Candide (Dover Thrift Editions) and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
  • List Price: $12.00
  • Save: $2.75 (23%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
In Stock.
Ships from and sold by
Gift-wrap available.
Candide: Or Optimism (Pen... has been added to your Cart
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: This book has already been loved by someone else. It MIGHT have some wear and tear on the edges, have some markings in it, or be an ex-library book. Over-all itâ?TMs still a good book at a great price! (if it is supposed to contain a CD or access code, that may be missing)
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

Candide: Or Optimism (Penguin Classics) Paperback – June 30, 1950

See all 115 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
"Please retry"
Paperback, June 30, 1950
$2.38 $0.01
Unknown Binding
"Please retry"

Best Books of the Year
See the Best Books of 2014
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for 2014's Best Books of the Year in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.
$9.25 FREE Shipping on orders over $35. In Stock. Ships from and sold by Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

Candide: Or Optimism (Penguin Classics) + Frankenstein
Price for both: $12.85

Buy the selected items together

Editorial Reviews Review

Political satire doesn't age well, but occasionally a diatribe contains enough art and universal mirth to survive long after its timeliness has passed. Candide is such a book. Penned by that Renaissance man of the Enlightenment, Voltaire, Candide is steeped in the political and philosophical controversies of the 1750s. But for the general reader, the novel's driving principle is clear enough: the idea (endemic in Voltaire's day) that we live in the best of all possible worlds, and apparent folly, misery and strife are actually harbingers of a greater good we cannot perceive, is hogwash.

Telling the tale of the good-natured but star-crossed Candide (think Mr. Magoo armed with deadly force), as he travels the world struggling to be reunited with his love, Lady Cunegonde, the novel smashes such ill-conceived optimism to splinters. Candide's tutor, Dr. Pangloss, is steadfast in his philosophical good cheer, in the face of more and more fantastic misfortune; Candide's other companions always supply good sense in the nick of time. Still, as he demolishes optimism, Voltaire pays tribute to human resilience, and in doing so gives the book a pleasant indomitability common to farce. Says one character, a princess turned one-buttocked hag by unkind Fate: "I have wanted to kill myself a hundred times, but somehow I am still in love with life. This ridiculous weakness is perhaps one of our most melancholy propensities; for is there anything more stupid than to be eager to go on carrying a burden which one would gladly throw away, to loathe one's very being and yet to hold it fast, to fondle the snake that devours us until it has eaten our hearts away?"--Michael Gerber


“When we observe such things as the recrudescence of fundamentalism in the United States, the horrors of religious fanaticism in the Middle East, the appalling danger which the stubbornness of political intolerance presents to the whole world, we must surely conclude that we can still profit by the example of lucidity, the acumen, the intellectual honesty and the moral courage of Voltaire.”
—A. J. Ayer --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Series: Penguin Classics
  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics (June 30, 1950)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140440046
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140440041
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.4 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (115 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #99,309 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

I laughed so hard as I read this book that i had never before.
I highly recommend the novel to Philosophy fans and lovers of classical literature.
Raven DeLajour
Cheap edition of the great book, fulfilled its promise, no complains there.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Phil in Mågnøliá TOP 500 REVIEWER on February 3, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
NOTE: Due to difficulties in posting this review, until it is completely updated the full text of the review, with links, can be found in the comments section directly below. I apologize for this but have been having an unusually difficult time in getting this review to post. This note will be removed once the review is finalized and posted in final form.

This review will address the newly issued Kindle edition of Candide that has been released by Open Road Media as well as give an overview of editions of Candide available for the Kindle and available on Amazon.

Many Kindle versions of well-known classic books are available. For books available in the public domain, as is the case for Candide, oftentimes these Kindle versions are available for free or for very low price.

Some of these Kindle editions are of low quality and have various issues that make them less desirable for those who like to read classics on their Kindles. When I am looking for a classic book to purchase for my Kindle, it is usually a minor research project to determine which one I think will be the 'best' for my reading, and sometimes I end up purchasing more than one version in order to get one that is well presented and formatted for the Kindle.

This is a relatively short book, normally about 100 pages in printed form, and not a difficult read. This Kindle edition is well produced, the publishers website claims that it has been professionally proofread, and I have detected no errors myself (such as often appear in Kindle books which have been scanned and published without careful check).
Read more ›
2 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Wordsworth on March 30, 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
"Candide" is an accessible masterpiece which demonstrated to the world Volatire's genius as a satirist. The eponymous Candide is a young man tutored by an optimist who is convinced according to the cause and effect philosophy of Leibniz and perhaps is best summarized in the Voltaire's leitmotif that human beings live in the "best of all possble worlds." Alexander Pope rather laughably made the same outrageous claim in his "Essay on Man" in which he writes, "Everything that is is right." How can this be so, you may well ask? Here is the nut of the problem: it seems that a perfect God has created a highly imperfect world. How can a good, omnipotent, loving God create a world in which so much catastrophic evil exists and which is so often allowed even to thrive? It is a question for the ages. Theologians argue that God created mankind with free will and without it they would simply be puppets without the freedom to make choices. Theologians also point out that the majority of the evil resident in our world is perpetuated on vast masses of humanity by other human beings, not God, and that evil is the cause and effect of conflicting self-interests imposed by people with more power upon the less powerful. But this point doesn't explain why a loving, all-powerful God would allow any of it to exist and endure. Why not cast down all the devils and give his human creatures a perfect garden, a paradise on earth, without snakes anywhere? Why did God create the serpent in the Garden of Eden in the first place? Voltaire, like Rousseau, was an avid gardener and Voltaire jests at Rousseau's good faith in the "Confessions" as if the latter were simply a country bumpkin.Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By THE MOVIE GUY on December 12, 2011
Format: Leather Bound
The Easton Press edition has a publisher's preface and an introduction by Paul Morand. The introduction gives you a complete plot synopsis which by no means spoils the tale. This edition also contains both colored and black and white illustrations, some containing nudity to bring out the sexual innuendos of the story. Voltaire didn't want his work to be illustrated. This tale has influenced writers throughout the ages. I couldn't help think of Woody Allen's film "Love and Death" when reading this book. Candide is the main character. He sees many hardships in his travels but maintains that all is for the best as taught to him by Pangloss. Pangloss represents the prevailing philosophy of his age, known as Leibnizian optimism which appears to come from the book of Job. No matter what evil or destruction befalls man, it is all for the best as the great sovereign of the universe (God for some folk) watches over us and guides us according to his plan. Candide sees the horrors of his age, including the great earthquake of Lisbon and questions such philosophy. Voltaire was of the deist school which claims God does not watch over us, which comes out at the end of the tale in a metaphor about kings caring for rats on a sailing vessel. That same Leibnizian philosophy is used by religious folk today who proclaim, "It's all good." Pangloss proclaims, "for private misfortunes are for the public good."

The character of Martin, who travels with Candide is the pessimist. He is the philosophical opposite of Pangloss. Cunégonde is the love of Candide's life. His life revolves much around his passion for her, although she is constantly the mistress of someone else. Three of the main characters in this story die, only to be revived later in a South Park, OMG they killed Kenny moment...
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more
Candide: Or Optimism (Penguin Classics)
This item: Candide: Or Optimism (Penguin Classics)
Price: $12.00 $9.25
Ships from and sold by

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?