When I finally picked up this classic, it was with a bit of trepidation. Reading classic literature is often enlightening and interesting, but also challenging and occasionally tedious. Not so with Don Quixote, Cervantes' tale of a deranged man who thinks himself to be the revival of knight errantry and his simple companion with lofty goals, Sancho Panza.
Cervantes pulls no punches with Don Quixote's madness; his insanity is pointed out at every moment, and though it is mocked by his acquaintances, Cervantes imbues him with a certain gravitas that one must take seriously. There is also, of course, plenty of toilet humor and slapstick, mixed in with a hefty dash of hypocrisy and irony. The monologues tend to get long-winded, but other than that, this is a surprisingly entertaining read. I look forward to reading the second part.