Cervantes Street


This novel takes the biography of the creator of Don Quixote as the starting point for a tale of love and revenge that includes a supposed background for many of the insertions interspersed throughout Cervantes’s masterpiece. Chapters narrated by Cervantes alternate with those told by Luis Lara, a wealthy former friend who is obsessed with hatred for Cervantes because of a rivalry in love. Lara plans to marry his cousin but finds that his less prosperous friend has wooed her in a fashion reminiscent of “The Ill-Advised Curiosity” section of Quixote. Cervantes’s heroic efforts to escape from captivity in Algiers involve a beautiful Christian convert who seems to be the basis for Lela Zoraida, the heroine of another tale inserted in Quixote. Manrique introduces a proverb-quoting character named Sancho Panza, the namesake of the greatest sidekick in literature. Lara’s jealous rage leads him to compose the novel which history has called The False Quixote, which appeared between the publication of Parts One and Two of Don Quixote. Cervantes remains unaware of Lara’s actions and the hatred which motivates them.

The penultimate chapter is narrated by Lara’s penitent partner in the plot to destroy Cervantes, and the last chapter is narrated by a dying Cervantes who speculates that “the people of future generations will think that Don Quixote is an ancient tune, nothing but a song about a man and his dream.” Although not a historical novel in any real sense, Manrique’s work provides diverting fun for those familiar with the greatest work of Spanish literature and its many digressions.

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(US) $24.95

(US) 9781617751073




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