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Zadig, ou La Destinée, ("Zadig, or The Book of Fate") (1747) is a famous novel written by the French Enlightenment philosopher Voltaire. It tells the story of Zadig, a philosopher in ancient Babylonia. The author does not attempt any historical accuracy, and some of the problems Zadig faces are thinly disguised references to social and political problems of Voltaire's own Zadig, ou La Destinée, ("Zadig, or The Book of Fate") (1747) is a famous novel written by the French Enlightenment philosopher Voltaire. It tells the story of Zadig, a philosopher in ancient Babylonia. The author does not attempt any historical accuracy, and some of the problems Zadig faces are thinly disguised references to social and political problems of Voltaire's own day. The book is philosophical in nature, and presents human life as in the hands of a destiny beyond human control. It is a story of religious and metaphysical orthodoxy, both of which Voltaire challenges with his presentation of the moral revolution taking place in Zadig himself. Voltaire's skillful use of the literary devices of contradiction and juxtaposition are shown in beautiful form in this prose. Behind Candide, it is considered one of his most celebrated works.


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Zadig, ou La Destinée, ("Zadig, or The Book of Fate") (1747) is a famous novel written by the French Enlightenment philosopher Voltaire. It tells the story of Zadig, a philosopher in ancient Babylonia. The author does not attempt any historical accuracy, and some of the problems Zadig faces are thinly disguised references to social and political problems of Voltaire's own Zadig, ou La Destinée, ("Zadig, or The Book of Fate") (1747) is a famous novel written by the French Enlightenment philosopher Voltaire. It tells the story of Zadig, a philosopher in ancient Babylonia. The author does not attempt any historical accuracy, and some of the problems Zadig faces are thinly disguised references to social and political problems of Voltaire's own day. The book is philosophical in nature, and presents human life as in the hands of a destiny beyond human control. It is a story of religious and metaphysical orthodoxy, both of which Voltaire challenges with his presentation of the moral revolution taking place in Zadig himself. Voltaire's skillful use of the literary devices of contradiction and juxtaposition are shown in beautiful form in this prose. Behind Candide, it is considered one of his most celebrated works.

30 review for Zadig or the Book of Fate (LibriVox Audiobook)

  1. 4 out of 5

    Ahmad Sharabiani

    zadig = True = The Book of Fate, Francois Marie Arouet De Voltaire Zadig, or The Book of Fate; (1747) is a novel, and work of philosophical fiction, by the Enlightenment writer Voltaire. It tells the story of Zadig, a philosopher in ancient Babylonia. The author does not attempt any historical accuracy, and some of the problems Zadig faces are thinly disguised references to social and political problems of Voltaire's own day. It was originally published as Memnon in Amsterdam (with a false impri zadig = True = The Book of Fate, Francois Marie Arouet De Voltaire Zadig, or The Book of Fate; (1747) is a novel, and work of philosophical fiction, by the Enlightenment writer Voltaire. It tells the story of Zadig, a philosopher in ancient Babylonia. The author does not attempt any historical accuracy, and some of the problems Zadig faces are thinly disguised references to social and political problems of Voltaire's own day. It was originally published as Memnon in Amsterdam (with a false imprint of London given) and first issued under its more familiar title in 1748. The book makes use of the Persian tale The Three Princes of Serendip. It is philosophical in nature, and presents human life as in the hands of a destiny beyond human control. Voltaire challenges religious and metaphysical orthodoxy with his presentation of the moral revolution taking place in Zadig himself. Zadig is one of Voltaire's most celebrated works after Candide. Many literary critics have praised Voltaire's use of contradiction and juxtaposition. عنوانها: زادیگ؛ صادق یا سرنوشت؛ تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز بیست و دوم ماه نوامبر سال 1972 میلادی عنوان: زادیگ، صادق یا سرنوشت؛ نویسنده: فرانسوا ماری‌آروئه (ولتر)؛ مترجم: رضا شهشانی؛ تهران، مرکزی، 1310، در 100 ص، موضوع داستانهای نویسندگان فرانسوی - سده 18 م عنوان: صادق یا سرنوشت؛ نویسنده: ولتر؛ مترجم: مینو فردکامرانی؛ تهران، شبگیر، 1351، در 119 ص؛ عنوان: صادق یا سرنوشت؛ نویسنده: ولتر؛ مترجم: زهره بهرامی (راد)؛ تهران، ، 1392 در 120 ص؛ معرفی کوتاه: «مرد یک‌چشم»، «اسب و سگ»، «مرد حسود»، «نیکوکاران»، «داوری‌ها»، «مهمانی شبانه»، «راهزن»، «ماهیگیر»، «مسابقات»، «معماها» عنوان‌های برخی از بخشهای این داستان هستند نقل نمونه از متن: «قرنها پیش، در سرزمین بابل، در زمان فرمانروایی «مؤبدر»، مردی به نام «زادیگ» می‌زیست که از هوش و نبوغ سرشار، و تربیت و فضایل بسیار برخوردار بود، «زادیگ»، با اینکه از عظمت جوانی و ثروت برخوردار بود، ولی همیشه بر هواهای نفسانی خویش غلبه می‌کرد.»؛ پایان نقل از متن. ا. شربیانی

  2. 5 out of 5

    Bill Kerwin

    Zadig, or the Book of Fate (1747), is Voltaire’s first novella of ideas, and, although it lacks the inexorability of its disciplined younger brother Candide (1759), it shares its comic vision and realistic assessment of the world. Featuring a cast of Babylonians, Egyptians, and Arabs, Zadig clearly takes for its model the Oriental tale—Galland’s French translation of The Arabian Nights had been completed in 1717—which was already famous for its marvelous incidents and episodic from. Part conte p Zadig, or the Book of Fate (1747), is Voltaire’s first novella of ideas, and, although it lacks the inexorability of its disciplined younger brother Candide (1759), it shares its comic vision and realistic assessment of the world. Featuring a cast of Babylonians, Egyptians, and Arabs, Zadig clearly takes for its model the Oriental tale—Galland’s French translation of The Arabian Nights had been completed in 1717—which was already famous for its marvelous incidents and episodic from. Part conte philosophique, part apologue, and part picaresque adventure (with a bit of the detective story and Solomonic wisdom tale thrown in), Zadig never ceases to entertain. The novella relates the adventures of Zadig, a shrewd, bright honest young man who experiences the vicissitudes of life: he becomes, in turn, a betrayed husband, a prisoner, a prime minister, a slave, a robber gang’s prisoner, a knight in shining armor, a fake physician, the companion of a hermit (who turns out to be angel) and, finally, the King of Babylon. Zadig continues to seek for a pattern in the good and the evil, in the up-and-down, of life. Jesrad (the angel disguised as a hermit) gives him the closest thing he ever gets to an explantion: ”That great and first Cause has created an infinite Number of Worlds, and no two of them alike. This vast Variety is an Attribute of his Omnipotence. There are not two Leaves on the Trees throughout the Universe, nor any two Globes of Light amongst the Myriad of Stars that deck the infinite Expanse of Heaven, which are perfectly alike. And whatever you see on that small Atom of Earth, whereof you are a Native, must exist in the Place, and at the Time appointed, according to the immutable Decrees of him who comprehends the Whole …. Frail Mortal! Cease to contend with what you ought to adore.” “But, said Zadig — whilst the Sound of the Word “But” dwelt upon his Tongue, the Angel took his Flight towards the tenth Sphere. Zadig sunk down upon his Knees, and acknowledg’d an over-ruling Providence with all the Marks of the profoundest Submission. The Angel, as he was soaring towards the Clouds, cried out in distinct Accents: “Make thy Way towards Babylon.”

  3. 4 out of 5

    Duane

    This is a short, philosophical novel about Zadig, a fictional character of ancient Babylonia. Zadig reminds me of Don Quixote in the sense that he is very virtuous, but he is beset with every misfortune you can imagine. Regardless of his good intentions, Zadig finds trouble at every turn, even to the extent of imprisonment and slavery. Zadig was first published in the mid 18th century, and not as well known as Candide, it is a very good philosophical work and well worth reading.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Ana

    Zadig, a philosopher in ancient Babylonia, goes through numerous trials, proves his wisdom and wins happiness. I know it's categorized as a philosophical novel, but it felt more like an adventure novel with a romantic subplot and a little philosophy snuck in.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Timothy

    This is an excellent tale, echoing the manner of the Arabian Nights, filled with amusing episodes and light philosophical insights. I may be ambivalent about the story’s moral, but the character of the eponymous protagonist is heroic in his quests and honest in his struggle to meet his outrageous challenges in a world filled with pain and frustration, not least being the betrayals and stupidities of his fellow men . . . all the while trying to puzzle out the nature of Fate. Its inspiration never This is an excellent tale, echoing the manner of the Arabian Nights, filled with amusing episodes and light philosophical insights. I may be ambivalent about the story’s moral, but the character of the eponymous protagonist is heroic in his quests and honest in his struggle to meet his outrageous challenges in a world filled with pain and frustration, not least being the betrayals and stupidities of his fellow men . . . all the while trying to puzzle out the nature of Fate. Its inspiration never flags. It is worth mentioning the full title of the edition I read: Zadig, or Fate. Voltaire’s Deism shows in a revelation towards the end, with an angel offering the secret why a world with so much suffering exists. Very interesting. Today’s besotted youngsters might be amused to learn that Diversity Is a Sign not of Our Strength . . . but of the Creator’s. This is not a novel. Voltaire tells his story in the manner of ancient tall tales, not in the modern novelistic style with its characteristic attention to moment, aiming to induce the reader into the soul of the protagonist, whether hero, victim or anti-hero. There is no “interiority” here. Do not read it expecting anything like a modern thriller or popular novel, and most especially a classic novel such as Silas Marner and Fathers and Sons. This is a droll tale in the olden style, but with Voltaire’s wit woven in to leaven the lump. I highly recommend Zadig. Every literate person should be familiar with this form of fiction. I believe it would properly be called an “anatomy,” to use the terminology of Northrop Frye, taken from Robert Burton. The ancient term is Menippean satire. Some of my favorite writers engage in this genre: Lucian, Denis Diderot, Aldous Huxley, and James Branch Cabell. But I also acknowledge and honor the more popular form of the novel, now standard. Yet, as I grow old, and soak up our civilization’s scattered stores of wisdom — wringing them out, periodically, in the course of my many follies and foibles — I find my taste for reveling in the arts of feeling, of streams of consciousness and flows of tropisms, wane. What waxes, instead, are the dazzling philosophical perspectives of Lucian and Cabell. And Voltaire.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Morris Nelms

    I loved this book. I read it as part of the complete works of Voltaire, rather than this edition, but I don't want to review each part of the edition as part of one long review. I preferred this one to Candide. It may not be as profound or even as funny as parts of Candide, but it doesn't use rape as a plot device, which is my biggest problem with Candide. I also like the ending of Zadig much more. Voltaire uses his energy, his wit, and his silver tongue to rail against hypocrisy, cruelty to the I loved this book. I read it as part of the complete works of Voltaire, rather than this edition, but I don't want to review each part of the edition as part of one long review. I preferred this one to Candide. It may not be as profound or even as funny as parts of Candide, but it doesn't use rape as a plot device, which is my biggest problem with Candide. I also like the ending of Zadig much more. Voltaire uses his energy, his wit, and his silver tongue to rail against hypocrisy, cruelty to the innocent, greed, religious intolerance (by pointing out, quite cleverly, that no one actually knows anything for certain about the afterlife, etc.), etc. There are a few jarring notes in this book as well. One passage struck me as fairly anti-Semitic, and there were a couple of other things that bothered about Voltaire's treatment of the women in this story. It's still very much worth reading.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Luke

    Witty, sharp and intelligent. It is not hard to understand why Voltaire was written with interest al through history. He managed to write a gripping story packed with philosophy and socio-politcal criticism. I immensly enjoyed reading Zadig and often laughed out loud at it's wit and irony. A good example of this is a scene in which Voltaire described a women that has been nearly killed by an agressive brute. The first thing she does, while Zadig attacks her near-killer is sit down and redo her h Witty, sharp and intelligent. It is not hard to understand why Voltaire was written with interest al through history. He managed to write a gripping story packed with philosophy and socio-politcal criticism. I immensly enjoyed reading Zadig and often laughed out loud at it's wit and irony. A good example of this is a scene in which Voltaire described a women that has been nearly killed by an agressive brute. The first thing she does, while Zadig attacks her near-killer is sit down and redo her hair....Yet I also feel like I have just gone to a couple of lessons in ethics and sociology. Can not wait to read the next story in these chronicles; Micromegas.

  8. 4 out of 5

    A.

    Useless. Plagiarism of what Voltaire read of chinese and arabic wisdom apparently (notably Zhuangzi(Chuang Tsu), and the Quranic narrative of Moses and Khidr, at least the ones I could identify). The editor does mention Zhuangzi in the notes but does not deem it useful to say that it's simple blatant copy-paste. Zadig only regurgitates ageless metaphors and allegories that are, in fact, much better expressed in their original source. Apparently, and this is quite hilarious frankly, Voltaire never a Useless. Plagiarism of what Voltaire read of chinese and arabic wisdom apparently (notably Zhuangzi(Chuang Tsu), and the Quranic narrative of Moses and Khidr, at least the ones I could identify). The editor does mention Zhuangzi in the notes but does not deem it useful to say that it's simple blatant copy-paste. Zadig only regurgitates ageless metaphors and allegories that are, in fact, much better expressed in their original source. Apparently, and this is quite hilarious frankly, Voltaire never actually said the famous quote attributed to him "I do not agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it." Hah...!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Bukk

    Voltaire's outstanding adventure-philosophical-satire novella Zadig might be my favorite thing I've read by the man. Zadig takes us into ancient Babylon and the broader world of the time, with some of the people and ideas in this world looking like a satire of France and Europe and ideological fashions during Voltaire's life. In this tale he relays the adventures of Zadig, a man who I get the impression is at least a little bit of an autobiographical representation of the writer. There's a lot ab Voltaire's outstanding adventure-philosophical-satire novella Zadig might be my favorite thing I've read by the man. Zadig takes us into ancient Babylon and the broader world of the time, with some of the people and ideas in this world looking like a satire of France and Europe and ideological fashions during Voltaire's life. In this tale he relays the adventures of Zadig, a man who I get the impression is at least a little bit of an autobiographical representation of the writer. There's a lot about Zadig (the character) that can be seen as representing of some aspects of Voltaire, at least intellectually. You can see it in his philosophical wisdom and insight, his fearlessness in following the truth wherever it goes, despite how it conflicts with the common thought of his day, and his constant misfortune brought about by seemingly innocuous actions. Voltaire experienced some exiles and punishments for iconoclasm and criticisms, and Zadig experiences much of the same, although to a greater degree, and probably with more profitable outcomes. It seems likely much of the inspiration for Zadig was taken from Voltaire's experiences. But there's a lot about Zadig (the character) that is not like the author at all, and is probably not intended to be seen as wishful, but fanciful. Maybe some of these characteristics, like the combat-savy athleticism, are traits Voltaire thought would be necessary to a far-traveling character on such adventures, as they prove handy more than once. And there are many experiences Zadig has that I doubt were parallels to anything in Voltaire's life, just purely creative products of invention. So this is not some self-absorbed satirical autobiography, but a philosophical adventure minor-epic in novella form, and is constantly amusing, thoughtful, and surprising, in a translation that claims to stay true to Voltaire's style. This is a compelling and pensive story that feels as though it could be expanded into a novel three times its length without a dull moment. Zadig's observations, commentaries, and interactions with some prominent and important people and unimportant people and unreliable people and unbalanced people and wise people often have unintended consequences, due either to inexplicable cultural practices or unquestioned customs or beliefs, or misunderstandings, or superstitions, or events outside of his control. Zadig's wisdom and sharpness and good character tend to put him in people's good graces, at least for a little while, until the wrong people start to gravitate toward him, or his ideas are taken poorly, or something is blown out of proportion and he is seemingly punished for no good reason (whether it is for being a particularly good detective and inferring the traits of animals he did not see, or it is looking out his window, or it is rescuing a woman from a man beating her, or the wrong person is wearing clothing similar to his own). Zadig travels from town to town, country to country, having uniquely fantastic experiences at every stop, falling in love, getting into fights, sharing his gifts of perception and cleverness and problem solving with those he meets, taking on great responsibilities and roles, experiencing the heights of good fortune and prestige and attention and authority, as well as the depths of misfortune, exile, slavery, heartbreak, and engaging in all sorts of philosophical inquiries along his path. The version of Zadig I read contained a couple extra chapters and segments, which Voltaire had for some reason removed from the text and prevented from being published during his lifetime. These episodes, one of which tells us of Zadig's fable-like processes for helping a King make critical decisions, were great, just as good as the rest of the book. I'm not sure why they were originally removed, because the notes don't explain. Did Voltaire not like these parts? Were they somehow more politically dangerous for him than the rest of the book? Did he think they distracted from the story and the philosophy? Hard to say. But I'm glad they were included here because they only added to the already great story. Although it is a short work, it is full, complete, expansive, and epic, feeling as though nothing was overlooked, left out, or unexplored. These extra chapters at least provide a little bit more content to a book that I only wish were longer.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Mathias

    Now, before anybody wonders why I give this book only two stars, let me make clear that this rating refers to the English LibriVox audiobook. Previously, I listened to the German LibriVox version of Candide, which was simply very good. Unfortunately, there’s no German version of Zadig. The problem is that some English LibriVox audiobooks are unbearably bad narrated, sometimes you can’t even acoustically understand what they are saying. And your mind wanders faster off, if it is badly narrated. I Now, before anybody wonders why I give this book only two stars, let me make clear that this rating refers to the English LibriVox audiobook. Previously, I listened to the German LibriVox version of Candide, which was simply very good. Unfortunately, there’s no German version of Zadig. The problem is that some English LibriVox audiobooks are unbearably bad narrated, sometimes you can’t even acoustically understand what they are saying. And your mind wanders faster off, if it is badly narrated. I have to say, this is mostly one of these books. Mostly, because there are different narrators and some did a fine job. But some were so bad that I didn’t fully get the story. I just now read the plot summary on Wikipedia and I must say I missed quite a lot of stuff. Why are English LibriVox audiobooks in average worse than German ones? I think it is because English is a true international language, which means it attracts a lot of people who are not native speakers themselves and grossly overestimate their English pronunciation skills. Or they might even see it as a good opportunity to practice and improve their skills. I don’t want to disrespect anybody who takes their spare time trying to do something good for society. I think it’s very nice of them to dedicate time and effort towards LibriVox, but I think LibriVox should do a much better job at warning us about bad narrators, especially where there are multiple narrators for one book. Because it is very frustrating when the first narrator is very good and then..., out of nowhere you hear an Indian who sounds like he just had his first English lesson (just using this nationality as an example because having a very peculiar dialect, they are easy to spot). So there’s actually nothing to be said about Zadig itself by me at this time. My plan is to listen to a better quality audiobook sometime. Maybe I might even try the French LibriVox audiobook. My French skills are actually very limited, but since I now know the plot summary, it could work. If not, I’ll get an audiobook from audible.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Daniel Foster

    So... Zadig or Fate... what do you call a 250 year old novel that still manages to be to hilarious, insightful, touching, and wise? Poor Zadig. Fate hates him. If you’ve ever felt like the deck was stacked against you, then Zadig is your man. In the eponymous novel, Voltaire chronicles the life and suffering of a would-be ancient Babylonian royal adviser. I say "would be" because if it can go wrong in Zadig’s life, it does, and if it can't, it does anyway. Zadig loses his position, his power, hi So... Zadig or Fate... what do you call a 250 year old novel that still manages to be to hilarious, insightful, touching, and wise? Poor Zadig. Fate hates him. If you’ve ever felt like the deck was stacked against you, then Zadig is your man. In the eponymous novel, Voltaire chronicles the life and suffering of a would-be ancient Babylonian royal adviser. I say "would be" because if it can go wrong in Zadig’s life, it does, and if it can't, it does anyway. Zadig loses his position, his power, his wealth, his home, and the love of his life. He loses them to the selfishness of others. He loses them to the stupidity of others. More than that, he loses them repeatedly. To be perfectly prepubescent, this famous triumph of intellect puts me in mind of A Series of Unfortunate Events, by Daniel Handler. But where Handler succeeds in creating a great series of children’s books, Voltaire succeeds in creating a master work that, in place of breadcrumbs, leaves a trail of wise pearls for its readers to follow. You may connect with Zadig personally, or you may not. But if you let yourself go with the story, you might find out a few things about yourself and the world around you. And you might laugh a lot while you’re doing it. But that still leaves me with my first question. What should I call this 250 year old novel? A cool relic? Perhaps. A bound anachronism? Maybe. Proof that all good things stand the test of time? Absolutely.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Ward Hammond

    Today is the anniversary of Voltaire being taken to prison in the Bastille for his satirical attacks on politics and religion, in 1717. Just read this barb from Zadig... "He was as wise as it is possible for man to be for he sought to live with the wise. Instructed in the science of the ancient Chaldeans, he understood the principles of natural philosophy such as they were then supposed to be, and knew as much of metaphysics as hath ever been known, that is, little or nothing at all." This is a Today is the anniversary of Voltaire being taken to prison in the Bastille for his satirical attacks on politics and religion, in 1717. Just read this barb from Zadig... "He was as wise as it is possible for man to be for he sought to live with the wise. Instructed in the science of the ancient Chaldeans, he understood the principles of natural philosophy such as they were then supposed to be, and knew as much of metaphysics as hath ever been known, that is, little or nothing at all." This is a hilarious story that makes point after point on how to live and not live. There is a story about a stone, payment, dead witnesses and a dispute which is settled in court. Worth the read right there. I've read Candide, but today I wanted something new. Next I think I'll dive deeper into the philosophy Voltaire and the Enlightenment from the Great Courses.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Andrew Garvey

    Read/listened to with a combination of Librivox and Project Gutenberg, I struggled to get into this. And that's not the fault of the narrators. Aside from his interactions with the Hermit late in the story, it just didn't grab me. Zadig's adventures never feel as interesting, or as insightful, quite honestly, as Candide's (which I'm a huge fan of) and the character himself simply not as well-drawn. When it touches on Voltaire's own philosophy, Zadig is pretty good but as a short, yet seemingly l Read/listened to with a combination of Librivox and Project Gutenberg, I struggled to get into this. And that's not the fault of the narrators. Aside from his interactions with the Hermit late in the story, it just didn't grab me. Zadig's adventures never feel as interesting, or as insightful, quite honestly, as Candide's (which I'm a huge fan of) and the character himself simply not as well-drawn. When it touches on Voltaire's own philosophy, Zadig is pretty good but as a short, yet seemingly long drawn out romantic melodrama full of barely connected incidents, it's one of those books whose later influence is greater than the experience of actually reading it.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Vintagebooklvr

    2 1/2 stars. I know this is a classic and I can identify why but the story itself is lacking. I felt the same way about Candide. It is far more about the ideas he is trying to convey then a well written story. It may be in part the translation but I think it is more his style of writing that just isn't my taste.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Josiah Richardson

    Voltaire is one of those writers that can be placed on the shelf of "You should read his works, but you aren't going to like them". There is important information to gain from his writings (and a look into the foundation of the new atheist movement, or what have you), but man, do empty writers write emptiness.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Cooper Renner

    Delightful fable-like novella about the ways of Providence.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Ankita Bansal

    Always a pleasure to read him.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Harlen

    Eh. Alright.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Cricket Rose

    Simplicity of honor and wisdom Like many, the earthly problems encountered by Zadig were familiar, but like a fairy tale he resolved them. It was a lark to read

  20. 5 out of 5

    Reuben

    Can't really remember it that well to be honest, but at the time I remember it being quite good.

  21. 5 out of 5

    lilith

    It's easy to read, but I didn't quite like it.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Erin

    Not a problem with the book itself, more a problem with my brain. Loved it in high school when I read it in English translation, but as I suspected would happen, I didn't do well with the old- timey French (hard to perceive tone, connect events to each other and to dialogue, etc.), so I didn't get much out of it this time around. Guess I'll have to stick to more recent french lit.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Maan Kawas

    An enchanting philosophical tale by Voltaire concerned with fate and free will! The tale narrates the life, adventures, abuse, misfortunes, which the good, honest, intelligent, educated, and sensible Zadig faces in world filled with bad people, envy, jealousy and corruption, coupled with an ever-changing fortune. It seems that Voltaire wanted to suggest that there is no chance in life, and no tiny event should be considered unimportant or random; moreover, there is a kind of justice in life. The An enchanting philosophical tale by Voltaire concerned with fate and free will! The tale narrates the life, adventures, abuse, misfortunes, which the good, honest, intelligent, educated, and sensible Zadig faces in world filled with bad people, envy, jealousy and corruption, coupled with an ever-changing fortune. It seems that Voltaire wanted to suggest that there is no chance in life, and no tiny event should be considered unimportant or random; moreover, there is a kind of justice in life. The book addressed a number of themes and ideas, including logic and intelligence (pros and cons), love, faithfulness, loyalty, honesty, envy, real friendship, the power of reason, the powerful role of some fallacies, wrong beliefs, and social practices, consequences of not complying with the social norms and beliefs of one’s society, actions and unexpected reactions, and punishment vs. rewards. The events take place in an oriental context and is similar to some oriental tales (e.g. The One Thousand and One Nights”, however, it seems to covey messages that apply to humans in general, regardless of time or country.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Pazuzu

    A collection of short to medium stories by Voltaire. Voltaire creates fictitious character to recreate a reality he was not allowed to speak of. The stories are very idealistic, characters, like for example Zadig, seem to be too good and too kind to be true. They endure suffering and endless travel to find their destiny. But the book is filled with moral imperatives. Systems of power and control are shown as corrupt and "bad", whereas the oppressed are shown as idealistically good, obedient and p A collection of short to medium stories by Voltaire. Voltaire creates fictitious character to recreate a reality he was not allowed to speak of. The stories are very idealistic, characters, like for example Zadig, seem to be too good and too kind to be true. They endure suffering and endless travel to find their destiny. But the book is filled with moral imperatives. Systems of power and control are shown as corrupt and "bad", whereas the oppressed are shown as idealistically good, obedient and patient.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Jens

    A mediocre tale centered around Babylonian Zadig's struggles. While I generally like a strong philosophical touch I do find Voltaire's conclusion(s) ,at least in parts, too disagreeable to give Zadig a higher rating. The tale itself was rather dull to me as well. Understanding the work in the context of the time it was written greatly enhances the tale's merit and I can see why it has become a famous work in philosophical fiction.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Iris

    i haven't read voltaire since HS, when we translated candide from french-- being the hardest academic endeavor of my early teenage life, i didn't appreciate him so much. but, now, minus the heavy french work thks to roger pearson (everyman's library edition, 1991), i give voltaire... 10STARS! zadig is a perfect tale about how all the talents and wisdom in the world do not lead to happiness. there is suffering. humor. the future unknown. the essentials in beautiful narrative.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Michael Cayley

    A delightful fable by Voltaire about a paragon of wisdom and good sense who excites jealousy which leads others to try and do him evil. There is some satire of religion, of the ways of those in power, and of the conventions of society. I read the story in a privately-printed translation by an artist cousin, illustrated with paintings of his, which added to the pleasure.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Abdalla Mohamed

    I came across this short story by chance, just I started I couldn't leave it till I finished. It's a very nice story, easy to read and interesting with its events. It's all about the good and bad! It also discusses some controversial issues like destiny, doing good in this ugly world.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Chris Hall

    It's impossible not to love Voltaire's writing. The humour and narrative flow makes his work a pleasure to read. This was very similar to Candide both in terms of style and concept - like Candide I also recommend this.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Roland Martinez

    I loved it, written like a Bible story or a tale of the Arabian Knights. If you haven't read Voltaire you must!

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