Candide by Voltaire

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Candide, ou l'Optimisme is a French satire written in 1759 by Voltaire, a philosopher of the Age of Enlightenment. Candide is characterized by its sarcastic tone and its erratic, fantastical, and fast-moving plot. A picaresque novel with a story similar to that of a more serious bildungsroman, it parodies many adventure and romance clichés, the struggles of which are caricatured in a tone that is mordantly matter-of-fact. Still, the events discussed are often based on historical happenings, such as the Seven Years' War and the 1755 Lisbon earthquake. As philosophers of Voltaire's day contended with the problem of evil, so too does Candide in this short novel, albeit more directly and humorously. Voltaire ridicules religion, theologians, governments, armies, philosophies, and philosophers through allegory; most conspicuously, he assaults Leibniz and his optimism.

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The 49th greatest fiction book of all time

This book is on the following lists:

  1. - 7th on For The Love of Books (For The Love of Books)
  2. - 14th on Top 100 World Literature Titles (Perfection Learning)
  3. - 58th on Pour une Bibliothèque Idéale (Raymond Queneau)
  4. - 80th on The Novel 100: A Ranking of the Greatest Novels of All Time (The Novel 100)
  5. - 95th on 100 Best Books (Montana State University)
  6. - 99th on The Top 10: The Greatest Books of All Time (The Top 10 (Book))
  7. - Masterpieces of World Literature (Frank N. Magill)
  8. - The Book of Great Books: A Guide to 100 World Classics (Book)
  9. - From Zero to Well-Read in 100 Books (Jeff O'Neal at
  10. - Best Books Ever (
  11. - The Graphic Canon (Book)
  12. - The 100 Greatest Books Ever Written (Easton Press)
  13. - Select 100 (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee)
  14. - The New Lifetime Reading Plan (The New Lifetime Reading Plan)
  15. - The 100 Most Influential Books Ever Written (Martin Seymour-Smith)
  16. - The College Board: 101 Great Books Recommended for College-Bound Readers (
  17. - ZEIT-Bibliothek der 100 Bücher (Die Zeit)
  18. - Världsbiblioteket (The World Library) (Tidningen Boken)
  19. - Great Books of the Western World (Great Books Foundation)

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