The Portable Voltaire
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

The Portable Voltaire

by
4.15 of 5 stars 4.15  ·  rating details  ·  265 ratings  ·  23 reviews
Satirist, novelist, poet, dramatist, historian, moralist, critic, courtier, and correspondent, champion of reason and fanatical adversary of fanaticism, a darling of kings with the unfortunate habit of turning them into enemies, François Arouet de Voltaire is one of the few writers to have imposed his name on an entire epoch. It is entirely appropriate that the French Enli...more
Paperback, 569 pages
Published July 28th 1977 by Penguin Books (first published 1949)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Portable Voltaire, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Portable Voltaire

The Norton Anthology of English Literature Vol. 1 by M.H. AbramsAnna Karenina by Leo TolstoyThe Norton Anthology of English Literature, Volume 2 by M.H. AbramsThe Portable Enlightenment Reader by Isaac KramnickThe Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
World Lit From 1600 to the Present: Basic Seminar Texts
66th out of 119 books — 16 voters
A World of Possibility by Christopher  ShieldsA World of Romance by Christopher  ShieldsStories and Scripts by Zack LoveUnsavory Elements by Tom  CarterThe Norton Anthology of English Literature, Vol 1 by M.H. Abrams
Anthologies
160th out of 234 books — 134 voters


More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 694)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Christian
I will be honest I have not read the whole dictionary or all the letters. The letters are just to pompous. Candide is a really great read. Voltaire is definately worth the time to read especiialy if you like Vonnegut, Dostoevsky, Sarte, or Camus.
Bob Nichols
In this selection of Voltaire's writings, three pieces in particular stand out. "Candide," the story of travels by a young man of that name, reads like a bad dream. Candide goes from one unfortunate situation to another in pursuit of his love. Each of his events is an opportunity for Voltaire to poke at the standard conventions of his day, particularly those espoused or manifested by religious leaders who are venal and corrupt, philosophers who are are thoughtless or foolish, and the powerful wh...more
Rtweneboah
Voltaire's 'Philosophical Dictionary' is one of my favorite reads and I personally enjoy 'Zadig' more than 'Candide', but it's nice to have many of his works in one book... So it's easy to refer to time and time again.
Pablo
Great allegories, and short stories. I particularly like "Zadig" as a fictional character in one of Voltaire's allegories. I stopped at three stars solely because I rushed through the last quarter of the book do to a slight loss of interest, and interruption by another book I had on my list, and was a bit desperate to read, hehe.
Joe Petri
I had pulled this off the shelf with the intent of just rereading Candide,and found pulled back in to this book. Voltaire's wit and relevancy stand the test of time, though for anyone unfamiliar with his work, I wouldn't recommend sitting down and writing this compilation of essays and non-fiction in hte order presented. Start with Candide and Zadig and then work your way back up front to
the philosophic essays or correspondence.
Casey
I haven't read the entire works, simply the translation of Candide done by Richard Aldington. It proved to be an incredibly easy and accessible read. Not something I expected from such an old book. I must say I prefer the excitement and hilarity embodied in Leonard Bernstein's stage musical version of Candide, but the book has its moments.
Benjamin Davidson
I recommend Candide in particular, the satirical story of a group of travelers fleeing war, and finding more and more senseless suffering as they go, accompanied by someone who seems to have pondered the problem of evil and come to the conclusion that this must be the best conceivable world as a result.
Liza
Wittiness at its best! Voltaire could be categorized as the king of quick thinking and come backs. I enjoyed reading this book but my favorite section is the Philosophical Dictionary, which shows how clever he was and why people enjoyed his company at the court of Versailles.

Corwin
This is a great window into the mind of Voltaire: his reflections on morality and mortality and art, his playful sarcasm, and his passion for reason, justice, and beauty. This could well be the perfect introduction to the enormously influential Enlightenment thinker.
John
What a strange character--slipping in and out of theism, becoming Frederick's pet, whining about his poor health and imminent death for 40 years… and how did "Candide" ever become more famous than the far superior "Zadig"?
Dana
Ah Voltaire. I found this in my room the other day. The front and back are still relabeled with a different title. After encouragement from my college friends, I changed it to the much more appropriate "The Wandering Voltaire".
Steve
If you like Kurt Vonnegut, read Voltaire! He's amazing! The philosophical dictionary is as hilarious as it is informative. All his fiction is great, but probably his best works are the lesser known ones.
Patrick
This book contains some of Voltaire's classic novellas and short stories, including Ingenu and Micromegas, which are two of my favorites (besides the always popular Candide).
Stephanie U.
Candide and Zadig are two of my favorite stories. They are quick reads and very entertaining. Voltaire's philosophical dictionary is also worth reading.
Paul Squires
Oct 18, 2008 Paul Squires rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: everybody.
Voltaire is beyond description. There will never be another writer anything like him. Reading his work is the pursuit of a lifetime.
Robert Corrao
Great insights into one of the leaders of the Enlightement and a courageous critic of the religious aristocrats of the time.
Wendy
Jan 24, 2009 Wendy is currently reading it
this is my "while eating dinner" book. he is light hearted, funny, and a great way to calm down my day.
James Spada
I love Voltaire but I don't think he would get no child left behind in its full magnitude.
Peter Holst
Some amazing stuff and a lot of highly esoteric essays that I will likely never absorb.
Valerie Van Haltern
all Voltaire is worth reading and also, his Dictionary
Lindsay
Feisty and funny. Not sure about the politics.
Tim
It was very good, I am glad I read it.
Danielle
edited by ben ray redman in 1949, this is a very good collection of voltaire's work: shorts, essays, letters and his philosophical dictionary. i have a few other publications of voltaire's work that aren't viking penguin but have not yet compared the translations. i generally find, though, that viking penguin translations aren't that bad.
Amber
Amber marked it as to-read
Sep 16, 2014
Alex Reynolds
Alex Reynolds marked it as to-read
Sep 15, 2014
Jeremiah Curran
Jeremiah Curran marked it as to-read
Sep 13, 2014
Nicholas MR
Nicholas MR marked it as to-read
Sep 09, 2014
Oonajunni
Oonajunni marked it as to-read
Sep 13, 2014
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 23 24 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Portable Karl Marx
  • Selected Writings
  • The Portable Thoreau
  • The Portable Machiavelli
  • Revelations of the Medieval World (A History of Private Life, #2)
  • The Waste Books
  • Selected Writings
  • The Autobiography and Other Writings
  • The Essential Epicurus (Great Books in Philosophy)
  • The Complete Works
  • Prisoner without a Name, Cell without a Number
  • Bible and Sword: England and Palestine from the Bronze Age to Balfour
  • Major Works: Selected Philosophical Writings
  • Experience and Nature
  • The Portable Oscar Wilde
  • Examined Life: Philosophical Meditations
  • Política para Amador
  • The Basic Writings of C.G. Jung
5754446
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) Candide, Zadig and Selected Stories Philosophical Dictionary

Share This Book