Candide by Voltaire
(Dover Thrift Editions)

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This little story, written in three days, is a bracing reminder of what complete idiots most humans are. Candide has never gone out of style and appears in English in a number of translations.
-Curled Up


Caustic and hilarious, Candide has ranked as one of the world's great satires since its first publication in 1759. It concerns the adventures of the youthful Candide, disciple of Dr. Pangloss, who was himself a disciple of Leibniz. In the course of his travels and adventures in Europe and South America, Candide saw and suffered such misfortune that it was difficult for him to believe this was "the best of all possible worlds" as Dr. Pangloss had assured him. Indeed, it seemed to be quite the opposite. In brilliantly skewering such naïveté, Voltaire mercilessly exposes and satirizes romance, science, philosophy, religion, and government — the ideas and forces that permeate and control the lives of men.
After many trials and travails, Candide is reunited with Cunegonde, his sweetheart. He then buys a little farm in Turkey where he and Cunegonde, Dr. Pangloss and others all retire. In the end, Candide decides that the best thing in the world is to cultivate one's own garden. A selection of the Common Core State Standards Initiative.

About Voltaire

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François-Marie Arouet, writing under the pseudonym Voltaire, was born in 1694 into a Parisian bourgeois family. Educated by Jesuits, he was an excellent pupil but one quickly enraged by dogma. An early rift with his father-who wished him to study law-led to his choice of letters as a career. Insinuating himself into court circles, he became notorious for lampoons on leading notables and was twice imprisoned in the Bastille. By his mid-thirties his literary activities precipitated a four-year exile in England where he won the praise of Swift and Pope for his political tracts. His publication, three years later in France, of Lettres philosophiques sur les Anglais (1733)-an attack on French Church and State-forced him to flee again. For twenty years Voltaire lived chiefly away from Paris. In this, his most prolific period, he wrote such satirical tales as "Zadig" (1747) and "Candide" (1759). His old age at Ferney, outside Geneva, was made bright by his adopted daughter, "Belle et Bonne," and marked by his intercessions in behalf of victims of political injustice. Sharp-witted and lean in his white wig, impatient with all appropriate rituals, he died in Paris in 1778-the foremost French author of his day.
Published March 7, 2012 by Dover Publications. 146 pages
Genres: Young Adult, Literature & Fiction, Education & Reference, Arts & Photography, Law & Philosophy, History, Travel, Humor & Entertainment, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Action & Adventure, Political & Social Sciences, Children's Books, Romance, Crafts, Hobbies & Home. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for Candide
All: 7 | Positive: 7 | Negative: 0


Above average
Reviewed by Julian Barnes on Jul 01 2011

While a lot of the contemporary references have faded and fallen with time...the novel itself remains as fresh and pertinent as ever. Most of us come into this world as innocent and hopeful as Candide, even if most of us discover, slowly or quickly, that there is no pre-established harmony to life.

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Above average
Reviewed by Luke Bodell on Jul 05 2010

Perhaps the sharpest, wittiest book to ever have been written...What is unique about Candide is that it deals with serious philosophical arguments in hilarious fashion; it is therefore accessible to any reader - one who seeks either intellectual or comedic stimulation, or both.

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Curled Up

Reviewed by Brian Charles Clark on May 03 2006

This little story, written in three days, is a bracing reminder of what complete idiots most humans are. Candide has never gone out of style and appears in English in a number of translations.

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Inverarity is not a Scottish village

Above average
on Sep 12 2014

Voltaire's version of the age-old question, "If God is good, why do bad things happen to good people?" is delivered with over-the-top satire. As a story, it is funny at times...but the characters aren't meant to in any way behave like real people, nor are the events meant to be taken seriously.

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Rebecca Reads

Above average
Reviewed by Rebecca Reid on Aug 18 2011

...Voltaire seems to me to be arguing for a realistic and reasonable approach to life. The humorous look at both optimism and pessimism...provides fuel for his fire...It’s clear to me why Candide is a classic, even if the writing isn’t my favorite and the philosophy feels a little bit over my head.

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Iris on Books

Above average
Reviewed by Iris on May 20 2010

All in all, I think Voltaire was a very enjoyable and informative read. I have to admit, I could almost call it “pure entertainment”. I laughed a lot while reading this book. That being said, I have to admit that I couldn’t read the book in one sitting. I had to take one-hour breaks, because silliness can become too much to handle at times.

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Above average
Reviewed by Bob Corbett on Jan 01 2014

The story centers around the philosophical notion associated with the famous German philosopher, Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz. He held that this is the most perfect of all possible worlds. The novel, however, is a satire...the novel is certainly a delightful romp of improbability with lots of challenges and fun.

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