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Don Quixote [Kindle Edition]

Miguel de Cervantes , Edith Grossman
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (550 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $16.99
Kindle Price: $8.89
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Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers

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Book Description

Edith Grossman's definitive English translation of the Spanish masterpiece. Widely regarded as the world's first modern novel, and one of the funniest and most tragic books ever written, Don Quixote chronicles the famous picaresque adventures of the noble knight-errant Don Quixote of La Mancha and his faithful squire, Sancho Panza, as they travel through sixteenth-century Spain. Unless you read Spanish, you've never read Don Quixote.

"Though there have been many valuable English translations of Don Quixote, I would commend Edith Grossman's version for the extraordinarily high quality of her prose. The Knight and Sancho are so eloquently rendered by Grossman that the vitality of their characterization is more clearly conveyed than ever before. There is also an astonishing contextualization of Don Quixote and Sancho in Grossman's translation that I believe has not been achieved before. The spiritual atmosphere of a Spain already in steep decline can be felt throughout, thanks to her heightened quality of diction.

Grossman might be called the Glenn Gould of translators, because she, too, articulates every note. Reading her amazing mode of finding equivalents in English for Cervantes's darkening vision is an entrance into a further understanding of why this great book contains within itself all the novels that have followed in its sublime wake."

From the Introduction by Harold Bloom

Miguel de Cervantes was born on September 29, 1547, in Alcala de Henares, Spain. At twenty-three he enlisted in the Spanish militia and in 1571 fought against the Turks in the battle of Lepanto, where a gunshot wound permanently crippled his left hand. He spent four more years at sea and then another five as a slave after being captured by Barbary pirates. Ransomed by his family, he returned to Madrid but his disability hampered him; it was in debtor's prison that he began to write Don Quixote. Cervantes wrote many other works, including poems and plays, but he remains best known as the author of Don Quixote. He died on April 23, 1616.


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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

There would seem to be little reason for yet another translation of Don Quixote. Translated into English some 20 times since the novel appeared in two parts in 1605 and 1615, and at least five times in the last half-century, it is currently available in multiple editions (the most recent is the 1999 Norton Critical Edition translated by Burton Raffel). Yet Grossman bravely attempts a fresh rendition of the adventures of the intrepid knight Don Quixote and his humble squire Sancho Panza. As the respected translator of many of Latin America's finest writers (among them Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Carlos Fuentes and Mario Vargas Llosa), she is well suited to the task, and her translation is admirably readable and consistent while managing to retain the vigor, sly humor and colloquial playfulness of the Spanish. Erring on the side of the literal, she isn't afraid to turn out clunky sentences; what she loses in smoothness and elegance she gains in vitality. The text is free of archaisms the contemporary reader will rarely stumble over a word and the footnotes (though rather erratically supplied) are generally helpful. Her version easily bests Raffel's ambitious but eccentric and uneven effort, and though it may not immediately supplant standard translations by J.M. Cohen, Samuel Putnam and Walter Starkie, it should give them a run for their money. Against the odds, Grossman has given us an honest, robust and freshly revelatory Quixote for our times.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

“Grossman has given us an honest, robust and freshly revelatory Quixote for our times”

Product Details

  • File Size: 1789 KB
  • Print Length: 992 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins e-books; Reprint edition (February 10, 2009)
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B001R1LCKS
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #39,455 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
700 of 716 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Which New Translation to Choose? March 22, 2005
Format:Hardcover
Edith Grossman's is the hot new translation, but there may be a tendency to confer too much praise on a fresh reading. From what I have sampled, I have no doubt of Grossman's excellence, but this is not the "definitive" DQ (no one's is), and frankly, after some comparison of the early chapters, I've decided to spend my time with Burton Raffel's translation, now only a decade old. Raffel sometimes opts for a colloquial word or two, but it's never jarring, and his overall style seems not only less pretentious to me than Grossman's, but a superior combination of a modern reading with a traditional "tone." Tone and style are important, and Raffel sometimes makes Grossman seem too abstract or fussy, though this is difficult to describe. Raffel's phrasing is more focused and vigorous than Grossman's--though both are said to be accurate. Let me offer a couple of examples that shifted me toward Raffel:

Grossman:

"Some claim that his family name was Quixada, or Quexada, for there is a certain amount of disagreement among the authors who write of this matter, although reliable conjecture seems to indicate that his name was Quexana. But this does not matter very much to our story; in its telling there is absolutely no deviation from the truth."

Raffel:

"It's said his family name was Quijada, or maybe Quesada: there's some disagreement among the writers who've discussed the matter. But more than likely his name was really Quejana. Not that this makes much difference in our story; it's just important to tell things as faithfully as you can."

(Notice how Raffel makes immediately clear in the last sentence what Grossman so literally translates.
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418 of 433 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Faulkner's Favorite November 3, 2003
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
Faulkner said Don Quixote was his favorite book and that, along with The Bible, he dipped into it yearly. I'm not sure what Cervantes would have made of some of Faulkner's more troublesome work, but the world has designated Don Quixote the Father of the Modern Novel and perhaps the greatest novel ever. I'm a fan of this book and a habitual (some would say neurotic) comparer of translations. Since I don't read of speak Spanish, I have to rely on the English translations that have been published. There are three that are worthwhile: Ormsby's, Samuel Putnam's and now Edith Grossman's. Grossman, who is the translator of Garcia Marquez's books into English, has produced a translation that's contemporary and authentic--somehow, not an oxymoron. It has a fresher feel than Putnam's (the translation Nabokov used when teaching the book), though I wouldn't say it supplants Putnam. If you're looking for a copy of Don Quixote in English, Grossman's translation is a good first choice. She manages to maintain the feel of the language Cervantes wrote in (as far as I can tell) yet her translation, as the NY Times reviewer noted, is as readable as the latest novel from Philip Roth. You can't go wrong with Putnam or Grossman, but on this one, I have to give the nod to Grossman.
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183 of 193 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quintessential Masterpiece of European Literature November 2, 2003
Format:Hardcover
I have read this book both in English and Spanish, and I can honestly say that it loses very little of its power, wit or message in translation. For all those who have considered reading this book, here are a few good reasons: this book is a very nuanced look at escapism and identity, a wonderful parody of knight stories, along with being a rousing (and very funny) adventure centering around the titular hero, a man who reads one too many books about knighthood and chivalry and decides to become a knight-errant himself. After recruiting a sidekick and choosing a lady to woo per narrative convention, he sets out to conquer the forces of evil, which include, among other things, giant windmills and rogue "knights". Cervantes' insight and ability to parody were both ahead of his time, and in a time where escapism and voyeurism are well and thriving, it is not difficult to imagine someone watching too many TV shows and believing they're a wild west outlaw or what-have-you. A very fascinating experience, and it works well in any language. Highly recommended.
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129 of 137 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent edition of this classic. January 21, 2003
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Note: Amazon.com seems to have a hard time linking reviews to specific editions - it makes a difference. This review is of the Modern Library edition, ISBN-0679602860, translated by Samuel Putnam. I am reposting it, hoping it will link correctly this time).
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When you approach reading (or rereading) a "classic" work you really, mostly, don't have to think about whether to read it -- that decision was either made by someone assigning it to you or, more wonderfully, by you, yourself deciding to swim contra-current against the cultural waters... following Neil Young's advice to "turn off that MTV."
So. You are going to read it. And, if you are paddling the Amazon.com, here, you are going to buy and OWN it. The question really becomes which edition you should own.
This is the one.
Its a fine translation - surprising in its avoidance of archaic language. It has a nice structure - the inevitable notes are available but not obtrusive.
This edition, the Modern Library hardback edition, translated by Putnam, is also a nice book to own. It isn't one of those pretty faux-leather "shelf-candy" copies that'll break your wallet first. This is a hardworking book - the essence of the Modern Library idea. But it is a wonderful packaging of the whole 1000+ pages that is both readable and shelvable. No thousand-page paperback will survive an actual reading as anything you would want excepting as backup next to the latrine.
Did I mention that it is a great book, great story? Well, others over the years have managed that :-). But I will loudly agree. I'm rereading it only now after a 35 year hiatus (yes, indeed, classics can be lost on the young - thats why you want books that last.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars I hated it
It was terrible to long of chapters I could not reed it or anything bye the same athour

Just terrible
Published 1 day ago by derpysmurf
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Novel, but could use a good editor
Don Quixote and Sancho Panza are two of my favorite characters in literature; they are like two married people who bicker constantly, but love each other at the same time. Read more
Published 9 days ago by Eugene
5.0 out of 5 stars Great
Totally different way of reading. It is somewhat confusing at first, but it is a good read nonetheless, if you like history and reading classics, as I would call it, its worth the... Read more
Published 10 days ago by Zack C. Hornbuckle
5.0 out of 5 stars A Masterpiece
Kudos to Ms. Grossman!!!!! A truly laugh-out-loud journey by two of the most endearing beings in a romantic and chivalrous adventure. Read more
Published 14 days ago by Tom from Virginia
4.0 out of 5 stars Cervantes' Masterpiece
Although unbelievably long, this translation of Don Quixote is delightful and highly readable. There are many humorous statements and events that tend to keep the reader smiling. Read more
Published 15 days ago by Dell Stahl
3.0 out of 5 stars Not for the uninitiated?
I am neither a native English speaker nor a particularly literary person.Having said that,
the translation impresses me at times as a little rigid; the words being translated... Read more
Published 18 days ago by Valdimar Jonsson
5.0 out of 5 stars Sorry about its ending
Few Americans have actually read the text of Don Quixote, even though everyone knows the word quixotic and the play "The Man of La Mancha. Read more
Published 18 days ago by Joe Harrison
5.0 out of 5 stars Don Quixote translation by Edith Grossman is Great!
What can you say about this book that hasn't already been said. It is considered the first modern novel. This is a very good translation and a good price on top of that.
Published 19 days ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars not man of lamancha
Very long. Frequent soliloquizing and divergent stories. Clever and funny nevertheless.
Not done with it even now. Could be half as long and still be entertaining.
Published 23 days ago by corvette
2.0 out of 5 stars Tale of a crazy man obssessed with chilvary
I have only read 10% of this book but already I don't think I will enjoy it on the same level as Duma's Count of Monte Cristo or Hugo's Les Miserables. Read more
Published 27 days ago by Chiek
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Is there an easy to read Don Quixote
There are abridged versions that are easier, I think, than the full text versions.
Sep 8, 2010 by Shantonu |  See all 5 posts
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