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Candide and Other Stories (Oxford World's Classics) Paperback


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Product Details

  • Series: Oxford World's Classics
  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA; 1 Edition edition (May 15, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199535612
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199535613
  • Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 5.2 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #579,345 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Candide, the wittiest and best-loved book of a genius who is still unequaled in his ability to spin art out of philosophy, became a huge bestseller in Europe after it was published in 1759. Voltaire, skeptical of the systems of philosophy that were floated about to explain the workings of the world, used this satirical story about the optimist Candide and his friend Dr. Pangloss to interrogate and discredit the philosophies and approach more closely the truth about human life, suffering, and happiness in the real world. Now, the short novel Candide is considered one of the most important texts of the enlightenment. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review


"The inclusion of Zadis and other tales with Candide, and the useful introduction, select bibliography, chronology and notes make this the ideal edition for student use."--John Kandl, Walsh University


--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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32 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Jack L. Keller on July 23, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This book has the title "Candide and other stories", but the exciting part is the other stories. Yes "Candide" is a great work and perhaps the best satircal work of the 18th century, but it alone does not do justice to Voltaire's genius.
Like a lot of people I had read "Candide" years ago for school and was impressed with the work. However, I soon forgot about it and never really thought about Voltaire's other works. As I was browsing Amazon one day I saw this book and thought it was time to revisit this old friend. Boy was I lucky.
Three of the "other stories" are every bit as good as "Candide". "Micromegas" is a fine SciFi work from the 1740's. It comes complete with a Saturnian and Syrian and relates their struggle to understand the Earth's philosophies. "Zadig" unfolds in a similar manner to "Candide" but may be even more biting. Finally "The Ingenu" holds special interest for Americans as it chronicles the problems encountered by a young Huron "Savage" as he relocates to "Civilized" France. The final story "The White Bull" is not in the same class as the rest of the works in this book, but still is a fun read.
It was nice to see my old friend "Candide", but even nicer to meet the new friends that are here. If you are considering buying one of the other copies which have only "Candide" the extra works here make this version so much richer.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Barrie W. Bracken on June 4, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Voltaire is a master saterist, not a comedian. As with all satire, it hslps if we understand the contemporary world in which the author writes, but Voltaire's skill raises Candide above this level of satirical writing. He is masterful in the use of comedy to poke fun at the customs, mores, and beliefs of his time and show us the silliness to shich theunenlightened mind can go in the pursuit of perfection in an imperfect world. As a commentator on human culture he is followed by Mark Twain. Not that Twain can match Voltaire in his skill, only in some of his perceptions. This is an "old" book by new world reckoning, but as a masterpiecce well worth the time and effort of exploaration it is a timeless masterpiece. I highly recommend it to both believer and non-believer.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By darragh o'donoghue on September 12, 2000
Format: Paperback
Everyone has their own idea of the perfect book, a list of approved characteristcs they think will cohere into something magical. Instead of psychological realism or detailed descriptions of nature, I like brisk, multiplying narratives, stories within stories, digressions, picaresque journies, a profusion of character and incident, dreams, exoticism, strange lands, bookishness, adn relentless violence. 'Candide' has this, and more, and is therefore my perfect book. Like anything that is theoretically perfect (an equivalent in film might by Losey's 'Mr. Klein') is that one is left a little unsatisfied - after all, where's the element of surprise? There are further grounds for grumbling - Voltaire can often come across as an annoying, opportunistic jack-of-all-trades; while the sheer excess of plot, narrated in the same urbane toneslessness, always risks becoming monotonous. But such quibbles are ungrateful. 'Candide' is one of the few classics that is genuinesly entertaining and uproariously, blackly comic. The Enlightenment values today are less convincing than the deadpan depiction of pervasive evil and the randomness of human destiny. The book is full of horrific incident - earthquakes, massacares, gang-rapes, mutilation, burnings, etc. - and yet comes across as almost breezy, and always laugh-out-loud-funny. I wish Bunuel had filmed this.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 21, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Where else can one read the narration of an optimist who looses his friends to death, escapes the European mainland, discovers utopia, returns to the mainland, and reunites with friends who were believed to be dead, while infused with the philosophical and political wit of Voltaire? Fabulous example of satire and genius.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Misanthrope™ TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 29, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The title of my review is a quote from "The White Bull," the last of the stories in this collection, and is a particularly funny example of Voltaire's wit and sarcasm for those that can catch on. You have to know your Bible stories, you see.

The stories included in this volume are:

1. Candide -- a tale of chivalric romance filled with comical tragedy
2. Micromegas -- an 18th century science-fiction story with a Sirian and Saturnian finding insignificant life on this insignificant planet
3. Zadig -- a sort of oriental tale like "The Thousand and One Nights"
4. What Pleases the Ladies -- a long risque poem which gives one a few different ideas on what pleases the ladies
5. The Ingenu -- a novella on the worldly education of a novice to civilization, and his frustrated love
6. The White Bull -- a sort of satire on the fancifulness of certain religious literature

Being Voltaire, I cannot recommend enough the careful reading of such tales for the entertainment of the irreverent mind.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book goes through events really quickly and it’s sort of hard to keep up but if you pay close attention, it’s easy to follow. The book is cruelly funny, quite ironic, and Candide is highly hypocritical. Candide is quite a childish figure and sometimes I either just felt pity toward him or really just wanted to make fun of him. In the end, I really didn’t like him and I understood that this might very well be Voltaire’s intention. He is ridiculously ignorant and selfish and I don’t believe anyone can be as blind and stupid as he is.

I don’t like much how Voltaire portrays women and their roles in society. They’re weak, mindless, things of beauty and vessels of pleasure. They always need a master to hold their hand and are being constantly exploited. It was really sick seeing how much the women are being sexually exploited. I was waiting for a better ending for these women but nothing good ever happens to them. Even in the “happy” ending, there is nothing but sorrow for the women. I understand these were just the times but I fail to see how all the women have no qualities at all. That, I don’t believe to be true at all.

It’s a quick read, as much as I found it just okay—I can see why it’s a classic. It’s astounding the strength of faith Candide has in his beliefs and Pangloss. Even as he goes through so much in his adventures, he still sticks to “all that happens is for the best.” It’s a deeply philosophical question that does sort of leave you wandering—is it ever true or are we just looking for an excuse to diffuse panic at certain moments?
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