Don Quixote

by

When you’re counting down the chapters, the hours and minutes until it finishes, you know a book isn’t floating your boat. This became a battle of attrition that, by rights, I should have given up on. As an audiobook it has a running time of over 21 hours and this is only part one.

The story nominally follows the titular ‘hero’ as he opts to become a knight errant and, accompanied by his faithful squire, goes wandering about the Spanish countryside. The delusioned pair then barrel from scrape to tragedy largely caused by their own ineptitude and fantasy.

The book also contains several other stories, both in the form of fiction found by a character and those re-told by characters we meet. Some of these are passable enough and were what kept me going, because the main narrative isn’t funny or very interesting, not even tragically so. It doesn’t help that the ‘heroes’ are just a pair of idiots who it is impossible to relate with (even if they weren’t from 17th century Spain).

This was a Librivox recording. As it’s so long, the audio is read by many different people. The quality (technical and vocal) ranges from the very good to the barely capable. I understand why it was split between many people but I’m not sure I’d listen to something by multiple readers again, it’s simply too jarring.

Needless to say, I won’t be bothering with volume 2. If you’re into literature maybe this will appeal. If not, avoid.

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Reviewed: 30th October 2015