Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Don Quixote by Miguel Cervantes

Probably the longest book I have ever read. I expected the story to be much more similar to the familiar "Man of La Mancha." The novel is clearly a historical masterpiece. Considered by many to be the first real novel in any language, Cervantes also standardized and unified the Spanish language. Even within the novel, Cervantes' characters continuously run into problems caused by people not being able to understand the various dialects found in 14th century Spain.

What an endearing character Don Quixote is. Even more so, I came to love, so much, his squire Sancho Panza. "Man of La Mancha" changes his character (and makes Dulcinea an actual character actively involved in the story--not true in Don Quixote). He is a simpleton, but so extremely wise and praiseworthy. For me, he is the real hero of the novel as he philosophizes about people, government, and what is really important and of value. Truly one of the most memorable characters of all-time in literature.

The novel just seems to go on and on with not a lot of progression of characters and storyline. I think that a person wanting to read Don Quixote should simply find a good abridged version of the novel. I am certain I would have enjoyed the book much better that way.

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