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4.3 out of 5 stars29
4.3 out of 5 stars
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on February 3, 2016
The book was in great shape aside from a small discolouration on the book sleeve. Not a big deal, still happy with the purchase.
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on March 15, 2011
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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on May 11, 2004
In this translation, Smollett is merely doing homage to Cervantes. He is not trying to burnish his own ego.
It is a Thank You from Smollett to Cervantes. It is also the best of the bunch.
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on November 30, 2003
DON QUIXOTE is a masterpiece and Smollet's translation is also a masterpiece--the best possible, as it reads like an original. Want DQ in modern English? Don't fool yourself--you'll never get the same feeling--DQ is even difficult for Spanish-speakers to read! The raves on the back cover are not misleads.
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on October 9, 2003
If you could have one book on a desert island this would be it.
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on September 28, 2003
Don Quixote is a classic piece of literature. If someone could produce a more up to date, vernacular translation, it would rival any comedy made today. This is a story about one man caught up in so many chivalry books that he becomes insane and starts traveling through Spain acting as a heroic knight while fighting made up villains and monsters. By his side is his gullible yet loyal servant Sancho.
It's nice to know that during the Renaissance period such humor existed. The first part of the book deals with him traveling throughout and mixing up inns for castles, random people as kings or knights, and a random woman as his unrequited love for which all of the world must know. It's a tragic comedy where one man's insanity and futility provide worry for a few, concern for others, and great entertainment for most of the characters.
What's interesting is the "twist" in the middle that leads to the second part, where after one man wrote a book about Don Quixote's wild adventures, a rich family, upon seeing the actual man who was in the book, decide to play along in probably the cruelest hoax in history. Claiming there Duke and Duchess, and promising the most absurd things. One of which was giving Sancho an actual province to rule over.
The one thing that irked me about this book was that even though it needs to be translated for English readers, no translator has yet made the book as fluid or readable as it deserves to be.
All in all, it's a good book, but hopefully a general author, and not some stuffy scholar, could translate it what it should be - a really funny and tragic story.
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on July 21, 2003
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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on July 19, 2003
this is a pretty funny book about an errant-knight and his many misadventures. only problem is, there's really only one joke in this massive (1000+ page) book, namely, what a fool and madman this gallant knight is. after a while, the joke begins to wear thin. i don't think this is the greatest novel ever written. it's too poorly stuctured and one-dimensional for that grand distinction. i think the reason this book IS so famous is because of the character of don quixote himself. the image of the mad don charging giant windmills is one of the most colorful and memorable in all fiction. don quixote is one of the few examples of a character who transcends the book that created him. hamlet and falstaff are two other examples.
a good read, but doesn't live up to the hype.
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on June 23, 2003
Reading what people have to say about this book...Wow! How to miss a point. I have a degree in comparative Spanish lit, so I know. This book is brilliant, but not in any of the ways the ameteur reader can identify. If you want fun summer fluff stick to Patterson or King. Unless you're willing to put the time (ie: YEARS) into the study of Spanish lit then this book is not for you. Sorry.:(
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on February 13, 2003
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. However, this should by no means dissuade the potential reader. Indeed, Don Quixote, for everything wonderful contained within it, should be read by all. For those who choose to do so, the Putnam translation is outstanding and footnoted with excellent detail.
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