Political satire doesn't age well, but occasionally a diatribe contains enough art and universal mirth to survive long after its timeliness has passed. Candide is such a book. 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.
Telling the tale of the good-natured but star-crossed Candide (think Mr. Magoo armed with deadly force), as he travels the world struggling to be reunited with his love, Lady Cunegonde, the novel smashes such ill-conceived optimism to splinters. Candide's tutor, Dr. Pangloss, is steadfast in his philosophical good cheer, in the face of more and more fantastic misfortune; Candide's other companions always supply good sense in the nick of time. Still, as he demolishes optimism, Voltaire pays tribute to human resilience, and in doing so gives the book a pleasant indomitability common to farce. Says one character, a princess turned one-buttocked hag by unkind Fate: "I have wanted to kill myself a hundred times, but somehow I am still in love with life. This ridiculous weakness is perhaps one of our most melancholy propensities; for is there anything more stupid than to be eager to go on carrying a burden which one would gladly throw away, to loathe one's very being and yet to hold it fast, to fondle the snake that devours us until it has eaten our hearts away?"--Michael Gerber
I REALLY enjoyed this book! The translation is great, and the pictures are just fantastic. I greatly recommend it. :)
It's been awhile since I read this one, but I know that I really enjoyed it. It's got a basic Christian base to it, but is one of those novels that isn't preachy and could be enjoyed by just about anyone. It's categorized as "romantic suspense," but I somehow just can't put it in the romance category, perhaps because of my own preconceptions. Really, this is a well written and touching story. Some bits may be a bit "overwritten," but mostly it's very good.
Newbery Honor Book! This is a fantastic story by Lois Lenski, writer and illustrater extrordinare. I loved this book, a fictionalized story based on a the true experiences of Mary Jemison, who was abducted by a group of Senecas (Native American tribe, Iroquois) and "adopted." The story real is very interesting and, I felt, eye opening, as it is a view of real life inside of a tribe known for violence, a look at why they do things and the true spirit of the individuals. Absolutly lovely book, and one that I think everyone should read.
Roald Dahl never fails me. :) This book, like all the others of his that I have read as of yet, is just faboulous! The imagery and creativity is just spellbinding. Now I really want to watch the movie and see if it begins to do the book justice. Really a terrific read!
A lovely book by the genius writer, Roald Dahl. This book is a sure favorite for children everywhere! Matilda is a bookworm in a tv watchers world. Perhaps you can relate? Very creative and great imagery.