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Candide by Voltaire
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Candide (1759)

by Voltaire

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
15,554238196 (3.82)510
  1. 50
    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
    A Sentimental Journey Through France and Italy by Laurence Sterne (AaronPt)
  3. 31
    Tortilla Flat by John Steinbeck (owen1218)
  4. 20
    Persian Letters by Montesquieu (joririchardson)
  5. 20
    Baltasar and Blimunda by José Saramago (Mouseear)
  6. 10
    The One Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out 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.
  7. 10
    The Adventures of Mr. Nicholas Wisdom by Ignacy Krasicki (DieFledermaus)
  8. 10
    Orlando by Virginia Woolf (FFortuna)
    FFortuna: They have the same kind of wide-eyed satirical quality.
  9. 10
    Rasselas by Samuel Johnson (KayCliff)
  10. 22
    Utopia by Thomas More (kxlly)
  11. 11
    Island by Aldous Huxley (kxlly)
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English (217)  French (6)  Dutch (3)  Swedish (2)  Spanish (2)  Italian (2)  Tagalog (1)  Catalan (1)  Hebrew (1)  Icelandic (1)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  Portuguese (1)  All languages (238)
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Juvenal once said, "It is difficult not to write satire", meaning that even if he put ink to paper with different intentions, his worldview would press him on in one direction. He and Voltaire would have got along famously, I suspect. ( )
  therebelprince | Oct 30, 2018 |
2018 reread via audiobook:
3.5*
I missed the illustrations in my hardcover edition. Without rereading that edition, I can't be sure but I think that I also prefer the translation in the hardcover...

However, I still found this satire amusing; my comments above are primarily to remind me why I am giving this audiobook edition a lower rating than I had previously given the book. ( )
  leslie.98 | Oct 15, 2018 |
1236/1470 ( )
  Drfreddy94 | Jul 17, 2018 |
Mix satire and absurdity with sublime humor and stir and you will have Voltaire's Candide. Buried in all of that are some important ideas and lessons that seem as relevant today as they ever could have been.

Candide, following the teachings of his mentor, Pangloss, ascribes to the philosophy of optimism. It is the best of all possible worlds, everything turns out the way it should, every horror has a purpose that leads to a desired end. Of course, everything Candide encounters along his way proves this philosophy to be fatally flawed. Both he and all those around him suffer incredible (and in this case you should take that literally--not credible) sufferings. They seem to move from one misfortune, theft, imprisonment, separation to another.

It is only when Candide reaches El Dorado, where money and wealth mean nothing, that he finds anyone who is happy or contented. He could stay there, but of course, he opts to take a huge amount of treasure and go back into the back-biting world he has been relieved of. Had he elected to stay, perhaps a case could be made for all the horror leading to the final utopia and the philosophy upheld in some way, but his choice to leave means each step is only a step and not a progression.

In the end, what Candide discovers is that happiness or contentment are only achieved through labor and accomplishment. He is ultimately more contented in the garden tilling and planting then he was in the places his riches opened to him, dining among the displaced royalty of the world. If the ridiculous philosophy of optimism has missed anything, it is that all that occurs is not God's plan in motion but that God's plan is to have man toil and produce and build his life.

The absurdity is hilarious. Pangloss explains that syphilis is necessary because without enduring it Europe would not have the chocolate from America and that the AnaBaptist must drown because the Bay or Portugal was made for that reason. Candide concludes that the Dutch ship goes down to punish the thieving captain, without regard for how many others are taken down with it. If the philosophy applies equally to all people, then how can it follow that anyone perishes in favor of another? For the man that has perished is that the best outcome possible?


I am glad to have finally read this classic satirical piece. I can see why it has endured for so long. It is almost discouraging to think how little man has changed over time, however. I could spot so many of these corruptions still at work in our times, our politicians, and even our clergy. It is recorded that Voltaire doubted the existence of God. Perhaps Voltaire did not understand God, but he surely understood man. ( )
  phantomswife | Jul 6, 2018 |
Poor Candide. His privileged life comes to an abrupt end when circumstances change. Candide is confronted with starvation, battles & thieves. Calamity seemed to follow him everywhere. Through it all, he tries to remain optimistic based on his tutor's claim that things happen for the best. The writing was so well done. Who would have thought starvation, battles & thieves could be funny?

I want to add that the audio was narrated by Jack Davenport. He did a fabulous job with the voices and accents. I would love it if he did more narration. ( )
  godmotherx5 | Apr 5, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 217 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (104 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Voltaireprimary authorall editionscalculated
Adams, Robert MartinEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Aldington, RichardTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Berthelius, MarieTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bianconi, PieroTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bianconi, PieroTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Blake, QuentinIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Butt, John EverettTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Calvino, ItaloIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Clavé, AntoniIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cuffe, TheoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ellissen, AdolfTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fultz, W. J.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gargantini, StellaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gauffin, HansCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hermlin, StephanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Joseph, SydneyIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Klee, PaulIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lehmann, IlseÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
May, GitaIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mayer, HansAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Morand, PaulIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Morley, HenryTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nordberg, OlofTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nordin, SvanteAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Odle, AlanIllustratorsecondary 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
Wood, MichaelIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Voltaire was the wittiest writeer in an age of great wits, and "Candide" is his wittiest novel. The subject he chose to exercise his wit upon in this novel is one which conceerns all of us; surprisingly enough, that subject is the problem of suffering. However much we may try to avoid the problem, we are all confronted at some time with this difficulty, that the Creator has made a universe where suffering abounds. If the Creator is good and all-powerful, as we are told he is, could he not have made a better world? If he could, what prevented him? If he could not, can we still believe that he is good and all-powerful? Can we indeed believe in him at all? Or if we do, can we believe that he is at all concerned with men and their sufferings? In times of widespread disasters such questioning becomes more general and more urgent. We are living in such times; and so was Voltaire. [Butt's introduction]
There lived in Westphalia, at the country seat of Baron Thunder-ten-tronckh, a young lad blessed by Nature with the most agreeable manners. You could read his character in his face. He combined sound judgment with unaffected simplicity; and that, I suppose, was why he was called Candide. The old family servants suspected that he was the son of the Baron's sisteer by a worthy gentleman of that neighbourhood, whom the young lady would never agree to marry because he could only claim seventy-one quarterings, the rest of his family tree having suffered from the ravages of time. [Butt's translation]
In the castle of Baron Thunder-ten-tronckh in Westphalia there lived a youth, endowed by Nature with the most gentle character.
Quotations
"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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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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.
Attraverso la parabola del povero Candido, un inguaribile ottimista, il narratore continua a "portare uno sguardo rapido su tutti i secoli, tutti i paesi, e di conseguenza, su tutte le sciocchezze di questo piccolo globo". Pubblicato a Ginevra nel 1759, e immediatamente ristampato a Parigi, Londra, Amsterdam e altre città d'Europa, Candido consente a Voltaire di perfezionare il nuovo genere letterario da lui creato, il conte philosophique. Le convulse e mirabolanti disavventure del protagonista offrono all'autore l'opportunità di dimostrare la vanità dell'ottimismo razionalista leibniziano, che vedeva realizzato nell'universo il migliore dei mondi possibili, nonché di sviluppare una straordinaria lezione di sopravvivenza alle catastrofi della natura e della storia.
(piopas)
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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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:16 -0400)

(see all 9 descriptions)

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.… (more)

» see all 43 descriptions

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Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0143039423, 0140455108

Yale University Press

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

Editions: 0300106556, 0300119879

Tantor Media

2 editions of this book were published by Tantor Media.

Editions: 1400100445, 1400111080

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An edition of this book was published by Recorded Books.

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