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Candide, Zadig and Selected Stories
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Candide, Zadig and Selected Stories

4.1 of 5 stars 4.10  ·  rating details  ·  1,329 ratings  ·  53 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.
Paperback, 1 page
Published May 1st 1961 by Signet Classics (first published January 1st 1961)
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Colton
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
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
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
Diocletian
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
Mshelton50
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
Kirby Mason
No one ever thought philosophy could be funny. And then there was Voltaire!
nathank
"A riot. A Simple, funny story that is just a great satire on so many things."
Sherri
Candide was very funny--can't believe I hadn't read this earlier.
4Christelle =]
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
...more
Fabian
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
...more
Jordan
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
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
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
Greg Tomasulo
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
KC
Read it in high school... and was surprised to enjoy it.
Debra
Enjoyed this book. Candide is continuously getting himself into a mess!heheheh
Patrice
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.
Bria
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.
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
James
Feb 02, 2011 James rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  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
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..
Skellington
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.
Jorge
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.
Kristy
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.
Stephen Hren
Candide is one of the cornerstones of satire. Along with Swift and Rabelais, these guys have been keeping me chuckling pointing out the depths of human follies, so evident in our current times.
Briana
I realized that in the whirlwind that was the Honors Humanities Sequence, I didn't give a lot of books a fair chance. Let's see how I like them when I have more than a week to read them.
Bruno Sia
Voltaire is the kind of those rare complete authors, mixing the life teachings, the metaphysics and the poetry in a caldron tempered with an old and spicy irony. Just fell in love.
Siyuan
even though the philosophy is simpler than in Candide, for some reason I've always liked Zadig more, maybe because it had more of a conventional story and plot structure to hold it up.
Patrice
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.
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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 name Voltaire, he was released after agreeing to move to London. T ...more
More about Voltaire...
Candide Zadig Candide and Other Stories (World's Classics) Philosophical Dictionary Micromegas

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