Friday, June 20, 2008

Candide by Voltaire

Brought up in the household of a powerful Baron, Candide is an open-minded young man, whose tutor, Pangloss, has instilled in him the belief that 'all is for the best'. But when his love for the Baron's rosy-cheeked daughter is discovered, Candide is cast out to make his own way in the world. And so he and his various companions begin a breathless tour of Europe, South America and Asia, as an outrageous series of disasters befall them earthquakes, syphilis, a brush with the Inquisition, murder sorely testing the young hero's optimism.
OK, I admit it. I chose to read this book because it was very short. I think I was expecting a really dense, serious book and I surprised at how quick and easy it is to read. I finished it during my son's naptime one day. I didn't love it, I didn't hate it - I've heard it's one of those sort of books. It's a sort of Odysseyian adventure where every disaster EVER occurs to Candide or his friends. I found it interesting and slightly amusing at first, but to be honest, I think by the end it was a little too much. Around the time of the disthroned kings I couldn't care less. It's one more title to tick off my list, but it won't be one that I reread in the near future.

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