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Candide by Voltaire

Candide (1759)

by Voltaire

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
12,735177186 (3.84)370
  1. 40
    Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift (Weasel524)
    Weasel524: What separates the two: Travels is a satirical indictment of the society Swift saw around him, whereas Candide is a satirical indictment of popular philosophical theories of the time. Not a huge difference, but surely large enough for some. Candide also happens to be shorter and funnier, with Travels being more explorative… (more)
  2. 20
    Baltasar and Blimunda by José Saramago (Mouseear)
  3. 20
    Persian Letters by Montesquieu (joririchardson)
  4. 10
    A Sentimental Journey Through France and Italy by Laurence Sterne (AaronPt)
  5. 10
    The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson (gennyt)
    gennyt: Both books contain extraordinary, unlikely picaresque adventures combined with humorous satire on the politics, wars and religious issues of their time.
  6. 10
    The adventures of Mr. Nicholas Wisdom by Ignacy Krasicki (DieFledermaus)
  7. 21
    Tortilla Flat by John Steinbeck (owen1218)
  8. 10
    Orlando by Virginia Woolf (FFortuna)
    FFortuna: They have the same kind of wide-eyed satirical quality.
  9. 22
    Utopia by Thomas More (kxlly)
  10. 11
    Island by Aldous Huxley (kxlly)

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Showing 1-5 of 160 (next | show all)
Finally got around to reading this - it is one part satire, one part comedy, and one part ethical quandary. And... it is quite short and easy to read. Here we have poor Candide - who spends his whole life following the advice of Dr. Pangloss. Poor Candide - he loves the Lady Cunegonde, and she loves him, which gets him in trouble with his lord, and sets him on the path of black comedy.

This book isn't pleasant to read. At times, it is quite dark. Its written to demonstrate a point. Which is 'happiness isn't given to you - you make it'. There are also ethical quandaries about war and the the noble class. Poor Candide - he is an idiot- afloat in a sea spending.

I do think that this book has layers upon layers of meaning - It will be a book I intend to re-read and see its meaning changes. ( )
  TheDivineOomba | Jul 26, 2014 |
If you’re looking for one of the most satirical, rollicking, odd, philosophical, and whimsical novels in history, then you needn’t go any further than Voltaire’s Candide. Voltaire’s canonical 1759 work examines the conflict between optimism and realism, between Old World and New World experiences, and between upper class and lower class conditions. But even these dichotomies are too simple for this work. The title character’s adventures begin when he kisses Cunegonde, a relative of the Baron Thunder-ten-Tronckh and is expelled from the estate with his mentor Pangloss. And then the real fun starts.

Candide’s adventures through the great earthquake of Lisbon, the New World, and Asia Minor to be reunited with Cunegonde reflects just how sheltered he was raised. Pangloss, ever the optimist, explains that even though there is pain and suffering and loss in the world, we are living in the “best of all possible worlds.” Candide never stops being about things: it’s about first impressions, love, loss, culture, philosophy, foreign relations, religions, etc. Voltaire clearly has a lot to say, but luckily, this novella is just long enough to pack them all in without being too overbearing. Candide finally gives up on optimism, but the funny thing is, he never says what his new philosophy will be. That’s left for the reader to figure out. Much like Animal Farm and 1984, society as a whole is Voltaire’s fodder—he laughs at us all. And we all could use a good laugh. A delightful and witty book. ( )
  NielsenGW | Jun 13, 2014 |
Loved it!!! Can't believe how something written more than 250 years ago is so relavent to today's society. Voltaire is brilliant and his satirical, cutting humor - spot on!! ( )
  iReadby | Apr 27, 2014 |
What originally caught my attention with this book was that when I was wondering around Dymocks in Adelaide I discovered it in one of the cheap book buckets, and since it was slim, and cheap, I decided to buy it. I'm not really sure why I originally purchased it, maybe it had something to do with it being written by Voltaire, and the fact that it was slim and it was cheap (and being on Austudy at the time, I did not have huge amounts of money to spend on books, and also being relatively time poor, meaning that I was at University and had a lot of other books to read as well, I wanted something quick and easy to read – though the words quick and easy do not go all that well with Voltaire).
The story is about a boy named Candide who grows up in a castle (that happens to be called Thunder-ten-Tronckh, which is the coolest name for a castle that I have heard, though I am not sure whether it actually exists, however according to Voltaire it is somewhere in Westphalia). Anyway, Candide falls in love with the sister of the baron, but the baron is not at all happy with that so he kicks him out of the castle, and Candide then goes off, gets captured by a group known as the Burgundians, gets caught up in an earthquake in Lisbon, and lands up in El Dorado after travelling through the jungles of South America. In the end he finds himself in Turkey, becomes reacquainted with his long lost love only to discover that she has become one of the ugliest women that he has ever encountered (not that it actually puts him off her because he ends up getting together with her anyway) and then settles down in a small cottage with his companions and spends the rest of his life tending a garden (which he realises is the essence of life, if only because when God created humanity, he put humanity in a garden to tend it).
I should make a comment about this whole idea of tending a garden because it actually seems to be one of those past times that people simply seem to enjoy. Me, I've never been much of a gardener, and I have only ever successfully grown two plants (one of them being Aloe Vera), though I have found myself of late wondering out the back of my house randomly pulling up weeds simply because when I look a them I get this feeling that they shouldn't be there and I want to pull them up. Actually, that is getting a bit extreme for me because as I sit on the train as it pulls out of Flinders Street Station I see all of these weeds on the tracks and a part of me wants to get out and start pulling them up as well (I wonder if others also get that feeling).
Gardening though seems to be one of those things that a lot of us Westerners seem to have a passion for, though I should be a bit more specific because not many of us have the opportunity of living in a house with a garden. Those of us in Australia (and America) where space is not at a premium, can live in houses with a backyard and as such have a garden. However, in places like Europe and China, to have a garden means that you have money, and a lot of it. I remember going on a date with a Chinese girl in Hong Kong and when I showed her a Google Map (streetview) image of my house, she burst out in amazement at the fact that I had a garden. However, if you wonder around parts of Australia you will discover that a lot of houses that could have gardens, don't, simply because people don't want to put an effort into creating them.
Creating a garden is sort of like creating a work of art. In fact a garden is a work of art. If you travel to the parks and to some of the mansions that are open to the public, you will discover incredibly manicured gardens. I remember that my old next door neighbour had a beautiful garden, however she ended up selling her house, which was then leased to a bunch of bogans, and within two months the garden was all but destroyed. I guess that is the problem with buying houses with gardens – if you buy it, and you pay for the garden, then you should be ready to look after it and make sure that it is maintained in that state because looking after a garden is a lot of effort, and a lot of work, and if you lease out a house with a garden, expect that garden not to last all that long.
Well, it seems that I have been talking a lot about gardens, but have not actually said much about the book itself – well I guess that is what you get when you read one of my commentaries. Anyway, the idea behind the book is that things don't happen for a reason. This is in response (most likely to Calvinism) that everything happens for a reason, and that if bad things happen to you then it is because God has a reason as to why that happens. The truth cannot be further from the truth. Take for instance the Book of Job in the Bible. Job, a faithful worshipper of God suddenly discovers that the shit pretty much hits the fan when it comes to his life, and when he asks why his friends all come up with reasons as to why this happened – however they were wrong: in the end God says to him that this shit happened because, well, basically shit happens.
Okay, there is much more beyond the trials of Job than simply shit happens, but when Job questions God, and God responds, God does not give him a straight answer but simply says 'shit happens' (though not in those exact terms, though I am sure that the bible would be much more appealing if the translators actually used the correct words rather than watering it down a lot because Christians don't use the phrase 'shit happens' or at least most Christians don't, namely because I'm a Christian and I just said 'shit happens').
I'm probably one of those people that takes the narrow road. Okay, to an extent I believe in a predestined universe, however the thing is that history is made up by our own decisions, and the decisions of others. There are things that happen to us that are beyond our control (such as an earthquake) and there are things that happen to us because we make a decision (such as a divorce that comes out of the fact that we decided to have sex with the secretary). Granted, I do believe in an omnipotent God, however the thing is that God has given us free will, and what that means is that we can and do choose our destiny. For instance those of us that remain in our dead end job and do nothing to actually move out of that dead end job (or behave in such an appalling manner that we end up putting off all of the people who have the power to move us out of that dead end job) have nobody to blame but ourselves, however those of us that get caught in a fire that results in substantial burns to our body, and the cause of the fire is due to somebody else's stupidity well, as mean as it may sound, but seriously, shit happens.
Hey, I work in a job where I hear quite often 'why am I being made to pay when it is not my fault?'. It is a cry that I hear again and again, but the truth is that this is what this world is all about. It is not that God does not love us, but rather it is because we, as humans, want to live our life our own way, and when bad things happen to us, whether it be our fault or not, then we want to blame others. What hurts even more is that when we do the right thing, such as admitting wrong because we did something stupid, we then have to pay for it. Unfortunately we live in a harsh world – and this is what Voltaire is getting at here, the world is harsh, and it is due to the actions of people and due to things that are beyond our control, and to sit down there and hide ourselves in a belief that everything happens for a purpose is, in many cases, foolish. What we need to accept and realise is that 'shit happens' and that as long as we live in this world 'shit' will continue to 'happen' whether it is because of our actions or not. We simply have to accept it, and if we can't, well go find a garden to tend, because that is the only happiness you are going to find in this world. ( )
  David.Alfred.Sarkies | Apr 24, 2014 |
Wow, LOL. This book in some ways reminded me of Carroll's Through the Looking Glass & Wonderland. It was truly a fantastically spun tale of grave misfortune, meetings by chance, the strength of a love, & the ending in a quiet place where to work is to be happy. It's actually QUITE funny in places, but the telling can be so far fetched that you may have to put it down a time or two, walk away, clear your head, then come back, even though it is a very short piece! ( )
  Lisa.Johnson.James | Apr 17, 2014 |
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» Add other authors (124 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Voltaireprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Adams, Robert MartinEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Aldington, RichardTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bianconi, PieroTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Blake, QuentinIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Butt, John EverettTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Calvino, ItaloIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Clavé, AntoniIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ellissen, AdolfTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fultz, W. J.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gauffin, HansCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hermlin, StephanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Joseph, SydneyIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Klee, PaulIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lehmann, IlseÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mayer, HansAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Morand, PaulIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nordberg, OlofTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pearson, RogerTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Prechtl, Michael MathiasIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Premsela, Martin J.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rider, W.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sauvage, SylvainIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Smollett, TobiasTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sprengel, DavidTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Weller, ShaneTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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There lived in Westphalia, at the country seat of Baron Thunder-ten-tronckh, a young lad blessed by Nature with the most agreeable manners.
In the castle of Baron Thunder-ten-tronckh in Westphalia there lived a youth, endowed by Nature with the most gentle character.
"Fools admire everything in a celebrated author. I only read to please myself, and I only like what suits me."
"'Tis well said," replied Candide, "but we must cultivate our gardens."
“Why should you think it so strange that in some countries there are monkeys which insinuate themselves into the good graces of the ladies; they are a fourth part human, as I am a fourth part Spaniard.”
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0486266893, Paperback)

Witty and caustic, Candide has ranked as one of the world's great satires since its first publication in 1759. In the story of the trials and travails of the youthful Candide, his mentor Dr. Pangloss, and a host of other characters, Voltaire mercilessly satirizes and exposes romance, science, philosophy, religion, and government. A selection of the Common Core State Standards Initiative.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:34:19 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

One of the world's great satires since its first publication in 1759. Witty, caustic skewering of romance, science, philosophy, religion, government - nearly all human ideals and institutions.

» see all 20 descriptions

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Ten editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

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Penguin Australia

Two editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0143039423, 0140455108

Yale University Press

Two editions of this book were published by Yale University Press.

Editions: 0300106556, 0300119879

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An edition of this book was published by Recorded Books.

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