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Candide, Zadig, and Selected Stories

4.09  ·  Rating Details ·  2,026 Ratings  ·  64 Reviews
With Candide-a classic parody of the romantic, coming-of-age story-and the fifteen other stories in this indispensible collection, Voltaire derided the bureaucracies of his day with ruthless wit. His dissections of science, spiritual faith, legal systems, vanity, and love make him the undisputed master of social commentary.
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Published May 1st 1961 by Signet Classics (first published January 1st 1961)
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Gavgav yes, the Good Brahman is in this collection. Try gutenberg.org for old public-access .pdf's of classics.
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Fabian
Dec 03, 2012 Fabian rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Well, I already reviewed Candide the first time I read it. Here is my paper comparing Voltaire with Bernard Shaw (I know! I know--it's a wee bit overstretching it)

Candida vs. Candide: Correlating Elements
In the Works by Voltaire and Shaw

When Bernard Shaw decided to write his Candida—a very strong name for a very strong individual (indeed, he knew that this type of name would require much effort in part of the gifted playwright to back it up, to support it, to be worthy of so strong and evocativ
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Jordan
Jul 26, 2008 Jordan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Most philosophers I think tend to pen a bleak outlook on life in general. With Voltaire his outlook seems to be more the balance between good and evil and your perception of the world. An optimist sees the good and a pessimist sees the bad but yet both qualities are out there in world for you to experience. I've truthfully never been into philosophy outside of my own pseudo philosophical ideas but Candide and Zadig are extremely fun, witty, and wimsical stories which expound on Voltaire's philos ...more
Colton
Mar 23, 2014 Colton rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Warning: Spoilers
This review is over Candide, a tale of adventure. The pack of action does not let up until the story slowed down for the end, which made the story arc difficult for me to distinguish. This did not make it a bad story. I appreciate a book, specifically the tale of Candide, for its brevity; little to no time is wasted with meaningless, useless, worthless details and elaboration. While reading, I thought about three different intellectual women in our world and how they would all
...more
Thaisa Frank
Jul 01, 2012 Thaisa Frank rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Since I wrote the Afterward for Viking/Penguin, I had to read this book thoroughly and started out unhappily, since so many of Volatire's pltos are preditcable. What I found most enticing were his very short stories (perahps one page) and his accordian-like sense of time that chooses to highlight trivial events and barely mention important ones--no doubt Voltaire's sense of time, but also his sense of how the world pays attention. Some of this is very funny--there are at least two complaints of ...more
Marie
Dec 17, 2014 Marie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Voltaire's bitter sarcasm survives translation and time. His themes get a bit repetitive, but the frustrations are timeless.

I particularly liked Zadig, though I wonder how it would feel to a middle eastern reader. I found it interesting that Voltaire so often wrote about non-european characters. Zadig and Ingenuous were both virtuous paragons confronting European foibles. Another story took it a step further, with virtuous aliens from Saturn and SIrus coming to Earth to see how weird we are. A b
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Michael
OK, so apparently Candide was first and foremost intended as a swipe at Philosophical Optimism, an idea championed by Leibnitz, the guy who we remember today as The Other Guy Who Developed Calculus. Philosophical Optimism was – so far as I can tell – the semi-theological (or maybe totally-theological) notion that this crazy old world is necessarily the best of all possible worlds, even if it often doesn’t seem much like that to those of us who happen to live here. And wow, Voltaire really lays i ...more
Noah
This book is a collection of some of Voltaire's fictional stories, in which he criticizes many commonly held views in his day. Religion, philosophy, and politics were all attacked, as nothing was sacred from Voltaire's semi-comedic criticism. The criticisms he makes of his contemporary society are usually very good, although, unfortunately, he does not take them far enough. Among many flaws, the two that mainly stick out are his ethnic stereotypes and sexism. This is not in and of itself surpri ...more
Beate Matvejeva
Jun 13, 2016 Beate Matvejeva rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed it..i mean it is Voltaire haha. loved his bitter sarcasm and the rather easy approach to things.
however i have to say I liked Zadig much more than Candide!
Kirby Mason
Feb 02, 2011 Kirby Mason rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
No one ever thought philosophy could be funny. And then there was Voltaire!
nathank
Dec 17, 2009 nathank rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"A riot. A Simple, funny story that is just a great satire on so many things."
Sherri
Jan 28, 2009 Sherri rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Candide was very funny--can't believe I hadn't read this earlier.
Spencer Beam
Jan 15, 2017 Spencer Beam rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Zadig is, hands down, my favorite short story of all time and a large part of me believes that will never change.

The wit and writing in every one of these stories is top notch and excellent. Would always recommend.
4Christelle =]
May 12, 2009 4Christelle =] rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The book, “My friend Flika”, was banned from schools because they called a female dog a bitch. WHAT!?! IS THAT IT? People use the word bitch, to call other people by it. Books like “Inside the company, CIA Diary”, should be banned from schools, bookstores and libraries, because that book tells the readers everything that is going on inside the company and revealed the identity of many of CIA’s agents.

Every book is written for different purpose. Some tells about their life stories, which sometim
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Mshelton50
Mar 11, 2014 Mshelton50 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Voltaire is my favorite author, and I come back to him over and over with delight, particularly when the world annoys or oppresses me. We can all benefit from his teachings. Are you brooding and philosophizing? Then get busy ("cultivate our garden," as Candide says). Are you disgusted with the world's hypocrisies, and feel as if the planet should be smashed? Resolve to leave the world as it is, for even "if all is not well, all is passable." The greatest joy in reading Voltaire is his rapier wit ...more
Emma
Voltaire's writing is very different from anything today, but still worth reading. Purely as fiction, I suppose it has its weaknesses, but it's clear that Voltaire was writing philosophy first, fiction second. For that reason, if it were read without keeping in mind that it's unlike the fiction we're used to today, I can understand why it would be difficult to read. The ups-and-downs and bizarre characters of Candide's story make it entertaining as well as thought-provoking, depending on your se ...more
Pete
Aug 02, 2011 Pete rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Zadig --> The whole tale is filled with situations where bad things keep beating him down because of his talents. And of course, the moral of the story is that for every million grains of sands that are crushed on the beach, one becomes a diamond. Highly recommend this one for its humor and satire that is still true even though it was written by a French Philosoph in the 18th century.
Candide --> In the end they learn that everything is pointless and they have nothing better to do than cult
...more
Raymond Walker
Mar 17, 2016 Raymond Walker rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It is rare that you get an intelect in this range. And that this intellect is an artistic intelect rather than a scientific or matematical one is made even more surprising by the rationality of the author. To say that FMA De Voltaire is a genius is undermining his capabilities. In an age of chaos he gave voice to truth even when possibly at the expense of his life. Through all the many years of my life (lol- though i am not that old) and all i have read i find de voltaire one of the most imortan ...more
Greg Tomasulo
Apr 02, 2008 Greg Tomasulo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is the Enlightenment's version of a Steve Martin movie, except the book is (a) intelligent and (b) actually funny. It is one of the very few books that I've read several times, and it makes me laugh out loud each time. It satirically criticizes the organization of religion, politics, and social structure of the times, although most of the criticisms are (sadly) still relevant today. Zadig is also a good story with a very similar tone, and both are less than 100 pages each so they are q ...more
Courtney
1) Candide
2) Zadig
3) Micromegas
4) The World as It Is
5) Memnon
6) Bababec and the Fakirs
7) History of Scarmentado's Travels
8) Plato's Dream
9) Account of the Sickness, Confession, Death, and Apparition of the Jesuit Berthier
10) Story of a Good Brahman
11) Jeannot and Colin
12) An Indian Adventure
13) Ingenuous
14) The One-Eyed Porter
15) Memory's AdventureCount Chesterfield's Ears and Chaplain Goudman
Bria
Apr 03, 2011 Bria rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Since I am not familiar with the political and literary landscape of 18th century Europe, I often get only the barest trace of understanding of the satire and criticisms in a lot of these stories. I imagine Voltaire would have a similar reaction if he were to watch the Simpsons. A lot of the time you can infer what the joke is, but it's hard to have a full appreciation if you're unfamiliar with the person or situation.
Patrice
Jun 12, 2009 Patrice rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book, the second time around. I read it in French the first time. I missed so much.
I've seen the show a couple of times. I missed so much.

But this time, I could not put the book down and I laughed out loud several times. Brilliantly written satire. It reminds me a bit of Don quixote and a lot of Woody Allen. He mocks philosophy, has a very negative view of life but tells the story in such a light hearted way that you just have a great time reading it.
Ron
Jan 19, 2010 Ron rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My introduction to Voltaire. I found "Candide" and most of the other stories to be OK, but to me "Zadig" was a delight. Besides being fun and somewhat crazy, the story introduces deductive reasoning more than 100 years before the first appearance of its most famous proponent, Sherlock Holmes. I will be reading "Zadig" again.
Jorge
Dec 31, 2008 Jorge rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Probably the oldest book I've read but it flows much better than other old books I've read. The Lisbon earthquake parts spooked me a bit since I was in Lisbon reading it on the anniversary of the earthquake. Didn't know that was in the book.
Skellington
Jul 27, 2009 Skellington rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I mostly used this translation as an aid to the original French version I was plowing through. To those who have a bit of French, I recommend it in the original -- Voltaire's writing flows in a way that can be appreciated even by those (like me) who aren't fluent.
James
Jan 26, 2011 James rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those who enjoyed "Arabian Nights," anyone for whom it is required reading for school.
"Zadig" and "Plato's Dream" earn five stars, but sadly, the other stories included in this collection do not measure up, granted we do have "Candide," "The Jesuit Berthier," "The One-Eyed Porter," and Memory's Adventure," but the other stories are downright tedious and annoying to read.
Jamila Jam
May 19, 2009 Jamila Jam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I already read this a long time ago but am coming back to it again..knowing that I have forgotten most of it I find some stories enchanting :)surreal & real at the same time..different stories but all linked by a strange bond called life..the pursuit of happiness is the way to the way..
Kristy
Feb 13, 2009 Kristy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm saving Candide for later, but I read Zadig and the 14 other stories in this lovely volume packed full of Voltaire at his satirical, philosophical, humorous, bureaucracy-hating, freedom-loving best.
Maria
Mar 01, 2015 Maria rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
Upon reading Candide for the second time I realized that ... my opinion has no changed. I'm just not that into satire?
Patrice
Jul 03, 2008 Patrice rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book manages to be both lightly amusing and morbidly depressing at the same time. It is a bitter, witty commentary on 18th century society, literature, philosophy and politics.
Rusty
May 17, 2010 Rusty rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Like reading a Saturday Night Live skit from the 18th Century--great satire of war, exile, and the horrible acts humans do to other humans.
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Complete works (1880) : https://archive.org/details/oeuvresco...
In 1694, Age of Enlightenment leader Francois-Marie Arouet, known as Voltaire, was born in Paris. Jesuit-educated, he began writing clever verses by the age of 12. He launched a lifelong, successful playwriting career in 1718, interrupted by imprisonment in the Bastille. Upon a second imprisonment, in which Francois adopted the pen na
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