Don Quixote

  • by Miguel de Cervantes, John Ormsby (translated by)
  • Narrated by Roy McMillan
  • 36 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

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 My Library section along with the audio.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

The Mother and Father of all novels

Although I have a dread of dusty old fiction, curiousness overcame caution and I downloaded this book. I am very glad that I did. Not only is the story itself bewitching, the narration is outstanding. This is the only audio book which I have listened to a second time for the pure pleasure of it. A true comic masterpiece, peppered with wit, wisdom, foolishness and absurdity in perfect balance. Roy McMillan's pace and intonation are perfect for the tale too.
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- P

Probably/Possible the Greatest Book ever?!

What made the experience of listening to Don Quixote the most enjoyable?

The quality pf the story is incomparable. The reading by Roy McMillan is - what can I say? Outstanding does not cover it. I am not a wordsmith or I would find the right word - as many others have said - Roy brings this book to life. I could have read it myself and had a much inferior experience.


What did you like best about this story?

I think that DQ offers an insight into humanity which is as great as a select few works of fiction. It is full of Spanish sensibility but it is also just as mind provoking as a modernist icon like Ulysses. DQ, the man, is counterparted by Sancho's realism. But then DQ is full of a sense himself. He is viewed as a fool but also as a man of sense by his contemporaries.

The book develops a perspective of 'celebrity; because DQ's adventures as a knight errant which start as hopeless and irrational are written about and DQ and Sancho acquire 'fictional' counterparts .Then socially prominent individuals begin to engage with the real DQ and Sancho as 'real people' and also with DQ and Sancho the 'irrational' and 'legendary' characters! It is bewildering and exhilarating and of course it provokes reflection on what is 'irrational' and what is 'realistic?' I am old enough to remember when people who were worried about the earth and conservation were 'hippies,' and when vegetarianism was seen as a 'fad.' These are now mainstream schools of thought and DQ, the work holds up a mirror to conventionalism and shows it wanting.

What is mad about being idealistic? Are realists admirable?Or just lazy people who settle for less because they lack energy and creativity? There is also a very modern self consciousness about creating a text (because of the layers of narration) and how a text and I suppose - a life - escapes the 'control' of the 'author/human?!' What a wonderful book.


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

Roy McMillan, as many have said, has voiced the characters in this complex book in a wonderful way. I can hear the voices as I write this and I finished the book 4 weeks ago. Roy is a brilliant narrator like Neville Jason in War and Peace. I could never have had the experience I have had just by reading. There are some 'tough' points to this book - there are some extensive 'cataloguing' pages about every knight errant that ever lived for example and if I never hear the name of 'Amadis of Gaul' again - it will be too soon! But the range of characterisations, the sense of humanity is just not to be missed.


If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Nothing to do with 'Man of La Mancha!' or anything to do with windmills.. I would be a bit dour and I suppose too boring but I would want to say something about an essential contribution from Spain towards understanding and valuing of our common humanity. This would be a film that uplifts you in understanding your fellow human.

But - actually - don't waste your time - it is too subtle and important to be a film - just listen to the book!


Any additional comments?

As previous commentators have remarked - it is a slow burn at first. Stick with it through the cataloguing of heroes of chivalry, books of chivalry and the more absurdist episodes such as the windmills etc. They almost lay the basis for the picaresque tales within tales and then you will experience the unravelling of DQ, the man as a human and the endlessly admirable and loveable Sancho - a true 'everyman.' I now have some of Sancho's proverbs by heart and whilst they madden DQ - I enjoy them very much - after all - 'St Peter is well in Rome! Oh - and I shouldn't miss a shout-out for 'Roscinante' and 'Dapple!'

By the next stage of the book you are questioning who the 'mad' are.. the gentlemanly classes are shown up as they try to fool with DQ who actually has many admirable human qualities and you willl learn to value Sancho ( especially as a governor) , the Curate, the Barber and the inimitable Bachelor Carasco as representatives of the disinterested kindness that humanity can be capable of in its sense of community and friendship.

I have found this book a deeply uplifting experience.For those who have read it - there is a free course on Yale on the i-net which expertly analyses the work. This is a great Spanish (amongst many from that wonderful country) contribution to world culture. Thanks

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- Phaedo

Book Details

  • Release Date: 01-06-2011
  • Publisher: Naxos AudioBooks