Don Quixote (First Published in 1605)
Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra
One of the things that I incessantly thought about during my hiatus on reading was going through the list of books that I must read.
The website that I use catalogues the best books all over the world, not the best rated ones, but the books that are recommended by authors and experts. It is basically a list that uses an algorithm to create a master list based on how many times a book appears on a “best of” list.
Don Quixote has been #1 for the longest time until it was unseated by Marcel Proust’s In Search of Lost Time. I got those two books but was adamant to start neither because of the shear volume. They are huge books! In separate times I have tried to read the two but just couldn’t get into it.
One faithful day as I was looking through my iPhone apps thinking of purging unused ones, I came across my Audible and saw that I have one credit (I don’t know where from). And so, I have purchased Don Quixote.
It was read by George Guidall and 36 hours long. I am honestly not keen on audiobooks, I think, I’ve only ever perused them five times in my whole life. And the books I listened to were books I easily consume in one sitting.
The story follows a noble man named Alonso Quijano who reads chivalric novels day and night that he loses his sanity (quite literally) and decides to become a knight errant under the name of Don Quixote of La Mancha. He recruits a simple farmer named Sancho Panza as his squire and both set off to right wrongs and seek adventures.
Miguel de Cervantes weary of the usual tones of chivalric books that only seems to portray the romance and the knight’s code and the lack of character development he set out to make Don Quixote, a book that is meant to make fun of the popular books of romantic chivalry.
Don Quixote is a satire.
I could tell you all about how this book influenced the literary world, but other people are more versed than me and it’s probably best that I leave the technicalities to them. 😀
This book is anything but boring. I have found myself guffawing at Don Quixote and Sancho Panza’s adventures.
“What giants?” Asked Sancho Pansa.
“The ones you can see over there,” answered his master, “with the huge arms, some of which are very nearly two leagues long.”
“Now look, your grace,” said Sancho, “what you see over there aren’t giants, but windmills, and what seems to be arms are just their sails, that go around in the wind and turn the millstone.”
“Obviously,” replied Don Quixote, “you don’t know much about adventures.”
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and deserves to be called a classic in any way. It was an ultimately enriching experience. The novel makes some poignant statements about life, the dreams, we have, our place in the world, the lies we tell ourselves and why we value the things we do.
Rating: 5/5 stars