Candide, published simultaneously in five European capitals in 1759, became an instant best seller and is now regarded as one of the key texts of the Enlightenment. Voltaire’s preoccupations with evil and with various kinds of human folly and intolerance found a perfect vehicle in the philosophical tale. A master storyteller, he combined often wildly entertaining action with profoundly serious sense, parodying the traditional chivalric and oriental tales with which his public was more familiar to create a witty allegory of a young man whose optimism gives way to disillusionment after a series of terrible misfortunes.
Public Domain (P)2010 AudioGo
Hey Audible, don't raise prices and I promise to buy lots more books.
This was probably Not what most folks would think about this classic. This book is fraught with one-liners that are just hilarious. And to think that these one-liners came from a philosopher of the 1700’s makes it even more astonishing. A book that has remained essential reading for almost 400 years does not require a review by some amateur from our millennium nor could I do it justice. Suffice it to say that this book can be read by scholars who would find transcendental meanings of the times then and relevance for our times now. But, what makes a great book and what made it particularly appealing for me is that, while it can be completely dissected and analyzed, it can also be just thoroughly enjoyed at face value by anyone.
The performances by Jack Davenport were brilliant. Each character’s voice was distinct, seemingly appropriate and perfectly realized for the character performed. And there were plenty of “characters” alright. There was little of the “he said.... she said” monotony of some other books I have listened to. There were so many renditions by other narrators it was difficult to choose from among them. But again I think I lucked out. I cannot imagine any of the alternative narrators being better than Jack Davenport. Not that I think this book could not be appreciated in print. It certainly can. But Mr. Davenport just made it so much fun and really brought the book to life. I find myself smiling as I write this remembering just how much I laughed out loud.
Yes - hilarious
Too many to choose
Great one-liners around every corner
Candide was not at all what I expected..
Candide is an easy and delightful classic, great for teens and adults. Jack Davenport's reading is superb -- my favorite is his interpretation of Martin, the pessimist. He brings out the sarcasm of this character very effectively.
A strange coincidence is Voltaire's description of the humorously reduced circumstances of a king of Corsica, which so closely describes Napoleon's exile on Elba that it is necessary to remember that Voltaire died before the French Revolution.
The dispassionate calm of this light work make it an excellent sleep book.The last line, of course, is still quoted everywhere today and the reader delivers it well, a triumphant solution to the puzzle of life.
this classic is amusing and witty, and the droll performance sets exactly the right tone for it. there were definitely some snigger-inducing moments. after a couple of hours it became a bit much of a muchness. there's only so much insanely unlikely misfortune (and the inevitable complaining and sighing the comes with it) that one can stand. happily, the punchline at the end was very satisfying, so I came away feeling quite content with the story.
Yes. I read it many years ago and now that I am older, I was able to reiderate the many things I learned from it. I was a philosphy minor and we were all looking for the "truth" in those days. Many philosphers were busily trying to impress other with their great minds. Voltaire was very bright and was able to present the truth in what seemed a simplistic manner, but was anything but. Isaac Assimov could explain anything to anyone. The mark of true genius, as was Voltaire with his "simpleton" Candide.Candide was a newborn thrust out into the real world, like Dorothy from Kansas. There is so much humor in the names of the people encountered, and the politics of the day are the politics of all days. It's a classic for a reason. It covers all times.
The interjection of humor and irony.
No one stands out. Naive Candide went from one impossible situation to another without a break.
Nope. Smiled a lot. I am over 50. One learns or dies by then.
Read this if you are young to learn. If you are older to reaffirm.
Love to read, and Audible has made the two-hour daily commute enjoyable!
Candide, a naïve young man, follows the philosophy of optimism - "all is for the best" as his travels bring him and the other characters all sorts of horrible events and devastation (war, rape, slavery, earthquakes, religious persecution, murder).
In the end, he realizes life is constantly either anxiety or the lethargy of boredom and that life is best if we follow the advice "We must cultivate our garden" to try to rid ourselves of boredom, vice and need.
Very enjoyable, and the narration by Jack Davenport was fabulous.
Very much so, listening to the book for me was much better than reading it. The narrator, really made me understand the situations and characters much better than when I read it.
When Candide realizes that the world is really made up of hypocrites, cheaters, fanatics, and insanity of religion.
When I read this book in school it just didn't get the way this audio version has. It really expresses Voltaire's views of religion, had the human condition that make religion flourish and manipulate man kind. A very simple book that show haw humanity even 250 years later has not changed much.
Your Brother in Christ
This was the first I ever listened to or read Voltaire. I really didn't know what a treat I was in for. I had of course heard his name and was somewhat familiar with what he was about as an author. But I I was really amazed at how humorous and well crafted this story was.
The whole story is one big retort to Leibniz's Theodicee. That is Leibniz tries to explain that this world is the best there can be in his defense of God. Voltaire tears the whole argumentation to threads with ruthless humor taking Candide from the ivory tower of the academic and tossing him out into the real world of war, greed, pain and suffering not so easily explained away as Leibniz would have it.
There are plenty of one liners that can stand alone apart from the greater philosophical context, and the story itself stand by itself apart from that too. You don't have to have a knowledge of philosophy or the history of philosophy to enjoy the story.As the story really does a good job explaining itself and what it is making fun of by itself. Along the way the story also gives you a feeling for 18th century Europe, the political as well as cultural scene all together. In the end Candide's naivety concerning life blossoms into great wisdom as he admonishes the philosophers to tend to their garden. Perhaps if taken to far this sort of "pragmatism" can be as detrimental as the philosophies that Voltaire shreds, but it has its draw too.
Worth listening to if you haven't already, simply for the enjoyment of seeing how philosophy plays out in story form.
There are no listener reviews for this title yet.
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.