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

Voltaire , Roger Pearson
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
RRP: 5.99
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Book Description

17 April 2008 Oxford World's Classics
is the most famous of Voltaire's 'philosophical tales', in which he combined witty improbabilities with the sanest of good sense. This edition includes four other prose tales -

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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford (17 April 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199535612
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199535613
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 13.3 x 1.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 38,369 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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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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Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
ONCE upon a time in Westphalia, in the castle of Baron Thunder-ten-tronckh, there lived a young boy whom nature had endowed with the gentlest of dispositions. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good edition of a great enlightenment work 9 Dec 2007
Format:Paperback
This Oxford publication is very good because it has the usual foreword by a worthy academic which gives a little historical and literary insight into the works contained. The main piece is Candide, and this still manages to make the reader think philisophically about issues raised in the story. This is very much a thesis novel (novella) which rightly questions the dominant theistic notions of the day, which are based on divine decree, providence, and fate. In other words, the line all Christian souls were being forced to live by, was that 'Everything is as it is, by the will of God'. Thinkers of the age were obviously starting to doubt this, although it was still brave to contradict the bible or even question the extent to which God was really in charge of us all. Voltaire was one of the first and one of the bravest writers to challenge the accepted wisdom of the age, that somehow didn't feel quite true, and certainly didn't seem very fair, if it was true.

It is a story that still gets one thinking about deeper matters, while remaining an entertaining tale of one man's unenvious trials in a very harsh and unsympathetic world, where God is supposed to be his saviour! Today we'd be allowed to call this sort of thing respectful atheism, but in Voltaire's day they still had to encouch those sort of beliefs in a less open and direct way, giving themselves a chance to be able to give two differing definitions of the work, if called upon by some outraged prelate or politician to explain theirselves. Voltaire's craft shows a very good example of how passionate and determined thinkers were able to find ways to express their thoughts and beliefs and help shape the great Humanist movement which led eventually to the freedom of thought and beliefs that the West still enjoys today. So yes, an important literary work, in a good package here.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Required Reading 10 May 2011
Format:Paperback
This book is a collection of stories so one can dip in when time allows and have a complete experience yet still come back for more. And what stories?! Tremendous stuff; gripping, fantastic, humorous, exotic and challenging. After reading this I had a list in my head of all the people I'd like to send it to as a gift. It is as relevant now as it ever was, challenging the reader to further thought and consideration far beyond the book's narrative. A must read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Unique stories 7 Sep 2009
Format:Paperback
Despite being written 250 years ago I found the book to be very readable and full of subtle humour that was not lost on my average intellect.Don't be put off by people waffling on about philosophical meaning and rationalism etc and intellectualising the life out of it, these stories are probably the basis of modern fiction and the framework and concepts have been copied many times.
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32 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delicious Irony Amidst Swift-Like Satire 18 May 2004
By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAME TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback
Ever since philosophers began thinking about the meaning of life, a favorite question has been "Why do bad things happen to good people?". In Voltaire's day, this issue was primarily pursued either from the perspective of faith (everything that happens is God's will and must be for Divine purpose) or of reason (What do these events mean to you, as you interpret them subjectively?). Infuriated by the reaction by some members of the church to a horrible loss of life from an earthquake in Lisbon, Voltaire wrote this hard-biting satire of the human condition to explore these questions.
Before reading further, let me share a word of caution. This book is filled with human atrocities of the most gruesome sort. Anything that you can imagine could occur in war, an Inquisition, or during piracy happens in this book. If you find such matters distressing (as many will, and more should), this book will be unpleasant reading. You should find another book to read.
The book begins as Candide is raised in the household of a minor noble family in Westphalia, where he is educated by Dr. Pangloss, a student of metaphysical questions. Pangloss believes that this is the best of all possible worlds and deeply ingrains that view into his pupil. Candide is buoyed by that thought as he encounters many setbacks in the course of the book as he travels through many parts of Europe, Turkey, and South America.
All is well for Candide until he falls in love with the Baron's daughter and is caught kissing her hand by the Baron. The Baron immediately kicks Candide out of the castle (literally on the backside), and Candide's wanderings begin. Think of this as being like expulsion from the Garden of Eden for Adam.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
Voltaire's works never cease to enlighten and entertain. The ones in Candide and other stories are among his greatest pieces.
Candide itself is a great story that attacks Liebniz' theory that "in the best of all possible worlds, all things are for the best." By showing a man travelling through the world amidst chaos and ruin to find his true love. In Micromegas, he attacks the Geocentric theory and the belief that man is God's finest and greatest creation by a visit from two aliens to Earth. The other stories all display Voltaire's rapier wit, humanist and liberal outlook and his disgust at organised religion and the violent religious wars around him. His works haven't lost their greatness through the centuries since being penned.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Easy Read but some of the stories can be downloaded onto pdf from the...
Had I looked online in more detail I could have saved myself quite a bit of money and just downloaded the pdf version of Voltaire's L'Ingenu which was the only story I needed to... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Laura Cresswell
5.0 out of 5 stars I love this book!
Great story which combines facts, satire, fiction, comedy, philosophy in a very subtle and concise way (The story is very compact and powerful). Read more
Published 20 months ago by Castor
3.0 out of 5 stars Don't string me up, fanboys...
I read this book purely to see what all the fuss was about with this Voltaire fellow and his work, Candide. Read more
Published 23 months ago by slychilliskillz
4.0 out of 5 stars "If we must have fables, let them at least be the emblems of truth!"
This is the Ingenu's opinion on ancient history, and seems to me to describe well one of Voltaire's aims in writing his 'philosophical tales'. Read more
Published on 26 Jun 2012 by Tom S
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent !
This was a beautiful book and made an ideal present. The book was safely packaged and arrived promptly. Good show!
Published on 5 Jun 2012 by Sav
5.0 out of 5 stars Candide camera
Voltaire's satire follows the travels of young Candide's expulsion from Germany, through a series of bizarre and calamitous incidents, around the world, to an eventual... Read more
Published on 27 April 2012 by Robert Cordner
5.0 out of 5 stars Candide by Voltaire
Obviously work of genius. Witty and full of wisdom, with criticism of empty philosophizing. Wise Turk told Candide and philosopher Pangloss: Work keeps us from three great evils:... Read more
Published on 10 Dec 2011 by I. P. H.
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the funniest book I have read
One of the funniest book I have ever read. Side splitting funny. =]
Published on 20 Mar 2010 by T. Young
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent compilation of tales from the master of dry wit
Voltaires seminal tragi-comedic classic Candide finds itself amongst other worthy tales in this cracking compilation of some of the authors most witty writing. Read more
Published on 22 Feb 2002
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