Candide: or, Optimism, by Voltaire, trans. and ed. by Theo Cuffe, 3/5
I was expecting a classy, clever satire, not such a crass tale. While entertaining, witty and devastatingly sarcastic in parts, I felt that its overall tone was tasteless and shallow; there is something off-putting and ignoble about a writer putting warped versions of his opponents’ beliefs into the mouths of fools, creating too-easy targets for snide and immature insults. It seemed more the bawdy tale of a sea captain than that of a writer with any pretensions to philosophic depth.
[Why I read it: can’t remember where I actually got the book from, but I was interested in reading it because a friend had me watch the operetta version starring soprano Kristan Chenoweth.]