Candide [A Book for Ben]

Title: Candide
Author: Voltaire
Genre: Satire; Philosophy
Year: 1759
My Rating: 3.5/5

What the book is about:

Um…this guy, Candide, is simultaneously the luckiest and unluckiest optimist ever. The book follows him around the world, giving  us a look at history and philosophy. While being satirically absurd.

How was that?

Why Ben made me read this:

Ben: Before there was Jon Stewart, there was Voltaire. Okay, so maybe I skipped a few generations, but you get the idea. The biting masterpiece of satire has become the center of a unit that includes Jonathan Swift, The Onion, Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, and the Simpsons. Though written over 350 years ago, it’s still extremely accessible and not to mention hysterically funny. Pangloss, Cunegonde, Cacambo, El Dorado, the endless mocking of philosophical thinking, that enigmatic final line, and the constant stream of ridiculous coincidences make this a cornerstone of an entire genre.

What I thought about it:

I didn’t find it as hilarious as Ben made it out to be, but it was certainly entertaining. Misfortune after misfortune, Candide continues to think highly of the world. It’s ridiculousness piled on ridiculousness.

I’m not sure exactly what I was supposed to get out of Candide. But I think it’s worth the quick read.

What’s next from Ben?

Othello

4 thoughts on “Candide [A Book for Ben]

  1. Sarah June 4, 2012 / 10:24 am

    I felt kind of the same about Candide. Like it was good, and funny and satirical but I was left kind of feeling “Yeah, so?” I guess maybe I just don’t have enough background about that time frame to really “get it”.

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  2. Jae June 4, 2012 / 5:31 pm

    I’ve heard so many great things about Candide. It’s definitely on my TBR and I hear it’s short so even if I don’t love it, it’ll be over soon! Kudos to you for trying it though! 🙂

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  3. Vishy June 5, 2012 / 3:25 am

    Nice review, Michelle! I have ‘Candide’ on my ‘TBR’ list, but haven’t got around to it yet. Glad to know that you liked it, though you didn’t love it. It looks like you are very much into the classics these days because of Ben 🙂 Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on ‘Othello’. Happy Reading!

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  4. Amritorupa Kanjilal June 5, 2012 / 6:53 am

    Thank you for the review Michelle 🙂
    I’m looking for something in the humour genre right now so maybe Candide will fit the bill perfectly!
    Loved your blog. you write wonderful reviews and have an excellent taste in books. following you now.
    Please do visit my book blog, and if you like it, please follow!

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