The Complete Don Quixote Book Review

The Complete Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra
Adapted and Illustrated by Rob David
Publisher: SelfMadeHero
Release Date: May 7, 2013

It has been nearly four hundred years since the Spanish author Miguel de Cervantes wrote the tale of Don Quixote with its windmill giants, lunatic knight errant, love stories, and one rather short but philosophical squire. A daunting book for any reader, especially those in high school, this wonderful graphic novel adaptation brings this story new life.

I have always been a lover of the Don Quixote story. When I worked at a bookstore and the 11th grade AP Literature students would come to me with books they could choose from, I could easily talk this one up. Sure, it isn't a small book, but there is so much here, not to mention that it is funny. Or at least, funnier than The Count of Monte Cristo or The Grapes of Wrath. Of course, since the art takes the place of Cervantes' lurid descriptions, the book comes in a good deal shorter than the original, but this only makes it more readable. All the major parts of the tale are told, in places the language has been updated or simplified, and the illustrations were so well done.

From the moment I picked up this book, I was impressed. As in the original, there are some great laugh out loud moments as well as others where you feel genuinely bad for our insane hero. I have always found it terribly sad that in the end our hero dies not lost in fantasy and denouncing his role as Don Quixote. So what if he is made? At least it was entertaining.