1602, this version 2014, 96 p. Adapted by J. A. Bravo
Now, I concede that reading this classic in a version suitable for 7 year olds might not do it justice, but I’m glad that I didn’t struggle through the 1000 page version in English either. Fortunately this 96 page version finished at the end of Part I.
Don Quixote, or rather Don Alonso Quixano, has been addled by reading too many books about chivalry and decides to become a knight errant himself. He persuades his neighbour Sancho Panchez to accompany him, and the two spend an inordinate amount of time on fruitless follies borne out of Don Quixote’s hallucinations, or fighting and falling on the ground.
I know that it’s famous for its antiquity and its foray into metafiction but, oh dear, in my baby Spanish it was just too silly for words. It was a bit like reading Alice in Wonderland, where all the cleverness was stripped away in the process of making it easy to read. However, for language learning, the chapters were a good length, and it was fairly easy to follow.
I do concede that the book has survived four hundred years and that it has probably lost nine hundred pages in this version, so perhaps I should just reserve my judgment about the original!