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Publisher's Summary

Candide is a French satire written in 1759 by Voltaire, a philosopher of the Age of Enlightenment. One of the finest satires ever written, this lively tale follows the absurdly melodramatic adventures of the youthful Candide, who is forced into the army, flogged, shipwrecked, betrayed, robbed, separated from his beloved Cunégonde, and tortured by the Inquisition. As Candide witnesses calamity upon calamity, he becomes disillusioned and discovers that all is not always for the best.

Candide is characterized by its sarcastic tone, dark humor, and erratic, fantastical, fast-moving plot. Voltaire ridicules religion, theologians, governments, armies, philosophies and philosophers, and romance.

Candide has enjoyed both great success and great scandal. It was widely banned because it contained religious blasphemy, political sedition, and intellectual hostility hidden under a thin veil of naïveté. Voltaire never admitted to having written the highly controversial Candide; instead, the work was signed Mister Doctor Ralph.

Public Domain (P)2010 Gildan Media Corp

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Philo
  • San Diego, CA, United States
  • 02-24-12

Amusing, a favorite, well read

This is a classic of satire, with Voltaire's particular puckishness all over it. It skewers every sort of righteous scoundrel who still walks our world, in politics, religion or elsewhere, pronouncing this or that fancy moralistic sermon while mocking poor fools like this hapless sincere fellow Candide, and divesting the latter of every penny. It is a lesson we could use today! It perhaps gets a little repetitive toward the end, but it was fun getting there.

The narrator, Don Hagen, is a favorite of mine, especially with humorous content. His voice has an understated whimsy in it that makes me laugh a lot.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Very enjoyable recording

I really enjoyed this recording. The narrator's voice was very pleasant - easy to understand. Voltaire's wit was a wonderful discovery for me. I had just finished the Teaching Company's course on Voltaire (which was excellent) and decided I needed to sample Candide for myself. I was not at all disappointed. I'm sure to come back to this recording in the future.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Well Done Narration for a Classic

The story focuses on the philosophy of optimism in the face of overwhelming obstacles and misfortune. It seems modern given the fast-pace of the narrative. The theme remains relevant today. A great story and well narrated.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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perfectly narrated classic.

Voltaires coming of age classic is beautifully executed by this talented narrator. If you enjoyed Zadig, Siddhartha, or The Alchemist, you will enjoy Candide.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Hasn't aged well

I understand that this may have been hilariously funny satire back in the eighteenth century, but I have to say it was lost on me. Plenty of silly things happen, that's for sure, but it didn't add up to much of an experience. Without the humor, this book is simply a rambling shaggy dog story with a collection of one dimensional characters. It jumps from place to place so often, and abandons scenes so quickly, that I often felt like I was listening to a synopsis of a very long story rather than the story itself. The good news is at least this book is short, so if you want to read it simply because of its classic status, it's not too much of a commitment.

The narrator was fine. He has a nice voice and reads it well, though he didn't do much to breathe life into it.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

259 year old read still speaks to the 21st century

Deeply moving! Hilariously heartbreaking! Voltaire skewers religion, the philosophy of leibnitz, the sovereignty of God, and the idea of the goodness of man. This almost three century old book still speaks to us today. There are laugh out loud moments, but there are also deeply head-shaking moments. I cannot say enough about how much I love this novel.

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Timeless classic read by competant narrator

Voltaire's satire of society and human nature is a brilliant read even by modern standards

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Great voice!

The reader makes a challenging text not only easy to understand but enjoyable! Candide is a rich, worthwhile satire that is worth the challenge.

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  • Patti
  • Chittenango, NY, United States
  • 06-04-14

Fine

I'm into classics but this one was beyond me. I guess one has to read it to say "Yes, I did." But beyond that, forget it.

0 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • William Farrar
  • 11-15-17

Always a delightful book - perfectly narrated.

As for the story and, the history of book, the publishers summary says it all.

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  • John
  • 06-27-16

great but...

great book, well read but let down by the quiet level of the sound. turn it up