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67 of 69 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful translation, and a heavy book
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...
Published on 2 July 2006 by Big Al

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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not the best version available..
Don't get me wrong, I love everything about the stories of Don Quixote, but I found this translation far too poetical and long-winded to actually read. I realise that this specific version was written 200+ years ago and in some ways may perhaps stay more true to the original version, but I definitely think there are better, easier to follow editions available. Also, the...
Published on 26 Aug 2006 by JR Anderson


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67 of 69 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful translation, and a heavy book, 2 July 2006
By 
Big Al (London, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Don Quixote (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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64 of 67 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent novel, 21 Feb 2006
By 
Rizwan Din (Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Don Quixote (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?). Indeed, my obsession with the book and its characters and ideas has not diluted over the years, but has grown stronger; I am half way through the book for one final time and while I feel that I must hold on to this masterpiece as a physical object of admiration, once I have finished this reading I am planning to tape the book up with sellotape so as not to spend any more time reading it. An eternal wonder.
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71 of 75 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly brilliant, 24 April 2004
By A Customer
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This review is from: Don Quixote (Hardcover)
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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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ultimately satisfying, 14 Jun 2004
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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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE book to buy for a first-time reader, 21 Jun 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Don Quixote (Paperback)
This childrens' adaption of the Spanish classic, Don Quixote, is presented in comic strip format. For those unfamiliar with Cervante's 'Don Quixote', it is a tale of a Romantic Spanish eccentric who, determined to restore the chivalry of centuries past, proclaims himself a knight and goes on to save damsels in distress and nobly battle giants, dragons and deviant villians. If he can find any.
Obviously, the author could not condense two large volumes of tales into a picture book, so the first few adventures are told - involving mistaken (or are they 'enchanted'?) giants, two 'armies' of sheep, and a helmet (?) of pure gold.
The charm of this literary masterpiece is not lost in four centuries, nor in this abridged re-telling, and would appeal to readers from the age of four to that of nine or ten.
As a retelling of 'Don Quixote' this maybe earns four crowns, but as a childrens' picture book, it deserves six! Average: five out of five.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a story well told, 20 July 2007
By 
David Wright (Cornwall UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Don Quixote (Paperback)
For decades I wondered what all the fuss was about. Don Quixote remained in my mind - a mystical figure from a closed literary genre of long ago. I browsed numerous editions from a multitude of publishers and translators, but could never get past the first chapter or two. Nonetheless something always drew me back to the knght who was misplaced in time, action and outlook.
Then I chanced upon Edith Grossman's translation, and came to realise that it's not the tale but the telling that makes a story.
Don Quixote leaps from the pages of this translation with a force that carries his doubtful but loyal squire Sancho Panza in its wake. This is an hilarious and serious work. It speaks of honour and ridicule and aspiration beyond one's means. And it was written 300 years ago. So what's new?
Read Don Quixote if you want to ponder timeless issues faced by every generation. Should you wish to read it without pain and in English, make sure you choose Edith Grossman's translation. It's a gift from the gods of literature.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Knights with a twist, 26 Aug 2007
Alonso Quixone is a big fan of books on knights and chivalry before losing his sense and becoming convinced he is the knight Don Quixote de la Mancha. He had a thing for a country lass called Aldonza Lorenzo who he renames the Lady Dulcinea del Toboso, as every knight needs a lady to do great deeds for. He sets out to seek adventure, taking along the dense local Sancho Panca as his squire.

His exploits include the famous incident where Don Quixote tilts against windmills mistaking them for giants, seeing many an inn as a castle, rescuing damsels in distress and righting wrongs. Part one sees Don Quixote seeing things not as they seem and introducing the idea of enchantments against him. At the end of it they return home (after being tricked by some people from his town in costumes) and his family try to "cure" him by burning all his books and sealing the room they were stored in. It doesn't work and he sets out again with Sancho on more adventures. Part two sees a change in situation for the Don. A book of his earlier exploits has been published and his name is well known throughtout the country. He is taken advantage of by a Duke and Duchess among others who use his madness for sport. Sancho starts to overuse proverbs, but does finally get his position as govener of an island and prove his excellent judgement.

I really enjoyed this book, although it took ages to get through. It seemed like everytime I sat down to read it, I wouldn't get more than 30 pages further no matter how long I read for... It was worth the struggle though as the story is entertaining and well written. I started off laughing at the unfortunate pair, but later on I came to pity them both. The ending was very sad, mostly because Don Quixote recovered his wits. I recommend reading this, but maybe trying to read it over a longer period of time (the chapters are quite short).
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magical Tales Within Tales, 24 Nov 2002
By 
Mr. S. J. Wade "thebardofb6" (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Unfortunately this wondrous collection of tales has been turned into film, so many times, that they have been reduced to a bunch of crass cliched images. What the films skimp over, the text gives you in full living detail and a sort of universal truth about being alive is revealed, in side-splitting hilarity. The relationship between Quixote and Panza, is very like Laurel and Hardy and the action of the former, is bound to lead to serious discomforture for the latter. I just can't recommend this book enough and reading it is life-enhancing, to anyone who loves to read and loves to dream. Wonderful and rightly a classic to be read by every generation.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a beautifully written and humorous classic, 3 July 2012
as classic works of literature go this is one that many people talk of and being written back in early 17th century spain and being almost 800 pages it can look a daunting read. nevertheless i was intrigued by it so decided to give it a go.

the story is about a middle aged noble man in spain who having read just about every single knightly romance book and song there ever was become totally obsessed with knight errantry and eventually resolves to set out on his own adventures and revive the long forgotten duty of knight errantry which was of knights traveling freely to help all those in need, save damsels in distress and all the other sort of things we hear in knightly romance books. Don Quixote with his rusty old suit of armour, his thin old horse Rosinante and his rustic companion and squire Sancho Panza set out then in quest of adventure. what follows is some of the most ridiculous misadventures and hilarious incidents that have ever befallen two men. the whole book is written in a sarcastic style that always talks of Don Quixote's great bravery and honour in his deeds while all the while describes one ridiculous event after another that had me laughing all the way though. the book is divided into two parts as the author wrote one first before waiting many years until writing the sequel which are both together in today's version. i found the first part the better and a lot more humorous, the charging at the windmills which are mistaken for giants, the Dons insistence that every Inn he stops at is a castle, that every country wench is a princess, the flock of sheep in the distance mistaken for an advancing army and my favorite one the great adventure of unparalleled danger of the fulling mill. the second book tells of his second sally out in look of adventure and tells of more ridiculous misadventures and sarcastic events. i didn't find the second book as humorous as the first although it was still well written, i would give the first part 5/5 while the second part 4/5.

this book is a classic of western literature and should be read by all lovers of great classics and even those just looking for a merry read. while the book feels like it drags on at times and the old Shakespearean style of writing makes its a slow read at times yet the author is brilliant in his jests and the way he describes and expresses so many things that makes the story and characters come alive.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brings to life this classic sixteenth century Spanish adventure with modern language and full colour humour., 22 Mar 2009
By 
ELH Browning "Esther-Lou" (Kingston Bagpuize, Oxon) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Don Quixote (Hardcover)
This is a beautiful new version of a literary landmark - a four-hundred year old Spanish story of rather comical adventures and romantic chivalry. Don Quixote is an elderly eccentric and a knight-wannabe who is hapless rather than heroic. He sets off gallantly across sixteenth century Spain with his short fat squire Sancho Panza to right wrongs. Their journey is described here for modern children in a surprisingly simple way that holds true to the original flavour and keeps the subtle ironies of Cervante's work in the main. Alongside the text, Chris Riddell has done an extraordinarily good job of carrying the reader right into the narrative visually. The book is fully illustrated in colour and it really is cram-packed with wryly humorous pictures. Almost every page is bursting with one expressive character or another from wide-eyed damsels, charming noblemen, grotesque villains and a range of fantastical monsters that are encountered by Don Quixote.
This is a successful modernization with a very approachable feel. Even so, at over 300 pages in a big format, this is still a heavy story for children and I recommend it for older juniors plus. And if you like this, the same duo have produced an equally contemporary retelling of Gulliver's Travels which I also recommend.
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Don Quixote De LA Mancha
Don Quixote De LA Mancha by Miguel De Cervantes (Paperback - May 1981)
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