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Penguin Classics Adventures Of Don Quixote Mass Market Paperback – Jan 1 1950


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 944 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classic; New impression edition (Jan. 1 1950)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140440100
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140440102
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 12.7 x 3.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 544 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (68 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #771,126 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents


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First Sentence
Idle reader, you need no oath of mine to convince you that I wish this book, the child of my brain, were the handsomest, the liveliest, and the wisest that could be conceived. Read the first page
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Steve Fuson on Jan. 23 2004
Format: Paperback
I have a couple versions of Don Quixote, and I've looked at others, and this version, translated by J. M. Cohen, is my personal favorite. From his introduction you find that he has a great love for Spanish literature in general, and this book in particular. His translation of the first sentence alone makes the book; "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." Due to the subtlety of languages, every version I've read of this sentence is different, and I don't know much Spanish, nor do I have a Spanish copy to ask a friend to translate it for me, so I couldn't tell you what version is most accurate, but I can tell you that J. M. Cohen's version seems to fit the tone and tempo of the rest of the book.
This version also collects both the first and second Don Quixote novels by Cervantes. I haven't seen any other collection which has this, and I can't find the sequel on it's own.
The book itself is very funny. Unlike the way Don Quixote is often protrayed, Don Quixote doesn't go mad, he simply chooses to see the world differently, to see himself as a knight, to see windmills as giants, to see inn's as castles. His exploits cause him to have quite a bit of painful accidents, but he continues on. Sancho Panza, often described as a "simple fool" I believe may have been mentally retarded, because he genuinely believed the things his master told him, despite all evidence to the contrary. At times, he would make up stories to get out of errands Don Quixote sent him on, and, like a child, would come to believe his own fictions.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By nto62 on Feb. 13 2003
Format: Hardcover
How do I, a literary amateur, rate a book nearly 400 years old that has been acclaimed by not a few scholarly experts as the greatest novel ever written? I feel a bit like the boy who had the temerity to point out that the emperor was naked, for I have failed to award Don Quixote five stars. Judged by modern-day standards, Cervantes could be accused of sloppiness. He confuses the chronology of his own storyline in several places, though this is as charming as it is perplexing. Seeking to satirically skewer the tales of chivalrous knights-errant popular at the time, Cervantes presents us with Quixote, a loveable madman, and his squire, Sancho Panza, who fluctuates between utter naivete and admirable sagacity throughout. The pair are nothing if not endearing. Sallying forth to right wrongs, assist the down-trodden, and punish the wicked, the two find themselves in a pragmatic and cynical world, astonished and humored by the lunatic idealism of Quixote and the simpleminded fealty of his squire.
Over the course of 5 weeks I read Don Quixote and the experience was varied. At times enthralled, at times merely mildly amused, I looked eagerly forward to resuming the book and, on occasion, half-heartedly attempted to avoid it. To be blunt, there is much in the book that borders on childlike innocence, but there is much as well that strikes a deep chord of love, idealism, perserverence, and grace. On the surface, Don Quixote and Sancho Panza could be regarded as fools. Beneath this foolishness, however, lie the hearts of lions and an unconquerable spirit which provide the ultimate reward to the reader.
The book ends abruptly and badly. After so many adventures through so many pages it was disappointing to behold the manner in which Cervantes opted to close.
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Format: Hardcover
The book i received was not the one pictured when i made the purchase. Sellers should always inform the buyer of this if it is going to happen. I received an unattractive orange library book with pencil markings in it....
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By A Customer on Oct. 9 2003
Format: Hardcover
If you could have one book on a desert island this would be it.
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By A Customer on July 21 2003
Format: Hardcover
Did Cervantes write Don Quixote only for those in the early twenty first century with degrees in comparative Spanish literature?
NO!
This book is recommended to anyone interested in literature. This is not to say that it should not be read seriously and with close attention. Not everyone has the time or money to spend on degrees in Spanish literature
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Took longer than I thought it would? Oh, yes. Glad I read it? You bet. There are abridged versions, to be sure, even "kids" versions, but if you're going to do this at all, I say swallow the pill and go for a full translation (1,000+ pages).
Since the main story has been covered further down the list, I'll just touch on a point or two that were pertinent to my experience. There were more than a few digressions from the main story in the first part (I thought they'd NEVER leave the inn the second time). To keep it short, everything that bothered me about Part One bothered Sanson Carrasco, too (that chapter was definitely and interesting way for the author to meet his critics halfway). I'm going to give you the advice you're probably going to get from EVERYBODY: if part one leaves you shaking your head, keep moving, because part two delivers undiluted Knight of the Rueful Figure with very few middlemen.
In the Signet edition, Mr. Starkie also throws in an introductory essay about Cervantes and a decent amount of footnotes to point out the references to genuine chivalric literature...always a good thing.
If your project this summer (this fall, this year, or whenever) is to fill your head with interesting ideas, Don Quixote is a good book to visit.
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