Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Tilting at Windmills

The Penguin Classic editions of Tolstoy’s ‘Anna Karenina’ and ‘War and Peace’ have 864 and 1376 pages respectively. In terms of its length, Don Quixote, at 1056 pages, fits squarely between these two great tomes.

Don Quixote is long: Tolstoy long.

I give you this information as a warning. Downloading this classic novel may seem easy; but I urge you, nay, I implore you: think about the consequences.

Think about the commitment; think about the times you will see someone - perhaps the person next to you on the tram - reading a book that you really want to read, but you can’t: you’re reading Don Quixote, and you will be for a long, long time.

Perhaps you decided to read this book in order to better understand its influences on the modern world; you want to understand the true meaning of ‘Quixotic’ or ‘Tilting at Windmills’. If this is the case, you, like those who brought these ideas into popular culture, may be able to escape after the first 100 pages.

If not, if you’ve decided to read this book purely to sample, as Wikipedia puts it, “..the most influential work of literature from the Spanish Golden Age…”, then you’re in for a long ride.

To be fair, Don Quixote does have plenty of ‘laugh out loud’ moments. But so does Calvin and Hobbs, and the ideas and humour are not that dissimilar.

Anyway, this is not a book review. I may well write a review one day; just give me another six months to finish the book.

1 comment:

  1. I tilt my hat to your new blog. I'm not sure sure how one can review the classics, but your summary of them (unlike the tomes) is succinct.

    As a wise boy once said. Keep up the good work.