Candide

Candide

Audiobook(CD - Unabridged)

$8.87 $9.95 Save 11% Current price is $8.87, Original price is $9.95. You Save 11%. View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for guaranteed delivery by Tuesday, August 27

Overview


Candide, published simultaneously in five European capitals in 1759, became an instant bestseller and is now regarded as one of the key texts of the Enlightenment. Voltaire’s preoccupations with evil and with various kinds of human folly and intolerance found a perfect vehicle in the philosophical tale. A master storyteller, he combined often wildly entertaining action with profoundly serious sense, parodying the traditional chivalric and oriental tales with which his public was more familiar to create a witty allegory of a young man whose optimism gives way to disillusionment after a series of terrible misfortunes.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781609987107
Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.
Publication date: 11/13/2012
Edition description: Unabridged
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 5.90(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Voltaire (François-Marie Arouet) (1694—1778) was one of the key thinkers of the European Enlightenment. Of his many works, Candide remains the most popular.

Peter Constantine was awarded the 1998 PEN Translation Award for Six Early Stories by Thomas Mann and the 1999 National Translation Award for The Undiscovered Chekhov: Forty-three New Stories. Widely acclaimed for his recent translation of the complete works of Isaac Babel, he also translated Gogol’s Taras Bulba and Tolstoy’s The Cossacks for the Modern Library. His translations of fiction and poetry have appeared in many publications, including The New Yorker, Harper’s, and Paris Review. He lives in New York City.

From the Hardcover edition.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter Three

How Candide escaped from among the Bulgars,
and what became of him

Nothing was as beautiful, smart, dazzling, or well ordered as the two armies. The trumpets, fifes, oboes, drums, and cannons created a harmony such as never existed in Hell. First of all, the cannons struck down almost six thousand men on each side. Then the muskets removed from the best of worlds between nine and ten thousand rogues infecting its surface. The bayonet was also the sufficient reason for the death of several thousand men. The total might well have come to some thirty thousand souls. Candide, trembling like a philosopher, hid himself as best he could during this heroic butchery.

Finally, while the two kings had the Te Deum sung, each in his camp, Candide decided to go elsewhere to reason over effects and causes. Climbing over heaps of dead and dying men, he arrived at a neighboring village that lay in ashes: it was an Avar village that the Bulgars had burnt down in accordance with the principles of international law. Old men covered in wounds watched their butchered wives die clasping their infants to their bleeding breasts. Girls who had been disemboweled after having sated the natural needs of some of the heroes were breathing their last. Others, covered in burns, were begging to be put out of their misery. Brains were splattered on the ground alongside severed arms and legs.

Candide fled as fast as he could to another village. This one belonged to the Bulgars, and the Avar heroes had treated it the same way. Stepping over palpitating limbs and climbing over ruins, Candide, carrying a few provisions in his bag, finally managed to get out of the theater of war, never forgetting Mademoiselle Cunégonde. His provisions ran out when he reached Holland, but having heard that everyone in that country was rich and Christian, he did not doubt that he would be treated as well as he had been at the castle of His Lordship the Baron before he was driven from it on account of Mademoiselle Cunégonde’s beautiful eyes.

He asked for alms from several grave personages, all of whom replied that if he continued plying this trade he would be locked up in a house of correction, where he would be taught how to work for a living.
Then he approached a man who had just addressed a big crowd for a whole hour on the topic of charity.
The orator eyed him suspiciously and asked, "What are you doing here? Did you come for the Good Cause?"

"There is no effect without a cause," Candide replied modestly. "Everything is necessarily interconnected and arranged for the best. I had to be driven out of the presence of Mademoiselle Cunégonde, run the gauntlet, and beg for bread until I can earn my own. All this could not be otherwise."

"My friend," the orator said, "do you believe that the Pope is the Antichrist?"

"I have never yet heard that he is," Candide replied. "But whether he is the Antichrist or not, I need bread."

"You don’t deserve any," the orator said. "Go away, you rogue, you wretch! Don’t come near me again as long as you live!"

The orator’s wife poked her head out the window and, seeing the man who doubted that the Pope was the Antichrist, poured out on his head a chamber pot full of ...

Merciful Heaven! To what excess ladies will carry the zeal of religion!

A man who had not been baptized, a good Anabaptist by the name of Jacques, saw the cruel and disgraceful manner in which one of his brothers, a featherless, two-legged being with a soul, was being treated.* He took him to his place, washed him, gave him bread and beer, made him a gift of two florins, and even wanted to teach him to work in his factory, which manufactured Persian fabrics in Holland. Candide almost prostrated himself before him, exclaiming, "Doctor Pangloss had told me that everything is for the best in this world. I am infinitely more moved by your extreme generosity than by the severity of that man in the black cloak and his wife."

The following day, Candide was out walking when he came across a beggar covered in pustules. He had lifeless eyes, a nose that was rotting away, a mouth that was twisted, black teeth, and a rasping voice. He coughed violently, spitting out a tooth every time.

* The Anabaptists were an extreme Protestant sect that did not believe in infant baptism–in their view only adult baptism was valid. They believed in absolute social and religious equality. "A featherless, two-legged being" is a humorous reference to Plato’s definition of man.

Table of Contents


Introduction   Johnson Kent Wright     xiii
Translator's Note     xxvii
How Candide was raised in a noble mansion, and how he was driven away     1
What happened to Candide among the Bulgars     4
How Candide saved himself from the Bulgars, and what became of him     7
How Candide met his old philosophy teacher, Doctor Pangloss, and what had happened to him     10
Tempest, shipwreck, earthquake, and what happened to Doctor Pangloss, Candide, and Jacques the Anabaptist     14
How they had a beautiful auto-da-fe in order to put an end to the earthquake, and how Candide was flogged     18
How an old woman took care of Candide and how he got back his beloved     20
Cunegonde's story     22
What happened to Cunegonde, to Candide, to the Grand Inquisitor, and to a Jew     26
In what difficulty Candide, Cunegonde, and the old woman reached Cadiz, and how they boarded a ship     28
The old woman's story     31
More about the old woman's misfortunes     35
How Candide was forced to leave lovely Cunegonde and the old woman     40
How Candide and Cacambo were greeted by the Jesuits of Paraguay     43
How Candide killed his dear Cunegonde's brother     47
What happened to the two travelers with two girls, two monkeys,and the savages known as Oreillons     50
Arrival of Candide and his valet in the land of Eldorado, and what they saw there     55
What they saw in Eldorado     60
How they got to to Surinam, and how Candide came to know Martin     67
What happened at sea to Candide and Martin     74
Candide and Martin approach the French coast and argue     78
What happened to Candide and Martin in France     80
Candide and Martin reach the British coast, and what they see there     94
Paquette and Friar Giroflee     96
Visit to Lord Pococurante, a nobleman of Venice     102
A dinner that Candide and Martin shared with six foreigners, and who they were     109
Candide's journey to Constantinople     114
What happened to Candide, Cunegonde, Pangloss, Martin, etc.     119
How Candide found Cunegonde and the old woman     123
Conclusion     124
Suggested Reading     131

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

Candide 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 368 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Candide was a beautiful story, filled with humor, love, and lots of humor. I think the story is still stimulating even after hundreds of years! I recently read this for my Classics Book Club and we all took turns reading various passages from our varying translations of the book, which is something we tend to do each month. My only complaint about the story is this: the Morley translation (of the B&N Classics version) was AWFUL! All of the beautiful, poetic passages that the others in my group read aloud were translated as drivel in my copy (the only one with the B&N version of this book in our group). It seemed as if Mr. Morley literally translated the French to English (such as "the horse brown" instead of "the brown horse") and thus, lost much of the wonderful wordsmithing of Voltaire. I almost cried when it was my turn to read the opening passage because I knew the B&N version was horrible! Aside from the horrible translation, I would recommend this story to anyone. I wouldn't however, recommend THIS translation of the story. Sorry B&N...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I don't think I know enough of the political and historical background of the times to really understand parts ofthis story. But it was still interesting.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Candide as a story is worth reading in any language, although it is much funnier and much more enjoyable in original French. However, the reason for that may just be that this is a very poor translation. The language is more archaic than in the original, and many subtleties are lost through poor word choice (for example, in this version Martin "hopes" that all is for the best, while in the original he pessimistically "wishes" that everything was indeed AT ITS BEST). Nevertheless, Candide is a witty and brilliant story that can be enjoyed for philosophical enlightenment or simply for a rainy day. I would recommend, though, that if you're going to read it in English, get a different edition. Normally B&N Classics are nice, quality editions, but this is sadly an exception.
Sifari More than 1 year ago
This book is definately one of the best things I've read in a while. The humor is great, and the characters all seem to fit in a way that makes the story an interesting one.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I wasn't as taken with this book as many of the reviewers here, but found the book worth reading and interesting since I haven't ever read somethign from this time by a man.
dayzd89 More than 1 year ago
I always feel silly reviewing classics because what hasn't been said about them, right? But perhaps my take on it is personal. Lately I have been severely depressed. This is nothing new; I've battled depression and anxiety for ten years now. I know that it will never go away completely. But lately it's been so bad, I find myself questioning if my life even matters at all. For the past few months, I've harbored very dark thoughts and have gone through some rough patches. But reading this book has instilled me with renewed hope. While it does critique blind optimism, the ending is rather optimistic in the fact that it conveys a positive message. I like how it ends with realism rather than forced optimism. The main idea I got from the conclusion is that life will happen and that even though bad things will occur to us, we need to keep moving forward no matter what. We have to try to be realistic, which is very hard, but in the end I think it's better for us. Personally, I find a realistic approach to be more fulfilling than blind hope. It helps me to move on and challenge myself. Voltaire is a wonderful writer and I can't wait to read his other works. I highly recommend the novel to Philosophy fans and lovers of classical literature.
Luciano-E More than 1 year ago
Candide by Voltaire is a tale that leaves the reader questioning his or her own hardships, experiences, and views of the world. The philosophical aspect of the book teaches the reader of many different views of people based on their experiences. For example the Character of the old woman in the book serves to represent a pessimistic and hopeless view of the world. The old lady lives her life thinking of what should have been and lives her life in the present in a depressed state. Candide, however had suffered many hardships throughout his life too, always tried to keep a positive mind set and never gave up on the hope for a better life.  The book also leaves the reader questioning the issues of morality and human nature. The injustices showed in the book such as rape and murder were recurring throughout the story. These terrible acts done by other people to the main characters in the book shows that human nature is cruel and unforgiving. Voltaire makes it so Candide never gets what he had been so desperately searching for through the course of the whole story in the end to make a point that in the real world, most of the time people do not end up getting what they want and they usually end up having to settle for less that their ideal “happy ending.” Candide is a very realistic and blunt representation of hardship and the overall human experience. The moral of the story is that all a person can do in life is attempt to stay positive and to keep moving forward when faced with hardship. This story provides many aspects and ways that people deal with life when faced with suffering and turmoil. The book serves as an accurate representation of human emotion and coping methods in the real world.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Voltaire's Candide offers a very witty and comical satire on society. The novel is very funny and is worth the read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Strange little story
Izzie_reads_books More than 1 year ago
OMG! SOOOOOOO FUNNNNYYYY! I could not stop laughing--but then again, not everyone understood the humor and irony of this book in my class. Me, on the other hand, enjoyed every bit of it! Such a witty book!
ReadingRaven More than 1 year ago
Candid is utterly tragic, and yet magnificent humor is so cleverly entwined. I found myself laughing throughout the novel. It is profound and beautifully disparaging, and I will read this over again and again.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved it! It even had illustrations that showed nicely on my nook.
ExSeraphim More than 1 year ago
If you're considering getting this version based on the "psychedelic peacock feathers", then you must know: This cover listing (as of this review) is the old version. The newest version in Dover Thrift Editions features a portrait of Voltaire on the front instead. Now on to what's really important. Candide is a fun story with several twists and turns that could only happen in fiction. The language is pleasurable if a bit misleading at times, though it is an older style. Some of the real places Candide visits and peoples he meets can be obscure to the uninitiated, but the notes in the back help somewhat. The book isn't very long, but I imagine one would return again and again since the plot is quite dense. A shame the back cover spoils the ending, even if it's in simple terms.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved Candide for its blatent criticism of Leibniz, bleeding with sarcasm and disgust from every page. It is just so cool (for the lack of a better term) that Voltaire wrote a novel just to trash an opposing viewpoint. This book actually made me laugh while reading about the inquisition.
Guest More than 1 year ago
i am 17 years old, and i heard about candide from a musical conductor. i was playing euphonium in a band and he was guest conductor- he chose 'candide suite' for us to play. he told us about the story and how it applied to the music. i was so curious that afterwards i went out and bought it. reading candide made me enjoy the music and understand it's sarcasm and wit so much more. i suggest this book to anyone, young or old, to read with an open mind.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read this book a few years ago, because I heard it was interesting. It certainly was! It's a short book about the adventures of Candide, an innocent young man who believes that the world he lives in is the best of all possible worlds - despite the horrible things that keep happening to him. I love this book because Voltaire, with great skill and humor, manages to show us the realities of life and his own philosphy of the world. Sad and dark core, clothed in Candide's sunny outlook.
marcelrochester on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The pacing was nice, & a lot happens. The end's a bit dumb, & I probably don't totes understand the philosophical implications, but decent.
riida on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Its been a while since I wrote a review...its proving a lot easier to read than to write :)My first time to read Voltaire. Frankly, I chose Candide cause its a short novel (90 pages!) which should make it easier for me to plow through it. I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to read (as opposed to the usual old school classics or philosophical tomes). And it was lots of fun (of the satirical kind). The topic, however, is all seriousness...its a debunking of the claim that everything that happens in our life happens for the best possible reason, whether we know or understand that reason or not (this is my own wording of Pangloss' - Candide's metaphysics teacher - maxim: we live in the best possible version of the world) .By putting Candide and the other characters into the most ridiculously horrific situations, Voltaire puts the doctrine of optimism (and every other form of organized thought) to its limits. If the optimists, the religious, the academics, etc., are wrong about the world (just look at the rampant evil and suffering in the world), how do we make sense of living?Voltaire proposes a solution that is incomplete and far from perfect, which makes the book all the more thought provoking and satisfying. The heaviest 90-page book I've read! My fear is that I may not have understood it enough.Will I recommend it to others? 100% yes!Will I read it again? Yes.Will I read the author's other works? If Candide is any indication of Voltaire's talent as a writer/thinker, then I think I will be looking forward to reading more of his works.Favorite Quote(s):Candide: 'But for what purpose was this world created then?'Martin: 'To drive us mad.'
Stbalbach on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
"Voltaire would probably have been both pleasantly surprised as well as bemused by the exceptional and enduring popularity of Candide, which he viewed as one of his minor works, unworthy to vie with his tragedies, historical essays, and epic and philosophical poems, on which he staked his posthumous reputation... Voltaire wrote contes (tales) late in his career and almost as an afterthought, for he subscribed to the neoclassical canon and hierarchy of literary genres according to which tragedy in verse and epic poetry gave an author his most reliable passport to posterity and immortality. Novels, short stories, and contes were looked upon suspiciously as upstart genres with n credible aesthetic or even moral pedigree." (Gita May, 2005)The above quote from the Barnes & Noble 2005 "Introduction" ironically demonstrate the message of Candide - Voltaire spent a lifetime working in neoclassical genres, serious long works that are largely no longer read today - this is a tragedy really almost exactly like that described in Chapter XXV about a noble Venetian with a great library that he never reads. However, in a comic twist, it is Voltaire's least serious work in an "upstart genre" (the novel) that has remained the most popular and widely read. Thus Voltaire in a way pre-saged his own career, a timeless message in which the message is the message itself. Today the "classical" form is the novel, perhaps in the future it will be a new "upstart genre" such as blogs, Wikiipedia or other online written forms.
AshRyan on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Voltaire is still recognized as one of history's greatest satirists, and after reading Candide it's not hard to see why. Two and a half centuries later, it still has the power both to amuse and to shock.On the surface, as has often been noted, Candide is obviously a critique of the philosophy of Liebniz, and especially of the idea that this is the best of all possible worlds and everything is as it had to be in order for this to be so (in accordance, presumably, with the plans of an omnipotent and omnibenevolent Creator). Voltaire goes quite over the top in showing the misadventures and misfortunes that befall his befuddled hero, who at first whole-heartedly buys into this "optimism."Eventually, Candide's tale concludes with his advice that we should all just tend to our gardens--the precise meaning of which has been widely (and wildly) speculated about. Many take it to be a rejection of philosophy as such as being entirely useless, and we should just take a more pragmatic approach to life, though I find this interpretation untenable. More likely, given what we know about Voltaire as an Enlightenment thinker and from the content of Candide itself, it is simply a rejection of one philosophical school, namely that of rationalism. This is wider than just Liebniz, and Voltaire does target the ideas of other major rationalists (e.g., Descartes) as well. The message seems to be that philosophy is useless *when it has nothing to do with, and is in fact contradicted by, our actual experience.* The ending then suggests a much more practical sort of philosophy, like the one represented in America by Voltaire's contemporary Benjamin Franklin, but it is a philosophy nonetheless.In the end, this is a highly entertaining and thought-provoking story that is still very relevant in today's world, and should still be required reading for everybody.
KMDHOW on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Very funny book. Candide travels the world finding injustice everywhere he goes. It's a fast and easy read.
writestuff on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Voltaire published Candide - a classic satire which skewers politics, religious fanaticism, war, and colonialism - in 1759 to almost immediate success, despite being quickly condemned by French and Swiss authorities and banned by the Catholic church. The book sold phenomenally well "underground" and is considered one of the greatest satires of all time.Voltaire created the naive, young Candide as a way to poke fun at religion and politics, while at the same time questioning the philosophy of Leibniz who was the eternal optimist, believing that all happened for the best and we lived in the best of all worlds. Faced with cataclysmic events (such as the 1755 earthquake of Lisbon which killed thousands), Voltaire questions the idea of a benevolent God who could allow such tragedy.In the novel, Candide faces ludicrous and horrible situations...including floggings, beatings, betrayal, imprisonment, and separation from his beloved Cunegonde. Throughout his travels, Candide meets officials, Jesuits, and philosophers...and discovers a Utopian community...which all gives Voltaire ample opportunity to to attack corruption and hypocrisy in religion, government, philosophy and science. One of my favorite moments in the book was when Candide questions the leader of the Country of El Dorado (Utopia). The scene that follows puts Voltaire's cutting humor on display:Candide was interesting in seeing some of their priests and had Cacambo ask the old man where they were; at which he, smiling, said: "My friends, we are all priests. The king and all the heads of the families sing solemn hymns of thanksgiving every morning, accompanied by five or six thousand musicians." What!" says Cacambo, "you have no monks among you to dispute, to govern, to intrigue, and to burn people who are not of the same opinion as themselves?" -From Candide, page 71-Voltaire's classic is as relevant today as it was nearly 250 years ago. Truly a book which will stimulate important discussion, this one is highly recommended; rated 4.5 stars.
KendraRenee on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed delving into the theological wanderings of this 17th century philosopher; the backgrounds and criticisms also helped to give the book more depth and context. It was thrilling for me to "get to know" a writer so bold and unflinching in his views, who lived 400 years before I was even born. Candide was delightful--a tease for the brain as well as a story for the soul. I'd recommend.
teafritz on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I read this book several times 1/2 way through, and I finally decided to read it in its entirety. It's a fantastic book and forces you to look at the philosophy presented in the book with a critical eye. It is especially helpful to read the notes at the end. My favorite: "Voltaire failed to appreciate the importance of Canada".
Mromano on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This short work is the finest example of a sustained literary assault on a philosophical idea; in this case, the idea of Optimism put forth by Leibniz. It was inspired in part by the 1755 Lisbon earthquake that claimed up to 100,000 lives, a disaster that did not fit well in the Leibnizian Optimistic View that this was the best of all possible worlds. Candide is a short, precise and very focused attack on this attitude. As such, it is a masterpiece of world satire along with other notable works like Gulliver's Travels and Huckleberry Finn.