What it is: Don Quixote de La Mancha by Miguel de Cervantes is considered to be one of the greatest and most influential works of fiction, especially among Spanish literature. The title character, dubbed Don Quixote, becomes obsessed with reading about knights errant and their chivalric adventures. He goes insane, and attempts to bring these fictitious books to life with the help of his recruited squire, Sancho Panza, who tries to ground Don Quixote on their journeys.
What I liked about it: This book is hilarious. The humor is dry and witty, filled with dramatic and verbal irony. Plus Don Quixote’s antics themselves never fail to amuse. Matt and I listened to the audiobook version on our road trip, and often we found ourselves cackling with laughter and referencing the jokes later. I expected a book so old to be boring, but it was so funny that it kept our interest.
What I didn’t like about it: It’s so long. The actual book is around 900 pages, and the audiobook is 41 hours long. At some point, it becomes repetitive: Don Quixote and Sancho Panza go somewhere, get into some sort of trouble, and then emerge weary but still willing to continue their adventure. Despite the humor keeping us laughing, the plot did eventually get tedious.
Memorable quote: “I must speak the truth, and nothing but the truth.”
Overall rating: 4/5 stars.
Challenge satisfied: #22, read a book published before 1850. Don Quixote was published in 1605, although the translation was much more modern.
Additional notes: Technically we didn’t finish Don Quixote, but we did complete the first of the two volumes and decided that was satisfactory, since 20 hours of an audiobook is probably enough to get the gist of it, eh?
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