• Candide and Zadig

  • By: Voltaire
  • Narrated by: Clive Chafer
  • Length: 6 hrs and 24 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (137 ratings)

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Candide and Zadig  By  cover art

Candide and Zadig

By: Voltaire
Narrated by: Clive Chafer
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Publisher's Summary

These two classic coming-of-age stories by Voltaire parody the romanticism of his day with the ruthless wit that has made him the undisputed master of social commentary.

Candide, which is alternately titled Optimism, is a merciless satire and exposé of the ideas and institutions men live by. In this philosophical fantasy, the naïve Candide comes to witness and to suffer such misfortune that he rejects the philosophy of his tutor, Dr. Pangloss, who claims that “all is for the best in this best of all possible worlds.”

Zadig is the story of another optimist—young, rich, beautiful, and engaged to a woman he loves. When his early hopes and assets are destroyed, he embarks on a journey that will systematically explore science, religion, and the military, contributing to each, betrayed by all. Through these trials, he will eventually win the kingdom of Babylon.

Public Domain (P)2011 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

Critic Reviews

“A masterful satire on the follies and vices of men.” (Masterpieces of World Literature on Candide)

What listeners say about Candide and Zadig

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The Source of Modern Literature

Voltaire's Candide, more than any other work of prose, has influenced my life. This homily of friendship, love, and virtue provides humour, solace, and wise guidance in a too frequently harsh and inexplicable world.

Zadig, an earlier work, extends the limits of what then was literature. I also wonder if it's content, meaning and style influenced Nietzsche's Thus Spake Zarathustra.

2 people found this helpful

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Two Beautifully-read Masterpieces

Clive Chafer interprets the satire, humor and wit of Voltaire beautifully. This was a delightful listen!

2 people found this helpful

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A great book

A wonderful book that I found to be developmental and maturative for a young man coming of age such as myself. I found such great relation with the protagonist and also the author. I further highly recommend this book.

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Good read...

These sories are interesting. I had no idea Voltaire wrote such stories. I just wonder why everone is fainting in these stories all the time :D

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Best narrating ever!

I liked the stories of both books and the narrating was the best I've heard. Big props to the narrator.

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  • Tone
  • 05-14-22

Disappointingly dull and aged yarn.

I expected more from Voltaire.
what we have is an overly drawn out, somewhat ludicrous, medieval farce, satiring Leibniz' Theodicy of "The best possible world".

Not helped by a dreadfully dreary and robotic narration.

"Ivanhoe" for philosophers.

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  • Linda Neave
  • 05-11-22

Worth a Listen

Written in yee oldie English I am not denying it was hard going but I am glad I took the trouble to listen to some of Voltaire’s work.
Unlike some of the reviews I did get used to Clive Chafer’s narration.

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  • joe
  • 02-16-18

The Narrator Saps the Joy

What disappointed you about Candide and Zadig?

The narrator saps the joy from the piece, making it unlistenable to

What did you like best about this story?

I've been told it's very good and seemed funny

Who might you have cast as narrator instead of Clive Chafer?

Interesting question; probably Johnathan Cecil, he'd get the comedy just right