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Candide

3.75  ·  Rating Details  ·  151,932 Ratings  ·  4,690 Reviews
Political satire doesn't age well, but occasionally a diatribe contains enough art and universal mirth to survive long after its timeliness has passed. Candide is such a book. Penned by that Renaissance man of the Enlightenment, Voltaire, Candide is steeped in the political and philosophical controversies of the 1750s. But for the general reader, the novel's driving princi ...more
Hardcover, 120 pages
Published March 5th 2002 by Modern Library (first published 1759)
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Rik McRik This book is a classic! A treasure of 18th-century satire. You're either a troll or a troglodyte. Go and read the Hunger Games again.
Leslie Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal by Christopher Moore, or other works by the same author. Also Straight Man by Richard…moreLamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal by Christopher Moore, or other works by the same author. Also Straight Man by Richard Russo.(less)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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David Lentz
Apr 20, 2012 David Lentz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Candide" is an accessible masterpiece which demonstrated to the world Volatire's genius as a satirist. The eponymous Candide is a young man tutored by an optimist who is convinced according to the cause and effect philosophy of Leibniz and perhaps is best summarized in Voltaire's leitmotif that human beings live in the "best of all possible worlds." Alexander Pope rather laughably made the same outrageous claim in his "Essay on Man" in which he writes, "Everything that is is right." How can thi ...more
Manny
- Bonjour, M. Candide! Bienvenue au site Goodreads! Qu'en pensez-vous?

- It's OK, we can speak English. Pour encourager les autres, as one might say.

- Eh... super! I mean, good! So, what do you make of twenty-first century Britain?

- Vraiment sympathique! I am reading of your little scandale with the expenses of the Houses of Parliament. It is a great moment for la démocratie. Now there will be des élections, the people will be able to choose better representatives, we will see that the country ha
...more
K.D. Absolutely
Mar 09, 2012 K.D. Absolutely rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to K.D. by: 501 Must Read Books; 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die (2006-2010)
panglossian - adj. characterized by or given to extreme optimism, especially in the face of unrelieved hardship or adversity.
If an English word came from a book's character, that must be something. If the book was written and first published in the 18th century and many people still read it up to now, that must be really something.

I thought Voltaire's Candide was a difficult boring slow long read. Wrong. Exactly the opposite. It's an easy, very entertaining, fast-paced and short (only 100 page
...more
Chris
Jul 01, 2009 Chris rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2009
Zounds! This book is wildly entertaining and I giggled all the way through Candide's awful adventures. Who would have thought that murder, rape, slavery, sexual exploitation, natural disaster, pillaging, theft, and every other oppression imaginable could be so funny?

Here's some pretty good insight from the old woman with one buttock:

"I have been a hundred times upon the point of killing myself, but still I was fond of life. This ridiculous weakness is, perhaps, one of the dangerous principles im
...more
Rakhi Dalal
Sep 17, 2013 Rakhi Dalal rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
I loved Candide! It is such a brilliant satire on the ideas observed through the glass of rosy eyed philosophy. “All is for the best in the best of all possible worlds”!!!

Candide, a young fellow, believes that whatever happens is for the best, courtesy his tutor Dr. Pangloss. The writing covers a number of unfavorable happenings and incidents, which should have been sufficient enough to let him abandon the colored glasses. But voila! Our man Candide is one optimist! He continues believing even
...more
Chris
Feb 24, 2008 Chris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone.
While fruitlessly searching for something decent to read, I invariably come across a ton of acclaim for total hacks being labeled as ‘master satirists’. God that pisses me off, especially since none of those books are worth a damn, and while the authors wrongly think they have something interesting or unique to say, the thing that really disheartens me is that someone out there agrees with them. For each of these books, there should be a simple label affixed to the front cover that reads ‘Not As ...more
Mike Puma
Aug 07, 2012 Mike Puma rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: french-author, 2012

3.5 stars rounded up for its Classic-ness.

Everyone knows this story, don’t they? A gentle-hearted and dimwitted pretty boy has his life turned upside-down, repeatedly, and in the most reprehensible ways—not just him, everyone he knows or admires or loves—all for the love of a woman* whose name is, presumably, premised on a joke, a pun, for female genitalia.

Yes, folks, a charming little picaresque which, in addition to being an extended opportunity for risqué jokes, afforded Voltaire a much-ne

...more
11


Poor Candide! He falls from one misadventure to another, getting kicked out of his home, drafted into foreign armies, gaining a fortune, losing a fortune, chasing the object of his desires the globe over, and almost burned at the stake as a heretic. All the while, his childhood teacher and traveling companion Dr. Pangloss rationalizes every turn of events as "for the best".

The all-knowing Universe would never let anything happen unless it was for the best. This is, after all, the best of all pos
...more
mai ahmd


من الأدب الساخر بطلها يدعى كانديدوترجمتها حسب ما قرأت هي الساذج
تقوم الرواية على فكرة أن العالم ملىء بالشر وإن الإنسان عليه أن لا يسرف بالتفاؤل ولعلها فعلا كما ظن جاك جان روسو كانت الرد على رسالته التي وجهها إلى فولتير والتي تنتقد النظرة التشاؤمية التي يكتب بها فولتير وإن كان يظن أن فولتير لم يطلع على تلك الرسالة مع إن كل الدلائل تشير لعكس ذلك ، ينتقد فولتير هذا العالم الممتلىء بالقسوة فالكل في هذه الرواية يبدو شريرا .. كما إنه لا توجد قوانين أخلاقية تجمع بين البشر ..بل المنفعة والأنانية والسل
...more
Brian Yahn
In only about 100 pages, Voltaire says more than your average 7 book series... Which would be great if most of what he talked about wasn't dated into irrelevance. So unless you're a French scholar, appreciating his satire seems unrealistic. Combine that with the speed at which the plot moves, and keeping up with Candide is definitely a chore. Truly enjoying his adventure seems like a privilege only possible for the super-educated.

At one time, Candide was a must-read. But, for the average person
...more
Rowena
Feb 20, 2013 Rowena rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a truly hilarious satire which starts with poor Candide being kicked out of the castle where he was born and brought up, after he falls in love with the baron’s daughter, Cunegonde. Then his troubles begin, and he ends up travelling all around the world looking for his beloved.

Candide experiences trial after trial, each one as bad and as far-fetched as the last. However, the way in which these trials were described did not make one feel too sorry for him; the story had more of the feel o
...more
Trevor
Jan 16, 2013 Trevor rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is quite a remarkable book – a satirical attack on the notion that we live in the best of all possible worlds and that therefore all that happens in such a world invariably happens for the best. Voltaire is supposed to have written the whole thing in barely three days – a rather productive half-week.

What I found particularly interesting here was the discussion of war – how the horrors of war are presented in such an off-hand way and almost invariably the utter inhumanity of what is describe
...more
Robert
If you can imagine a smooth blend of the Book of Job, Dante's Inferno, Cervantes' Don Quixote and Butler's Erewhon, with the addition of a heavy dollop of extra absurdity, you are getting close to the nature of Candide. That absurdity is what makes the tale funny and without it, it would be an unpaletable concoction.

There is a good deal of social and political satire, something I often find to be a little weak; it's easy to point and laugh, harder to say what might be better. Voltaire, does howe
...more
J.G. Keely
This book does not stick so well in my memory in either a negative or positive way, but I think this comes from the book being a mixture of two things which I could not feel more differently about: allegory and satire.

The first I find to be as silly and pointless as Aesop or Passion Plays. Characters in an allegory are oversimplified symbols, and so cannot comment on the nature of actual human beings. The style is already so firmly affixed to cultural states and norms that it cannot really say a
...more
Franco  Santos
¿Puede ser una obra humorística cuando esta se compone de sucesivas desgracias? Antes de leer Cándido, hubiera contestado que sería muy improbable, puesto que la esencia de un libro proviene de sus hechos y el sentir de sus personajes. Sin embargo, con este título me encuentro con un oxímoron, un relato contradictorio. Los acontecimientos de Cándido son para llorar hasta la deshidratación, no obstante, si tenemos en cuenta el porqué del autor para escribirlo, este libro es para desternillarse de ...more
Shovelmonkey1
Aug 11, 2011 Shovelmonkey1 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: optimists, anarchist, pacifists and 1001 readers
Recommended to Shovelmonkey1 by: comedy pianist Tim Minchin
This book is on the 1001 list and as a 1001 lister you might think that this was what prompted me to read this book. Think that and you would be wrong. Want to know what really prompted me to read this?

I wrote a letter to Mr Sony
I said, "Hey S-sony what's g-going down?
I've got a record and I reckon it's wicked
And I th-think you should s-spread it around."
He said, "Hey Tim, I quite like your work
He said, "It's clever and quirky
But I promise you this:
You could be clever as Voltaire
But it won't get
...more
Fabian
May 17, 2016 Fabian rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Slightly disappointed with the next-Gabriel Garcia Marquez, I took on this classic in one sitting.

JESUS.

Where has this one been all my life? I adore "Candide" because it is rife with adventure, it is a speedy read, and at the very end you experience a vortex of feelings and NOVEL concepts. It transcends literature itself.

Compare this to Dante. To Shakespeare. I could not help but smile at all the awful misadventures of our poor fool. This is made for someone, like me, who thinks "The Alchemist"
...more
Pradnya K.
Apr 08, 2016 Pradnya K. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What will happen if naivety decides to go on world tour? It'll be crushed by the harshness of reality, it'll be overjoyed to see the beautiful lands and meet the charming darlings, it'll fall prey to treachery and follies, it'll be looted, fooled, walked over and devastated definitely only to being cornered, force learn to defend itself and grow wiser.
Candide seems to be a travel journal of benevolent naivety in real world. Albeit the world here portrayed has lot of tragedies and violence, more
...more
Lee
Jan 02, 2016 Lee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Had no idea this was so cray. A buttock eaten off?! Wha?! All sorts of murders, pillaging, calamities, earthquakes, generally violent happenings. The best of all worlds, indeed. All of it moving forward at a quick clip, never worrying if a character who's been hanged or disemboweled reappears a little later just fine. Satirical, philosophical, funny like the butchered Black Knight in "The Holy Grail." Loved the bit about scholar of good taste's advice for what makes a successful tragedy -- what ...more
Samadrita
What a blistering criticism of blind prejudice, ignorance, religious dogma, class distinctions and the stubborn opposition to newer ideas and thoughts! I fully understand now why Voltaire's writings helped fuel the French Revolution.
Ahmed Oraby
Nov 27, 2014 Ahmed Oraby rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
رواية مضحكة جدًا
وممتعة لأبعد حد
أعجبتني سخرية فولتير من كل شئ الحقيقة
سخرية من اليهود
والمسيحية
وحتى المسلمين الأتراك
مليئة بالأفكار العظيمة ولكن بأسلوب بسيط
تتخللها فلسفة بسيطة للغاية
وتتجلى فيها رؤية وأفكار فولتير الفلسفية الساخرة
والتي جرت عليه النقد الشديد للغاية
كان يمكن أن تعجبني لو كنت قرأتها منذ ثلاثة قرون مثلًا
أحسست أني عدت بالزمن للوراء
تجربة جميلة جدًا مع فولتير
Hamid Hasanzadeh
Oct 27, 2013 Hamid Hasanzadeh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novel-novella
صدها بار خواستم خودکشی کنم ولی همیشه زندگی را بیشتر دوست داشتم. این مرضِ مسخره، شاید از بدترین غرایز باشد؛ چیزی احمقانه تر از این هست که باری را که می توانی روی زمین بگذاری بر دوش بکشی یا در ترس و وحشت زندگی کنی و همواره با آن بچسبی یا ماری را نوازش کنی که تو را می بلعد تا قلبت را نیز بخورد؟

در کاندید ، ولتر دیدگاه ساده لوحانه و خوش بینانه لایبنیتز، مبنی بر این که همه چیز در دنیا خوب است را ، به طرز زیرکانه ای زیر سوال می برد. کاندیدِ جوان که در قصر بارون زندگی می کند به گناه بوسه ای بر لبان دختر
...more
Dolors
Mar 20, 2013 Dolors rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2011
Having never read anything by Voltaire before I didn't know what to expect, but he being known as one of the greatest French philosophers of all times, I was prepared for a tedious and complex novel.

I couldn't have been wronger.

"Candide" is a satirical short tale, without ornaments, straight to the point, which describes the crudeness of human nature. We follow Candide and his friends travelling around the world and suffering all king of imaginable vicissitudes while trying to believe what thei
...more
Benjamin Duffy
Sep 13, 2011 Benjamin Duffy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-books
I think that Candide is probably the type of book that enriches the reader the deeper he or she delves into it. It would probably reward repeated readings. It would probably reveal deeper layers of satire and absurdity if it were read in the original French. It would probably take on deeper shades of meaning if it were read in conjunction with any of the commentaries that have been written about it over the past 250-odd years.

Having said that, I'm not going to do any of those things. I have way
...more
João Fernandes

(Convento do Carmo, partly destroyed by the 1755 Lisbon Earthquake)

"A hundred times I have wanted to kill myself, but I was still in love with life. This absurd weakness is perhaps one of our deadliest attachments: can anything be more foolish than to keep carrying a fardel and yet keep wanting to throw it to the ground? To hold one's existence in horror, and yet cling to it?"

The back of my edition of Candide has the following quote about the book:

"They must have lost their minds if they thin
...more
Alex
Shattered by the Lisbon earthquake that killed tens of thousands in 1755, Voltaire loses faith in higher order and produces Candide, his furious manifesto declaring that there is no justice in the world, no peace for the good nor punishment for the wicked. "This is the best of all possible worlds," Dr. Pangloss blithely declares while people get raped and disemboweled behind him. The plot is dizzying, hectic and horrifying. "We must cultivate our garden," says Candide finally, exhausted: it's a ...more
MacK
Jan 01, 2009 MacK rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I don't know quite how it happened, but this book has come up again and again over the past month. Though I read it in college and enjoyed it then, I had forgotten exactly what made Candide so brilliant.

It's not the characters. Though, to be fair, the characters are remarkable. A hopelessly naive protagonist you feel tremendous sympathy for along with a remarkable cast of characters from nobles to ne'er do wells, priests to prostitutes, philosophers, fanatics and fiends connect you with Voltaire
...more
Irishcoda
Feb 13, 2008 Irishcoda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was the best book for me to read at this moment in time! Right now, things have gone wrong with us financially, physically, emotionally and in just about every way. The last time this happened, I picked up Why Bad Things Happen To Good People and it felt "right". This time around, the satire and black humor was just right for me!

One thing that is really cool is that Candide's story is timeless, even though it was written in the 18th century! At some point, most people suffer and some more s
...more
Maria Espadinha
Jun 07, 2016 Maria Espadinha rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Para Um Mundo Melhor


Pontualmente, cada Acontecimento é a resultante dum conjunto de premissas que causaram a inevitabilidade do seu Acontecer.
Tudo está bem como está pois nada poderia estar onde não está.
Donde se conclui que Tudo está o Melhor Possível.

Note-se que, o que está aqui em causa não é a Imutabilidade do Todo.
Esta Filosofia apenas preconiza que qualquer alteração ao nível do que acontece, pressupõe uma investigação prévia da conjuntura responsável pelo Acontecimento.
Só a criação dum c
...more
Tweety
Jun 03, 2015 Tweety rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, reviewed
While this was amusing I don't think it was my kind of book.

Imagine all the worst things that can possibly happen to one person. And you'll not have thought of having their buttock chopped off to feed a army captain. Every character in this book comes to a horrible end and lives to tell the tale and have more bizarre happenings.

That said, as horrible as all the happenings are it was still amusing. Why? Because is was so utterly ridiculous. Candide himself is a fool. And really, none of the othe
...more
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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
...more
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“I have wanted to kill myself a hundred times, but somehow I am still in love with life. This ridiculous weakness is perhaps one of our more stupid melancholy propensities, for is there anything more stupid than to be eager to go on carrying a burden which one would gladly throw away, to loathe one’s very being and yet to hold it fast, to fondle the snake that devours us until it has eaten our hearts away?” 902 likes
“Fools have a habit of believing that everything written by a famous author is admirable. For my part I read only to please myself and like only what suits my taste.” 685 likes
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