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Candide and Zadig

By: Voltaire
Narrated by: Neville Jason
Length: 7 hrs and 3 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (128 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

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

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Highly recommended

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.

19 of 19 people found this review helpful

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It is Voltaire After All

Two interesting stories used by Voltaire to highlight many of the absurdities of Western culture and beliefs. Nothing is sacred and he seems to reveal his opinions on many topics through his characters' mocking of revered institutions. A bit of the emperor's new clothes in calling out things that many of us are thinking but afraid to say for fear of being looked down upon by the elite.

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  • Memphis
  • Graton, CA, United States
  • 10-13-14

Really Enjoyed This, More than I Expected

This is a fun and entertaining story, a nice diversion from the longer more serious novels and books I have been listening to. Definitely check it out! Had some amusing philosophical thoughts and sayings, narration is quite enjoyable in my opinion. Remember to tend to you garden.

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  • K
  • 10-03-12

Loved it!

The books were insightful and thought provoking. Very easy and enjoyable listen. Smiled and laughed as I listened to Candide.

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  • Kayvan
  • los angeles, CA, USA
  • 06-04-09

Horible reading

Very heavy British accent and extremely fast reader, total ruin of Voltaire's masterpiece

4 of 15 people found this review helpful

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  • P. Donovan
  • 06-10-18

A beautiful reading of two masterpieces

In addition to the well-known classic, Candide, it was a pleasure to become familiar with the lesser known work, Zadig in this beautifully read audiobook.

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  • Ayesha
  • 05-12-17

Superb.

Genius. Satire, exquisite story writing and life lessons. I don't recall reading/hearing such engaging stories before. The stories betray how limited our knowledge of the world is today as compared to writers living in the 18th century, despite our supposedly enhanced access to 'information'. It seems that information cannot replace cultivation. Would recommend these stories to all.

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  • sarah
  • 06-28-13

Interesting read

Would you consider the audio edition of Candide and Zadig to be better than the print version?

Its easier certainly! With many words no longer used in the english language I would imagine I may have struggled a little with a paper version

Any additional comments?

I will listen to both again

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  • Daniel
  • 05-26-18

Succinctly Sharp & Penetrating Entertainment

With the misanthropic absurdism of Swift, and a deep discernment all his own, Voltaire stirs honey into the bitter dregs of existence and cloaks in satirical humour the naked absurdity of human society.

Written by the icon and undisputed master of the French Enlightenment, these two adventures are essential reading for anyone who has not yet read them. You will not regret beginning this book.