(English Translation with Introduction)

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Author: Voltaire (François-Marie Arouet)
Published: 1759
Language: English
Wordcount: 36,710 / 112 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 77.4
LoC Category: PQ
Downloads: 20,858
Added to site: 2006.11.28 15396

Ever since 1759, when Voltaire wrote "Candide" in ridicule of the notion that this is the best of all possible worlds, this world has been a gayer place for readers. Voltaire wrote it in three days, and five or six generations have found that its laughter does not grow old. With an introduction by Philip Littlell.

Show Excerpt

lemen, "we ask you if you do not deeply love the King of the Bulgarians?"

"Not at all," said he; "for I have never seen him."

"What! he is the best of kings, and we must drink his health."

"Oh! very willingly, gentlemen," and he drank.

"That is enough," they tell him. "Now you are the help, the support, the defender, the hero of the Bulgarians. Your fortune is made, and your glory is assured."

Instantly they fettered him, and carried him away to the regiment. There he was made to wheel about to the right, and to the left, to draw his rammer, to return his rammer, to present, to fire, to march, and they gave him thirty blows with a cudgel. The next day he did his exercise a little less badly, and he received but twenty blows. The day following they gave him only ten, and he was regarded by his comrades as a prodigy.

Candide, all stupefied, could not yet very well realise how he was a hero. He resolved one fine day in spring to go for a walk, marching straight before hi


Average Rating of 4 from 1 reviews: ****

This book is blackly humorous in the same way that Don Quixote is, funny in places. Read this years ago but plan to read it again now I've come across it on this site because as far as I remember it was a compelling, fun, enjoyable book. It's basically about the exciting adventures of the eponymous hero Candide, although it also raises a lot of philosophical questions and that's probably why it's considered an important literary work. Short book that’s worth the read.

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