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Candide: 0 Paperback – 17 March 1991
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About the Author
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.
The late Robert M. Adams was Professor at the University of California, Los Angeles
- Publisher : *Norton agency titles; 1st edition (17 March 1991)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 352 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0393960587
- ISBN-13 : 978-0393960587
- Dimensions : 12.95 x 1.27 x 21.34 cm
- Best Sellers Rank: 972,626 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from Australia
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Some examples of word/phrases that pop-up in here, when compared with another version:
'united states of america' instead of 'country'
'e-book' instead of 'book'
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Bought this to line it up to read, and my return window has closed from Amazon.
The price we pay for no quality control.
Top reviews from other countries
Candide is a naïve, gullible, quixotic innocent, who is launched on a fantastical journey around Europe, South America and returning to the Eastern Mediterranean, in his search for his true love, Cunegonde, and answers to the philosophical questions raised by his mentor, Pangloss.
He suffers disaster after disaster and is mistreated, cheated and betrayed time after time but just keeps bouncing back.
The story is written in a light, humorous style, with echoes of Gabriel García Marquez's magic realism; with an overlying cynicism it is used to lampoon and satirise the venality of the establishment, particularly the Roman Catholic Church.
It is an easy and very good read and it just flows along; it is hard to imagine that it was written more than 250 years ago, although at least some of the credit for this may be down to skilful translating and editing.
One passage really caught my eye - writing in 1759, Voltaire has Martin saying: "It is said [of] Venice....that strangers meet with a very good reception if they have a good deal of money." - just a few weeks ago, in late 2017, in response to a Brit who complained about being stuffed with a bill for EUR 526 for lunch for him and his parents, Luigi Brugnaro, the Mayor of Venice, called him a cheapskate and said: "If you come to Venice, you need to shell out a bit. You’re welcome, but you need to spend.” - plus ça change....
This is a strange dark fairy tale riddled with allegory and overburdened with an exaggerated, almost cartoonish brutality. Also cartoon-like is the resurrection of bumped-off characters, however welcome their return. (I’m looking at you, Pangloss.) Less welcome was the undercurrent of antisemitism I detected in certain parts of this story. (Et tu, Voltaire?)
It is only really possible to understand Voltaire’s great work as a satire of its times thanks to the rather odd but undoubtedly helpful footnotes. (I am referring to the Amazon Classics edition with Philip Littell’s introduction - one of the most bizarre pieces of writing I have ever read. Or, to be more precise, skipped.)
I close with my favourite quote: “Fools admire everything in an author of reputation. For my part, I read only to please myself. I like only that which serves my purpose.” Quite so. And now the sun has come out and I must cultivate my garden.
The Baron chucks Candide out of his home after he catches him kissing his daughter. Candide ends up in the army but manages to escape and goes to Holland. The adventure continues as he travels to Lisbon, Buenos Aires, Eldorado, Paris, Venice and Constantinople. He gets flogged, robbed and commits murder.
The story is too overwhelming for me. So many horrible things happen, it's exhausting. However, it's a gripping journey and not short of excitement and adventure. It has philosophical aspects to it but that goes over my head. I am just interested in a good story.
It’s a quick read and you could read it in one sitting.
In conclusion I am giving it 3 stars for lots of excitement but too much brutality.