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Candide and Other Stories

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3.94  ·  Rating details ·  4,178 ratings  ·  168 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, a ...more
Paperback, 302 pages
Published June 1st 2008 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published 1759)
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Average rating 3.94  · 
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Anthony Vacca
Jun 12, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Anthony by: Nathan "N.R." Gaddis
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
Ana
Having already read Candide, Zadig and Micromegas, I skipped to the following:

What pleases the ladies - a poem about a knight making a trip to Rome, makes a detour to Paris where a does harm to a pretty shop-girl's eggs and virtue so is brought before the queen; he is sentenced to hang unless he can gain pardon by finding "what pleases all the fair". (view spoiler)
...more
Alan
May 10, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Largely a critique of Leibnitz's 18C optimism, ours the "best of all possible worlds," Candide the character brings earnest sincerity to his explorations. They range from his teacher Pangloss's etiology of syphillis: Paquette from an erudite Franciscan, who had it from an elderly countess, who had it from a Capt. of cavalry...all the way back to a Jesuit, who during his novitiate had it from a companion of Columbus. Candide says, This is from the devil! Which Pangloss, a student of Leibnitz, den ...more
Zach
Mar 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
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
John Maberry
May 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
I read this book while in college, in a Humanities class. It moved and influenced me greatly as it came early on in my quest to come to grips with the disillusionment that my experiences in Vietnam caused me. I found myself identifying with Candide. For those of you old enough to remember Hubert Humphrey, he once referred to the Vietnam War as "our great adventure and a wonderful one it is." I imagined him as a latter day Pangloss. Professor Pangloss had a ready perspective on life in this world ...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
Lesle
Apr 17, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was surprised, Candide is a short novel, but is jammed packed with adventures and devastation.
The philosophy that was instilled on Candide (who is down to earth) is “All things happen for good” and “There is no effect without a cause.” He joins the Bulgarian Army and from there life takes good (from kindness) and bad (torturous) turns for him. After his life is saved yet again he is brought back to his true love and performs a double murder. He takes the two women to the New World in hopes of
...more
Laurien
Sep 26, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: 3rd-year-of-uni
I only read Candide but I feel like that's enough Voltaire for now, although I did enjoy exploring the text in detail. His use of satire and intelligent vocabulary makes for an enjoyable read, but knowing the background information kinda completes the experience. A good read for my course yay
Matthew
May 02, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There may be some dispute about what the purpose of philosophy should be, but one strong contender is that it should be about seeking the good life and finding happiness. In this selection of stories, Voltaire, the philosopher’s anti-philosopher, shows many characters seeking happiness in different ways, and we get to see just how elusive that happiness is.

This volume comprises six stories. Candide is of course the most famous one, and tells the tale of a young man dismissed as a servant and for
...more
Crishell
Dec 21, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My copy includes these stories:
Candide (of course)
Micromegas
Zadig
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
...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.
Lisa (Harmonybites)
Apr 28, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  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
Sam
Jul 10, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
J.T. Wilson
Five of the arch-scoundrel's tales compiled in one volume but diminished by their similarity to one another.

The title story is a classic: a cartoonish aggregation of improbable adventures, miseries and implausible escapes in which the hapless knave Candide must travel the globe and survive torture, murder, earthquakes, mutilation and the Spanish Inquisition in order to win the heart of his inamorata Cunegund.

The supporting material comes off as so many inferior versions. The eponymous hero in
...more
Rebecca
Aug 18, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  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
...more
Vanessochka
Dec 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Oh Voltaire.........Ive started a love hate relationship with you....

CANDIDE: I think Candide was a great first choice for an intro to Voltaire. I found this story very funny and surprising how long ago it was written. I think the character always makes you intrigued through all the trials and tribulations. It was well written and kept the reader engaged.
MICROMEGAS: Who knew a story like this was written by Voltaire??? I loved the giants and the curiosity of the unknown..
ZADIG: This was not one
...more
Taka
Candide--


"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,
...more
Maureen
Jul 05, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Maureen by: Mrs. Smith
Shelves: french
I read Candide in French class, and enjoyed it enormously. Pangloss' eternal optimism is a bit much to take, but it makes for a very entertaining read as Candide and Pangloss make their way through a downward spiral of experiences. Voltaire is still a smart, witty writer with a joie de vivre that comes through on every page.
Fadhl Alesayi
May 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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.
Leila
May 12, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
For some reason, I wrote "I have rich lady cheekbones" on the inside back cover. I have no idea why.
Nynke
Aug 14, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: university
3,5 stars.
Phillip
Aug 24, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
voltaire rules!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

one of the funniest books ever written.
Julie
Nov 02, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who enjoys philosophy... or a good laugh. Or both?
Hilarious and thought-provoking.
Kaju Janowski
Jul 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone who can think and have sense of humour
Shelves: to-buy
With his philosophical views, ironical approach and natural language Voltaire has my attention, reason and heart. To read more!
Saud Hanif
Apr 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Simply opting out may be no answer, since boredom may be the greatest evil of all."

A lesson well put in Candide by Voltaire.
Carol
Apr 03, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Wild fantasy world travel on a crazy scale. Fantasy love that puts romance novels to shame It is worthy of being read by everyone
Roz  Milner
May 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
...more
Mark
Dec 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Howard
May 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: naughty-classic
This is a wonderful collection of short stories including the famous Candide first published in 1759. I did not know what to expect of Candide or indeed anything from Voltaire; but I found Candide an immensely funny and clever tale. I now gather that it has been highly regarded since it was written (except of course the Catholic Church that banned it at the time for its insightful arguments against religious ideas and doctrines). The turn of phrase is skilfully funny and pithy. Candide is a Germ ...more
Pamela
Aug 27, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
(view spoiler) ...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
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