Believing that he's doing the ladies a big favor, Candide killed the monkeys with his rifle. He was DEAD wrong.

Voltaire's CANDIDE is funny, fast-paced, philosophical, and outrageously WTF?! novel in a good way.

He authored this book to criticize Leibniz and his followers about optimism, as their mantra states "All is for the best in the best of all possible worlds."

He did it by injecting into the story all kinds of known tragedies (the natural, political, and the religious) in the 18th century Europe to prove that the world is not perfect and neither does man.

After criticizing the optimists, and exploring the rationality of the pessimists (but not taking their side), Voltaire actually enjoyed pitting the two sides of the argument in order to come to a conclusion safely somewhere in the middle ground.

That middle ground states that we must focus on our skills, our situation at the moment--in exact words; "We must cultivate our garden." And maybe that mantra became Voltaire's best argument that finally shaped his further works and writings as a sarcastic and humanist philosopher.


some memorable passages:

"Fools admire everything in a celebrated author. I read only for myself, and I like only what suits me personally."

Cacambo never lost his head. "Don't give up hope," he said to the forlorn Candide. "I know a little of these people's jargon, and I'm going to speak to them."
"Be sure to point out to them how horribly inhuman it is to cook men," said Candide, "and how unchristian it is, too."

A few days later they reached the Bosporous. Candide began by buying Cacambo's freedom at a very  high price, then he and his companions boarded a galley without delay and set off for the shore of the Sea of Marmora to find Cunegonde, however ugly she might be.

Rating: 4 pistachio nuts out of 5
Genre: Philosophy, Classic Lit, Humor

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