THE KNIGHT AND THE SQUIRE by Argentina Palacios


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A summary rather than a retelling of 20 or so episodes from the adventures of Don Quixote. Palacios tells us that she grew up with the original, and she has edited a dramatized version and a filmstrip series; presumably, then, familiarity with the text is not a problem. But she is no storyteller and her own text reads more like a written-down version of a College Outline than like fiction for its own sake. Previous projects notwithstanding, action is not dramatized here; the humor is embalmed in Palacios' fleshless narration; and she seems strangely conscientious about referring to items omitted. Thus a ""ridiculous ceremony"" is mentioned but not described; on the road, Don Quixote's friends ""soon met a runaway young woman, who, after a brief explanation, agreed. . .""; at a later meeting ""the knight and the gentleman talked about. . ."" (here follows a list of what they talked about); and after burning his books, his friends ""agreed to tell Don Quixote if he asked that a wizard came in a smoke cloud and took all the books. He did ask, and that's what he was told."" This won't give youngsters a taste of the original because it has no flavor--or, for that matter, any trace of social background. And Cruz' grainy black and white drawings are lacking in both character and visual interest.

Pub Date: Aug. 3rd, 1979
Publisher: Doubleday