final chapter came to a close, my opinion was one hundred percent positive, and I shall definitely re-read it one day (when I have a lot of free time!)
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