Voltaire's razor-sharp satire on philosophical optimism, Candide, is coupled here with another of the author's most celebrated works, Zadig. Both challenge the moral and philosophical orthodoxies of the day with humor and sly wit, while parodying the clichéd formulas of so many contemporary novels.
Candide traces the fortunes of its titular character, a staunch optimist who eventually becomes disillusioned by a series of hardships and misfortunes. Zadig likewise follows its main character Zadig, a Babylonian philosopher, as he is subjected to the whims of Fate and the machinations of those around him.
©2008 Naxos Audiobooks; (P)2008 Naxos Audiobooks
First things first: the narrator, Neville Jason, is wonderful. With an extremely pleasant voice and impeccable diction, he takes care to give each character a clearly distinct voice and accent. So if you're looking for a reading of Candide and/or Zadig, this one is a great choice.
As for the books -- enough has been written about them in the past 250 years, so I'll keep my review to the bottom line. Candide is a masterpiece. Like Gulliver's Travels with a punchline. Very very good. The ending is brilliant and still inspiring after all these years. Zadig is a little less to my taste, though still very well written. The central question in it seems to be "how can bad things happen to good people" and the answer given is "God works in mysterious ways". I personally like Candide's reply to this better.
The books were insightful and thought provoking. Very easy and enjoyable listen. Smiled and laughed as I listened to Candide.
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