Miguel de Cervantes. I read the Edith Grossman English translation which many reviewers say is the best translation ever for this Spanish classic. It is actually two books now published together at nearly 1,000 pages.
More than once I nearly put it down to not finish, especially in book 1, which is just too crazy to really like, yet the plot slowly develops and by book 2 Cervantes is actually making sense of the mixed up world in which he lived and the silly escapades of a crazy Don Quixote, as Knight Errant, and his simpleton helper, Sancho Panza. It has all the tricks and gimmicks of novels today with a little bit of history, probably some of Cervantes biography, and is a parody of the romance novels of the 1500’s which is of everything that is gentle, forlorn, pure, unselfish, and gallant. It is in some ways many novels within one and for awhile a new story in nearly every chapter, that often had little, if anything, to do with the story of Don Quixote and Sancho Panza. Its a morality play, a political novel, a touch of history, and multiple takes on the religious, spiritual, power, class, and money controlling life in the 1500’s. Whew!
It was heavy at times, funny at times, and sometimes just plain boring. Do I recommend it? Only if you like a challenge! And no, I don’t think it represents my adventure in Costa Rica. (Though there might be some parallels!) 🙂
See also my Goodreads Review