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Candide and Other Stories (World's Classics)

3.92 of 5 stars 3.92  ·  rating details  ·  2,747 ratings  ·  123 reviews
Candide is the most famous of Voltaire's "philosophical tales," in which he combined witty improbabilities with the sanest of good sense. First published in 1759, it was an instant bestseller and has come to be regarded as one of the key texts of the Enlightenment. What Candide does for chivalric romance, the other tales in this selection--Micromegas, Zadig, The Ingenu, an ...more
Published November 22nd 1990 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published 1759)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Anthony Vacca
After dismissing Candide as something probably dumb for the better part of twelve years, I decided to finally read Voltaire’s most famous work, thanks to the prodding of fellow GR-er Nathan “N.R.” Gaddis , who in turn gets all his best ideas from Steven Moore, such as choosing this English translation as opposed to all the others. In any case, I’m happy to report that Roger Pearson’s translation of Candide is the cat’s pyjamas. Never has rape, mutilation, murder, amputations, public burnings an ...more
Adriane Devries
Candide is perhaps sixteenth-century French philosopher Voltaire’s most memorable work. It is his anthem of a world view that challenges the naïve notion that all of man’s troubled existence is “the best of all possible worlds.” Voltaire moves his protagonist Candide through every conceivable trauma available in his time period: enlistment in the army, beatings, shipwrecking, robbery, torture by the Inquisition, and separation from his beloved Cunégonde, for whom all his sufferings began; expose ...more
Jackie "the Librarian"
Another one I read in French class, although I cheated and got a copy of the English translation.
What a wacky story! We live in the best of all possible worlds, according to Dr. Pangloss. And yet Candide suffers through trial and tribulation, and meets the victims of terrible situations. Mainly, I remember something about women forced to slice off one butt cheek each to have something to eat.
Absurdity at its finest.
Eliana Rivero
Quien piense que la literatura y la filosofía no pueden estar ligados, no ha leído a Voltaire. Las dos novelas cortas (porque Cándido y El ingenuo deberían ser consideradados como novelas cortas) y los cuatro cuentos que nos presenta este autor francés, representante de la Ilustración, son sus versiones altamente paródicas sobre los cuentionamientos en torno a la vida. A parte de la vida y sus intrincadas tragedias, se cuestiona mucho las corrientes de pensamiento que imperaban en esa época (sig ...more
My copy includes these stories:
Candide (of course)
The Ingenu
The White Bull

Among all five stories, my favourite is the “The Ingenu” because it was simple and yet concise and very meaningful. Candide and Zadig are two similar stories (in my opinion) the ideas and wits are the same. I enjoyed every bit of Voltaire’s witty short stories. It’s not that FUNNY (like The Family Guy or SNL type of humour by today’s modern world) but it must have been a good laughing experience reading Volt

"The Baron was one of the most powerful noblemen in Westphalia, for his castle had a door and windows."

Now,that's funny. And so are all the disasters and contretemps imaginable that beat down on our hero Candide.

I appreciated Voltaire's biting philosophical satire that Candide is - it's funny in places and keeps the story going without dwelling on the finer points of philosophy, which explains its tremendous popularity when it was published and got banned by the Pope.

The story, however,
At seven stars for Candide, and three stars for the other nearly identical Voltaire works included in this book (Ingenu, White Bull, Zadig and Micromegas), the average neatly comes out to a hearty five stars. I'm not sure if it's just the work of this translator, but the writing and biting sarcasm feels very modern; perhaps Voltaire's antipathy is something people of any age can relate to. The writing easily reaches out through the ages, giving a finger to the modern reader in a sarcastic voice ...more
Megan Villasenor
this book shows how Candide went from Riches to rags. he goes on a long journey just to find what he thinks is the main purpose of life. there is a lot of repetition in the book and miscommunication. at first the repetition is unseen and you're confused on how it happened, but later on it becomes funny, ridiculous and foreseen. the book tries to answer many philosophical questions about life throughout Candide's journey and we see how Candide tried to answer them in a humorous way. however, over ...more
Aaron Zimmerman
This book deals with incredible tragedy. From Candide to Pangloss to Miss Cunegonde to the old woman to the other great characters in the story, they all help create a very depressing tragedy. However, despite these struggles and all their life experiences, they all manage to come together and learn from one another. The best part of the story is when Candide goes to a village in the remote village of Eldorado. They discover a new way of life, outside of all the religious persecution and all the ...more
Brittany Barth
Voltaire's Candide is a wonderful tale of the journey a man will embark on to reach his true love. Though devastating losses and euphoric victories Candide and his fellow travelers encounter, Voltaire pulls you into the story and makes you feel as though you are right in the center of the action and traveling the world with these dynamic characters. Embedded in this classic tale are countless opportunities to discover different ways of looking at the good and bad situations that will inevitably ...more
Io capovolgerei il titolo. Seriamente.
Candido è confusionario, assurdo nell'accezione negativa del termine, e scritto evidentemente solo per: 1) illustrare il proprio pensiero; 2) rispondere alle accuse o lanciare frecciatine verso altri personaggi di rilievo.
Gli altri racconti sono molto meglio. Non mancano il pensiero filosofico e le frecciatine (una su tutte: quella a Swift, e "al posto che solo lui citerebbe e che io non nomino perché rispetto le signore"), ma ci sono anche storie e person
Saddened by the great Lisbon earthquake that killed tens of thousands Voltaire penned this classic story of a simple man enduring countless adversities and hanging on to the notion that all works out for the best and that this is the best possible of worlds.

This brand of positivism that was espoused by many including Leibniz was essentially the idea that everything has some good attached to it, even great evil. Voltaire couldn't see how this could be and attacked this in Candide. Voltaire hated
For some reason, I wrote "I have rich lady cheekbones" on the inside back cover. I have no idea why.
Mj AL-Hadad
I was introduced to Voltaire in my Medieval Europe course and I decided to give Candide a try since it is considered one of Voltaire most prominent works. Candide is a naive and an optimistic man who goes through terrible experiences and gets expose to the cruel and corrupt nature of humans, institutions and governments. It is also filled with philosophical lessons, the most significant is that work is the only way to make life bearable.
Micromegas illustrate the nature of beings and how dissatis
Voltaire's Candid is brilliantly lucid both in prose and reasoning. Real events, reminiscent of our slightly darker nature and concatenated one after the other in what may look like an endless stream of absurdities, are in fact a simple reminder of the true face of the human psyche, which has been a major cause of relentless suffering until it reached the fine conclusion that 'all is for the best'. It points the way towards the Absurd that rests beyond the good and evil, and perhaps forewarns us ...more
M. Milner
A compact collection that pairs Voltaire’s most famous work with a handful of lesser known stories, the Oxford World Classic’s edition of Candide is an interesting read but one that left me wanting a lot more.

A short tale and infamous almost right off the bat, Candide follows a the titular character through Europe, the New World and a couple places not exactly on the map, showing up philosophers and organized religion everywhere he goes. He’s a guy with a cheerful sort of naïveté, always looking
Lisa (Harmonybites)
Feb 13, 2012 Lisa (Harmonybites) rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Lisa (Harmonybites) by: Good Reading: 100 Significant Books
Voltaire is a famous philosopher of the Enlightenment, and Candide his most famous work. It's very short, less than a hundred pages, and the edition I read filled out the book with three other novellas, Zadig, Ingenu, The White Bull and a short story Micromegas. Although Candide is the most celebrated work in the book, it wasn't necessarily my favorite--but I did find it amusing. Candide is a satiric send-up of Leibniz's theory of optimism through Candide's mentor Dr. Pangloss, who believes we l ...more
Mike Steven
It's 18th century French satire and I'm not from the 18th century, nor am I French, so I was a little worried that I may have different frames of reference to the author. However, I'm delighted to say that there is much in this collection of short stories that is genuinely really funny. The ridiculousness of 'Candide' repeating his mantra that "This is the best of all worlds" as a series of misfortunes befall him, is genuinely funny. There are references in all of the stories that you cannot und ...more
As an important and (at the time) daring work of satire, Candide ranks in importance with any of the more 'academic' works of enlightenment philosophy.


Satire does not age well; what might have passed for funny, outrageous or seditious two hundred years ago will find little purchase today. If the reader needs to be constantly prompted by footnotes into understanding why a particular text is bitingly satirical it then that is proof positive that the intended audience who would have apprecia
Martin Hernandez
De este libro solamente recuerdo los primeros dos cuentos, "Cándido" y "Micromegas". "Cándido, o el Optimismo" es una divertidísima sátira de la filosofía positivista de LEIBNIZ, y es un muestrario de los horrores del mundo del siglo XVIII. En Cándido, LEIBNIZ está representado por el filósofo Pangloss, tutor del protagonista. A pesar de observar y experimentar una serie de infortunios, Pangloss afirma repetidamente que "todo sucede para bien" y que vive en "el mejor de los mundos posibles" pero ...more
Justin Evans
I confess I didn't read all of the stories here, but the three earlier tales (Candide, Micromegas and Zadig) are all well worth while. Zadig in particular is the kind of thing I dislike- Arabian-Nights inspired strings of deeds aren't really my cup of tea- and yet it went down reasonably well. Micromegas is fine, but there's not much reason to read it instead of Gulliver's Travels. The main attraction, on the other hand, really is a doozy.

'Candide' actually shocked me, which is impressive, beca
Aug 20, 2008 Rebecca rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: academics
As much credit as this book (novella, actually) typically gets, I think my expectations may have been a bit high going into it. I had heard people say that Candide was absolutely hilarious, and it was referenced all the time in other books and in history classes.

I did think the story was funny at times, and I appreciated Voltaire's caustic wit and his lampooning of religious figures. His mockery of the traditional tale of chivalry was clever and well-done, too. However, whether because I'm not f
Candide was actually my least favourite of the stories in this selection. It started off well, but it soon lost my interest. I can see its literary merit and it was amusing at times, but it just wasn't interesting or entertaining for me. If it were not for the other stories, which I found to be a lot more insightful and much more interesting, I probably would have given this reading two stars, but Voltaire redeemed himself with The Ingenu and The White Bull.
Matthew Smothers
If you love traveling and old French novels, Voltaire’s Candide is the book for you. If you like optimistic out looks on love and life, maybe you should pass on this. When Candide is caught kissing the baron’s daughter, Cunégonde, Candide is banished from his home. That sets in place a series of adventures that include traveling, love, deception, and murder. Candide has to go to places like Paris and Turkey among others. Ideas of Theology, and Philosophy are explored in the novel.
Candide by Voltaire was bittersweet. As a novella it left a lot to be desired. The plot rushed through events rapidly, leaving little time for expressive writing or vivid descriptions. Furthermore the hyperbolic sequence of events—exile, defeat, rape, murder, cannibalism, servitude, and so on—made it hard to relate to the characters. However, as a philosophical satire it was brilliant. Candide’s epic is thought provoking and has many layers of meaning. Through it Voltaire explores the weight and ...more
Yasiru (reviews will soon be removed and linked to blog)
I come to wonder whether wit blinds us to profundity quite as often as it makes the latter more palatable. Such writers as Voltaire and Wilde then have consigned themselves to only superficial appreciation from the masses if this is so.

Thus far I've only read Candide of these 'philosophical tales', but this already makes the present collection an important one, because Candide is really a blueprint for what we call dystopian fiction today, written to question the reach of Leibniz's popular (and
I didn't know how funny Voltaire was. Candide had me laughing out loud a good deal of the time. The humor reminded me of South Park. Really. The same absolute disregard of any propriety. Reading this book, first published in 1759, gave me the conviction that we humans really can communicate across "the wrackful siege of battering days," as Shakespeare put it in Sonnet 60.

Along with reading this edition I listened along to the very fine, very witty narration by Jack Davenport in the AudioGO edit
Fadhl Alesayi
Candide is one of the best book I've read because it talks about a peroson (Candide) who is kicked out of a castle after he steals a kiss from his lover. After that, his adventures starts. The story of Canide reveals the differences of several societies at that era and how a human being is treated differently.
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Complete works (1880) :
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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