Candide is one of the world's great satires, first published in 1759. Voltaire exposes and satirizes romance, science, philosophy, religion, and government...the ideas and forces that permeate and control the lives of men.
Every great once in a while, I revisit classic literature to remind myself of the fundamentals of well-written literature. One of my favorites is Candide by Voltaire.
This was one of the few satires that genuinely made me laugh. Candide is taught by his teacher, Dr. Pangloss, that they live in the best of all possible worlds. Right away, this is put to the test when Candide is banished for loving Cunegonde, who is considered above his station. Not only do horrible things happen to Candide, but terrible events also happen to everyone he knows.
What I found amusing is how Candide seemed to bring it on himself; he makes one bad decision after another, to the point of being predictable. The ending isn't exactly a happy one, but Candide finally finds a place in the world that doesn't bring on more problems.
I think this is a great book to entice young minds to read classic literature.