Books

Book Review: Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

It is absurd to love and adore a tragic character like Don Quixote and never have read his tale. Only seeing him portrayed through pop culture. It was time to change that fact. I started reading this book, but a funny old world, I had to switch to audiobook version due to my dyslexia. This was the first for a long time my reading impairment forced me to stop reading a book. I had difficulties following the unformatted text and small print, making me mix sentences and forget what I had read a moment ago. I checked if I could find another version with clear dialogue lines and paragraph change after scenery or thought, but it seems this book was written without the modern formatting which gives breathing breaks for the reader. But I wasn’t willing to let that discourage me. I write this to give a heads up for other readers who find structured writing important.

Back to the book content itself. The tale of Don Quixote is bigger than life and sadly comical, and I couldn’t help but love it despite hating the ending. I’m one to advocate for fighting for imaginary monsters even how unreal they are and holding up the chivalry even how against the writer was about such a notion. I wish people would uphold morals and duties as Don Quixote did, but not be fooled and used like he was by the characters around him. And the book’s moral (for me) was more on the side characters. The men and women who sought help and or deceived our hero. Don Quixote was seen through their eyes, and their actions towards our hero were more than often callous, mean, and self-centered. But that’s the thing, chivalry and the fight for what is right shouldn’t happen blindly. But I say it should happen. Reality is harsh. It is not always beautiful or kind, but that doesn’t mean we have to subdue thinking the world is “a dog eat dog world.” We have empathy. We have mercy. We have love and friendship. Despite that friendship and love can be sometimes similar to what Sancho Panza and Don Quixote had. But we have them.

And no the book is not about windmills. They have become the symbol of the mental state and acts of Don Quixote even when they are only mentioned in passing. But that said, windmills and the charge against them is a fitting image of the tragedy of Don Quixote. I just would have hoped he could have gone on without ever stopping and seeing the giants as they are.

This is not a kind story about kind people. And this is not a jovial story about jovial people. Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra
is showing people at their worst with a dash of light here and there. And that light is what we should cultivate in the world instead of greed and self-serving motives.

I recommend this book. It is not a classic for nothing. The book handles important aspects of our humanity, and also it is beautifully written with rich characters who come alive.

Thank you for reading!

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