Miguel de Cervantes
A simple man from a quiet village is so enamored of books, and in particular romantic tales of chivalry, that his imagination becomes inflamed to such a degree that he believes himself to be a knight errant, wandering the countryside performing brave exploits, righting wrongs, fighting battles, and rescuing fair damsels. He drags the simple, faithful Sancho Panza into these imaginary adventures with him.
I am thrilled to have read this masterpiece! The sharp wit and satire were almost unrelenting, and were extremely delightful. I found myself laughing out loud often at the exploits of Don Quixote and his loyal sidekick, Sancho Panza, almost from beginning to end. An author who can keep up such sharp wit for nearly a thousand pages I consider to be a genius of a special class. It's no wonder that this book has not faded into obscurity, but has been published anew countless times, and in many different languages over the centuries.
My favorite passage from the book sets the tone for the entire novel:
"In short, our gentleman became so caught up in reading that he spent his nights reading from dusk till dawn and his days reading from sunrise to sunset, and so with too little sleep and too much reading his brains dried up, causing him to lose his mind."