Candide, Hardback Book
3 out of 5 (1 rating)


  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Arcturus Publishing Ltd
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Classic fiction (pre c 1945)
  • ISBN: 9781848372030

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There is a great scene in the movie “Vacation” where Chevy Chase, who is on a manic quest to drive his family across country to an amusement park, stops at the Grand Canyon. After taking in the splendor for all of four or five seconds, he hustles the family back into the van to continue the trip, content that they have checked another “must see” landmark off their list.I felt a little like that reading this book. Having long been on my “must read” list, I found "Candide" to be a remarkably forgettable experience that provided little nourishment or pleasure. Its reputation as a classic of the Age of Enlightenment notwithstanding, this satirical novella is at once a slight and heavy-handed trifle. Voltaire’s well-established premise for writing the book was to tear down the philosophy of Optimism (“All is for the best in the best of all possible worlds”) that prevailed at the time and which he found to be distinctly at odds with the world he saw around him. However, this is a debate that is more than two centuries in the past and for all his scathing wit, the author offers little in the way of an alternative philosophy save the admonition that man should stay busy and have a purpose, no matter how menial.All that said, I did not dislike the novel but neither did I find it to be either memorable or thought-provoking. I’m happy to have finally read it—at little more than 100 pages, it certainly won’t take up too much of your time—if only to have checked it off my list once and for all.