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Extended Audio Sample Candide Audiobook, by Voltaire Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (77,463 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Voltaire Narrator: Jack Davenport Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: February 2009 ISBN: 9781482978407
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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.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Penned by that Renaissance man of the Enlightenment, Voltaire, Candide is steeped in the political and philosophical controversies of the 1750s. But for the general reader, the novel’s driving principle is clear enough: the idea (endemic in Voltaire’s day) that we live in the best of all possible worlds, and apparent folly, misery, and strife are actually harbingers of a greater good we cannot perceive, is hogwash.”

    Amazon.com, editorial review

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Grace Moser | 1/27/2014

    " Sarcastic and witty, a must read to analyze Europe at this stage of development. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Shavan Patel | 1/27/2014

    " The book was good at some points but some points it wasn't that good. The reason why the book wasn't so good was because when the book wasn't so intersecting it was so boring that you could go to sleep. When the intersecting parts had made came up it so good that you could keep reading it until the bad parts came up. The hardest part was to understand the satire part. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 M. Crabtree | 1/15/2014

    " Interesting satire, but it does get repetitive in the miserable tragedies that keep befalling Candide. Of course, that's the point, but for a short book a lot of unbelievably awful things happen. Still, enjoyed the foray into philosophy.... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Blackcatno9 | 1/12/2014

    " Possibly one of my favorite books, ever. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kendra | 1/11/2014

    " I read it much too quickly I think. But in my defense, the actual story is like 100 pages including huge full page illustrations. For never having paid much attention to Voltaire (with the exception of his quotes of course), I really did enjoy it. The plot changed constantly and characters left just as quickly as they came in, meaning if you're distracted for more than a sentence, you're beyond confused as to where and with whom poor Candide is now. The fast pace and strange quirks kept me entertained straight through (hardly put it down for a second). Rereadability factor is pretty high on this one since it seems to me this is the type of story I'll catch something new in every time (much like Dante's work). I can say this is probably an 8 of 10. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Peter | 12/22/2013

    " Wonderful encyclopedia satirica. Also a great one-in-a-day read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jana Kaplan | 12/18/2013

    " I really enjoyed this, surprising myself. The characters are stupidly brilliant, which I believe is exactly what Voltaire wanted to accomplish in the writing of this book. Think of parody on the noble saying "Everything works out for the best." "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mirëdon Fusha | 12/10/2013

    " "I wonder" where did Paulo Coelho's "Alchemist" came from?! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sean Dhaliwal | 11/24/2013

    " I read this for my philosophy class. It was a life saver, especially after the boredom of Descartes and Leibniz. This book is a great satire and makes a mockery of Leibniz's philosophy about "the best of all possible worlds". Anyone who takes philosophy too seriously should read this. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sydney Edlund | 11/12/2013

    " Candide is fantastic, so long as you know from the get-go it's a satire. Everyone should read this book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Chin Jian xiong | 11/9/2013

    " May reread again after reading about the certain philosophical theories Voltaire was trying to debunk. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Erdem Karaadam | 8/28/2013

    " not a very easy read. too much sardonism becomes boring after a while. being a turk myself, loved the ending though. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Danielle B. | 8/17/2013

    " This was my sister Mary's book, a little piece of academic/family history! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kelly Haverlandt | 4/28/2013

    " How did I miss this great allegory?? "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nicholas Mariner | 3/17/2013

    " I can get behind any book whose basic purpose is to say 'optimism is for chumps.' "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Leslie | 1/16/2013

    " it is such a crazy story and all over the place. then the last few pages sum it up so profoundly. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 AntaeusQ AntaeusQ | 1/12/2013

    " No matter how brutal, amoral, or hypocrtical the characters get, how much inncocence is lost, the story keeps on moving along, making it all seem like a sad sad joke but a very funny one. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Joanne Cuadros | 1/1/2013

    " Had to read this in college, it was actually better than I though. Defiantly interesting lol "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Alan | 8/9/2012

    " A funny book . . . a depressing book. Lots of wit . . . philosophical . . . ending was amusing. I can see why the church didn't care much for him. I enjoyed reading it - and got through it very quickly. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Undostres | 7/10/2012

    " Leuk, snel te lezen, veel avontuur "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Josh Stevens | 5/27/2012

    " The sheer absurdity of this classic piece actually made me laugh out loud at some points. Voltaire was absolutely brilliant and his views of society, religion, and class are just as important in today's society as they were during his lifetime. A quick read that I would highly recommend to anyone. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jim | 12/8/2011

    " Wonderfully dark. Thanks to Mr. Carlson for letting me do whatever the fuck i wanted in grammar class. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Joanne | 9/28/2011

    " I read this years ago. I liked it at the time. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Shawn | 9/27/2011

    " How is it possible that this book has an average of 3.78 stars? It's one of the most classic books of Western literature. I guess there are a lot of blockheads out there. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Hannah | 5/13/2011

    " An old story that retains a fresh voice for modern readers and a curious contemplation on why people suffer. I'd like to read David Rachoff's new book, Half-Empty, for his thoughts on the role of optimism. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jeff | 5/12/2011

    " Excellent read. Entertaining story with just the right amount of sarcasm that makes it still funny today. Very well thought out and enacted by Voltaire. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Diana | 5/11/2011

    " Wonderfu, funny, wicked
    "Il faut culticer son jardin" is my philosophy of life "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Qursheedali | 5/9/2011

    " This novel is one of greatest novel all time. The storyline is beautiful. The events that take place is more thrillering after one another. nothing more to say but yes! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Whoa | 5/9/2011

    " It was amusing. But I had a hard time trying to pay attention to it. The things that happen are absolutely ridiculous but its awesome in that way "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Pete | 5/7/2011

    " Just stay at home and work in your garden. That is happiness. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Aase Marit | 5/3/2011

    " So, I needed an easy, quick read during all my exam preperations. I definitly hit the nail on it's head! I found my self giggling through all of it, and appreciated Voltaires point of views written into every part of it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Brittany | 5/3/2011

    " I was surprised to find how much I enjoyed this book, even though it was written so long ago. I think I read it for a class in college, but I can't remember for what subject or for what purpose. You'll be surprised how many familiar themes and plots are crammed into this little book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Eric | 5/3/2011

    " Classic for a reason. Old humor that stands the test of time and is relevant today. Human nature must not change... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tessa | 5/3/2011

    " had to read it for my humanities class but i actually slightly enjoyed it as opposed to being tortured. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Wendi | 5/3/2011

    " The Enlightenment boiled down to sarcasm. Love this book. "

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About the Author
Author Voltaire

Voltaire (1694–1778), born François-Marie Arouet, was a French Enlightenment writer, historian, and philosopher known for his wit, philosophical sport, and defense of civil liberties. He produced works in almost every literary form, including poetry, novels, essays, plays, historical and scientific works, and over two thousand books and pamphlets.

About the Narrator

Jack Davenport is an English actor best known for his roles in the television series This Life, Coupling, Smash, and as James Norrington in the Pirates of the Caribbean films. In addition to film and theater, he has lent his voice to many audiobooks and voice-overs for commercials. Some of his audiobook credits include A Clockwork Orange, Black Dogs, Candide, among others, and his narrations have won two AudioFile Earphones Awards.