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Publisher's Summary

The most influential work of the entire Spanish literary canon and a founding work of modern Western literature, Don Quixote is also one of the greatest works ever written. Hugely entertaining but also moving at times, this episodic novel is built on the fantasy life of one Alonso Quixano, who lives with his niece and housekeeper in La Mancha. Quixano, obsessed by tales of knight errantry, renames himself "Don Quixote" and, with his faithful servant Sancho Panza, goes on a series of quests. Many of these adventures, including tilting at windmills, are established in European literary consciousness.

Originally published in two volumes a decade apart (in 1605 and 1615), Don Quixote has been brought to life in its entirety in this audiobook.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

Public Domain (P)2011 Naxos AudioBooks

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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A True Classic

Excellent narration! A true classic and well worth the listen. I would call this the first absurdist fantasy written.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Must read

This book brings you in right away and keeps you wanting one more chapter. One of the best performances I have heard.

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A funny, lively version of the classic

I really can see why this centuries-old tale is counted among the greats. Full of life and humour and warmth. The slapstick scenes had me laughing out loud. What a great narrative performance, too. Snappy. Variety of voices. Just great.

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Colin
  • San Francisco, CA, United States
  • 2011-08-21

More than funny

I didn't know much of anything about this book. If I had listened to it by itself, my take on it would probably be that it is funny, but way too long, and not much more. I enjoyed it much more than that because I decided to listen to a Yale course online (which is free) as I listened to the book. Each lesson gives the professor's take on the chapters assigned. I highly recommend this for those who aren't already very familiar with the book and its significance. You can google the audio course if you're interested, search Cervantes' Don Quixote with Professor Roberto González Echevarría.

92 of 94 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Mike
  • Auckland, New Zealand
  • 2012-04-02

Totally brilliant narration and story

I would never have thought I'd enjoy a book about a madman wandering around Spain in Shakespearean times so much, but I found myself looking forward to every listening session then smiling and chuckling throughout. The narrator brought the characters to life, the best I've heard.

24 of 24 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Finnegan the Great
  • 2011-12-20

Definitive Quixote

Would you listen to Don Quixote again? Why?

I'll certainly listen again. This is the best audiobook I have ever listened to. The performance by Roy McMillan is unbeatable. I cannot recommend this enough.

What did you like best about this story?

It's Quixote. The best novel in the world.

What does Roy McMillan bring to the story that you wouldn???t experience if you just read the book?

McMillan's performances of Don Quixote and Sancho Panza are pitch-perfect. He understands the characters from within. The host of minor characters is also excellently done. McMillan is a versatile and wonderfully entertaining reader.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Quixote encountering his beloved Dulcinea in the shape of a village wench stinking of garlic.

13 of 13 people found this review helpful

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  • John
  • 2013-12-16

Now That It's Over I Miss This Book

Long ago in my undergrad days I blew by Don Quixote in a survey course. To a mind not very attuned to thick books and partial to any explanation that would make the test easier, believing that Cervantes had penned nothing more than a multi-volume diatribe against those iniquitous chivalric romances was a cinch.

Such an oversimplification served my purposes: first, to identify Cervantes’ proper place on the flowchart of “Those Who Have Contributed to the Creation of the Modern Novel”. Second: to get a passing grade, graduate and get a job and a place of my own.

Over the years, however, I’ve often wondered how any writer, no matter how gifted, could stretch such an indictment over some 900-some-odd pages and still manage to achieve a work that would be reverenced and relished for 400 years. When Audible put Don Quixote on sale in February of 2011, I decided to see—or rather, hear—what Cervantes had really written.

Before I did, however, I decided to immerse myself in the romances that were supposedly Cervantes’ target. I read all of Chretien de Troyes. I read Beroul. And Gotfried von Straussburg’s, Wolfram von Eschenbach and Hartmann von Aue.

I discovered works that were a joy to read. Works that captivated the imagination, that even played with and parodied the very genre they were establishing. So far from finding dusty books worthy of contempt, I found vivid invention and vigorous writing. And in the first dozen minutes of Don Quixote I discovered I had been reading the wrong romances.

Cervantes’ target seems to be the later romances written just before his time, chiefly the Amadis of Gaul and Orlando Furioso. I’ve never read Amadis, but years ago I did get Orlando under my belt and enjoyed the hell out of it. I began to wonder if the whole indictment of chivalric romances was just a device to tell a great story.

No matter what his motivation, we should all be glad he did set pen to paper. I rank Don Quixote with Tom Jones and Pickwick Papers as the three of books I’d choose if cast upon a desert island (not that that’s likely to ever happen). It never ceases to delight. And now that’s it’s over I miss it terribly. Seriously. Most of the credit goes to Cervantes, but the reader Roy McMillan deserves his share as well. His easy tone, light manner and perfect diction make him the ideal travelling companion for this ride.

Oddly enough, the book gives the same kind of pleasure as those romances it lampoons. In this guided tour of life in early 17th Century Spain, you never know what’s going to happen around the next corner. Is the stranger at the inn a villain or a saint? Is the shepherd singing on the hillside a man or a woman? Is the fantastic story they tell true or false? Is the popularity of the first volume of the book, which we find recorded in the second, a tweak at the reading public who consume such improbable works as Amadis of Gaul so avidly?

And of course there’s the ultimate, overarching question that seems to hold the book together: is Don Quixote mad or sane?

Though the book ends with a vigorous diatribe against chivalric romances, the hero (or anti-hero, if you go that way) could not be more sympathetic and likeable. When not smashing puppet shows or liberating condemned cutthroats he is full of good sense and rounded phrases. His “achievements” (battling with windmills and wineskins, for example) make him famous throughout Spain and indeed Europe—not because they are real achievements, of course, but because the book that records those deeds gives such delight.

Maybe that’s why Don Quixote deserves its central place in the “Who-Created-the-Modern-Novel” flow chart: because Cervantes shows us that real life, our ordinary existence, can be as enchanted and improbable as any romance.

15 of 16 people found this review helpful

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  • Rhondda
  • Australia
  • 2012-11-21

Hugely enjoyable

If you could sum up Don Quixote in three words, what would they be?

Funny, endearing, engrossing

What was one of the most memorable moments of Don Quixote?

Don Quixote's encounter with the sheep is one of many that I have enjoyed so far, but much of the book is still ahead of me.

Which scene was your favorite?

Hard to say as there are so many, but I loved the line where the Don was described as retiring to bed after one of their adventures to dream of his fair Dulcinea while Sancho Panza retired to his 'like a man who had been soundly beaten'.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

The gentle satire makes me smile and occasionally laugh out loud. At the same time I am torn between feeling that something must be done to curtail the activities of this would be knight who is roaming around inflicting real damage on imagined opponents and a dread that he will be rounded up and diminished by the collapse of his illusions.

Any additional comments?

This is a great book, not just by reputation but in reality and I am grateful to Audible books for making it accessible to me. Cervantes has created a memorable character in the Don. He is both demented and truly noble, possessing a dignity that mysteriously is not touched by the absurdity of his actions and beliefs. His unfailing optimism and self belief in the face of constant setbacks is quite wonderful. I feel Cervantes has an enormous affection for him and for all the other characters of his world. It would be hard to imagine the book being read aloud better than it is by Roy McMillan. The subtle differences of class, attitude etc between characters when they speak are clearly expressed and the reader's tone conveys the humour in a tongue in cheek style that is never laboured.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • tke
  • 2012-07-24

One of my favorite books of all time!

I LOVED this book! I enjoy the classics, but had not read Don Quixote before listening to this Audible version. It is an absolutely wonderful book, is laugh out loud funny, and the narrator did an extraordinary job making all the characters come to life. Be prepared to use the bookmark feature often, you'll definitely want to go back to the funniest parts!

12 of 13 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • B. Leddy
  • NY
  • 2011-09-27

Thank you

Thanks for offering Don Quixote - never would have made it through without Audible. A great book. Not a modern translation, but a great performance.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • George
  • Austin, TX, United States
  • 2013-09-16

I'm sorry I waited so long to read this

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Absolutely. Roy McMillan does an amazing job of bringing Don Quixote and Sancho Panza to life with a very entertaining narrative.

This is a classic that should be in everyone's Audible library.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Don Quixote?

Take your pick. Every adventure of Don Quixote will make you smile. Sancho Panza is a great compliment, with his witty banter and misadventures, to the story. The interaction between the two is enjoyable from start to finish.

What does Roy McMillan bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

The voices.
Don Quixote and Sancho Panza are the perfect expressions of their characters. Roy keeps the readers engaged and entertained throughout the story.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Matthew
  • Brunswick, Australia
  • 2012-06-03

Classic story, wonderfully read, perhaps too long.

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

This is one of literature's classic works, ushering in a new era of literature. Roy McMillan reads it excellently, rendering many of the regional Spanish dialects into an appropriate analogue from the British Isles: the goat herders have a Welsh accent, for example.

I took advice from one of the other Audible reviews, and listened in conjunction with Yale University's literature course by Professor González Echevarría, who places the book into the important context of the contemporary literary styles it references and parodies.

The two 'volumes' were published ten years apart, and are therefore quite distinct in style. The first volume in particular has rather too many side-stories irrelevant to the main plot. For this reason, an abridged version might be preferable.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Jay Quintana
  • 2016-08-04

Beautiful, poetic writing, but, my goodness...

... the novel hits the same note again and again and again. And again. And again. Basically, the book's a series of episodes -- each one a variation on Don Quixote, a man who believes he's a knight-errant, mistaking what he sees, and engaging in unnecessary violence and/or tomfoolery. As mentioned in the title, the writing's beautiful and poetic. There are moments when I literally laughed out loud. This is a clever, innovative work of art, but, in my mind, it's 900 pages too long.

I'm glad I listened to it, because being able to get Don Quixote references -- tilting at windmills, Sancho Panza, Rocinante, Dulcinea -- just makes one feel, well, smarter. But even though the title character is probably one of the best realized fictional characters ever, I just found this too long, too episodic, and too repetitive. (If I were more courageous, I'd probably give the overall and story ratings two stars each.)

I want to love everything I listen to. Especially works considered masterpieces. I'm happy others enjoyed this immeasurably. And I envy them.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful