Book: Candide, or Optimism


When one thinks of philosophy, one thinks of how dry and boring it must be. Apparently I was wrong, very wrong indeed.

Voltaire is a philosopher that I have come across in a number of other books. I have always wanted to give his works a try but I never expected it to be so witty and funny. It’s just brilliant.

The book is very fast paced and follows Candide on his journeys, from when he is kicked out of the castle and his many misadventures after that. The chapters pass by so quickly and there’s always so much happening and snide remarks being thrown left-right and center at a variety of topics of the day (the day being the 18th century). I’m quite sure I’m missing a good deal of context, but it’s such an enjoyable read. Problem after problem, disaster after disaster befall poor Candide and his optimistic worldview is challenged greatly. Add to that a cast of characters that just add a degree of life to the story as well as absurd and unbelievable plot twists and this book is hilarious.

Despite not knowing the full context of that time period, one can still see the arguments being presented for or against (mostly against) certain philosophies. It’s quite an eye-opening experience.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a bit of fun. It’s satire at it’s best and you will not be disappointed. Β And may I bring to your attention how absolutely gorgeous this particular version is? It’s going on my wish-list.

Candide

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