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When Jakob Onderdonk forwent the cleansing ordinance of baptism for the third time in as many months, he sloshed ashore and, collapsing into a heap, imagined his flesh melting into pink puddles on the searing griddle of Hell’s floor. He lay almost despondent at the thought of it, until at length he rose with unsteady resolve to utter the words, “It’s not the right time.” They were familiar words to his companion. Bonifaas Quackenboss waded from the river and retrieved a bar of bracken soap. “One of us is going to be washed clean today,” said the preacher. “Sin or dirt, no matter to me.”
What to believe about his father was unclear to him now, and would forever remain so. No, he was no longer waiting for his father or for anyone. Instead, he waited calmly for the next ship to take him away to the sea, to grand and mysterious places. To take him away to anywhere—anywhere but back to his island.
Author of the critically acclaimed novel "Animal Magnet" -- voted by Goodreads as among the "Best Literary Books of All Time" and "Best Books of the Decade" -- Anderson takes his readers on another epic journey. "Best of All Possible Worlds" continues the saga of Jacques the Anabaptist from the classic "Candide" in the satiric spirit of Voltaire. Anderson's novel begins with the return of Voltaire's Candide to find his beloved tutor, Pangloss, destitute and abandoned on the streets of Leyden, South Holland. Set in the mid-eighteenth century, the story then follows the lives of two brothers, Jakob and Robrecht Onderdonk, leading antithetical lives. At the heart of the novel is Jakob's quest to abandon his life as a sailor at sea for a more edifying life on land. In contrast Robrecht is determined fully to embrace a sinful life at sea. "Best of All Possible Worlds" explores like Voltaire's masterwork, with an air of irreverence and a witty view of the absurd, the universal problem of evil in a world created by a perfect God.
Candide finds his tutor, Pangloss. What happened to the beloved Cunegonde? They meet two brothers, one good and one evil. Off to the high seas they go. On earth-shattering ventures. To the best of all possible worlds.