Monday, August 27, 2007


Rating : 4.0/5
Reason for Reading : Classics Challenge, TBR Challenge, Guardian 100 Greatest Books of all Time list

Alonso Quixone is a big fan of books on knights and chivalry before losing his sense and becoming convinced he is the knight Don Quixote de la Mancha. He had a thing for a country lass called Aldonza Lorenzo who he renames the Lady Dulcinea del Toboso, as every knight needs a lady to do great deeds for. He sets out to seek adventure, taking along the dense local Sancho Panca as his squire.

His exploits include the famous incident where Don Quixote tilts against windmills mistaking them for giants, seeing many an inn as a castle, rescuing damsels in distress and righting wrongs. Part one sees Don Quixote seeing things not as they seem and introducing the idea of enchantments against him. At the end of it they return home (after being tricked by some people from his town in costumes) and his family try to "cure" him by burning all his books and sealing the room they were stored in. It doesn't work and he sets out again with Sancho on more adventures. Part two sees a change in situation for the Don. A book of his earlier exploits has been published and his name is well known throughtout the country. He is taken advantage of by a Duke and Duchess among others who use his madness for sport. Sancho starts to overuse proverbs, but does finally get his position as govener of an island and prove his excellent judgement.

I really enjoyed this book, although it took ages to get through. It seemed like everytime I sat down to read it, I wouldn't get more than 30 pages further no matter how long I read for... It was worth the struggle though as the story is entertaining and well written. I started off laughing at the unfortunate pair, but later on I came to pity them both. The ending was very sad, mostly because Don Quixote recovered his wits. I recommend reading this, but maybe trying to read it over a longer period of time (the chapters are quite short).

4 comments:

Nymeth said...

I know that a lot of people struggle with this book, but it must be such a rewarding experience, and such a great feeling when you finish at last. The story really sounds like something I'd enjoy, so I just need to gather the courage to get started.

Jean Pierre said...

this is one of those classics that i have always been intrigued by. its good to know that its worth slogging through.

Kailana said...

I own this book. One of these days I will read it, but longish books generally can be good but I will get bored and want to read something new...

Rhinoa said...

Nymeth - Yes, the story is definately one you would enjoy. That's not the part people struggle with, it's just the length and the feeling of not getting anywhere with it...

Jean Pierre - Yes it's definately worth it even though it feels like it took forever. I started it at the end of Arpil and read the first part in a month and then went back to part two about 10 days ago.

Kailana - That's why I took a large break after the end of part one so I could give some other books a go. I also took a little time along the way to read some short books or graphic novels/manga so I could feel like I had read something!