François-Marie Arouet, aka Voltaire, was arguably the 18th century's greatest philosopher, and his most enduring work is his novella Candide; Or All for the Best. In it Voltaire parodies the philosophy of optimism championed by Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibnitz, which purports that since God created the world and God is perfect, then everything in the world is perfect.
Voltaire's answer to what he deemed ludicrous philosophy was Candide: a fantastic picaresque tale that follows the ultra naive title character around the world on a hilarious journey. He goes about with his teacher Pangloss, who's bent on proving the tenets of optimism. But through the course of worldly events, pessimism eventually seems to be a more accurate view. When Candide and his friends are killed, they are magically brought back to life. First they're rich, then they're poor... and finally they wind up on a farm in Turkey. This short book is a fast paced, funny, and delightful read.
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December 03, 2013
I read this after being thrown in a texas jail for 11 days for getting caught with some pot, it changed, moved, and helped keep me going. There are no words.
Helen Bauer Gaynor
September 01, 2013
When i read this book 40 years ago i didnt know it was meant to be an insult, so i believed it. Now i know why my professors nicknamed me pangloss.
Wm Barry Turner
July 18, 2013
Probably a more accurate rendering of the times than most history books. The story made the world smaller than I had expected for those times.
July 09, 2013
Well worth reading.
May 28, 2013
Less intellectually tasking than one would expect from Voltaire
March 27, 2013
By far the funniest book I have ever read.
February 27, 2013
I meant to say "enjoyment" rather than "comedy."
October 03, 2012
One of the best critiques on religion, oppression, and general human corruption. Could not put down.
June 25, 2012
An incredibly funny and delightfully honest critique of religious control and blind optimism.
November 19, 2011