This should not have taken me as long to read as it did.

A year ago, my wife took a month-long job in my hometown, a ninety-minute drive from where we live now. At that time, I had become interested in philosophy through a random happenstance of the YouTube algorithm, and I would download playlists of lectures to listen to during the dawn and dusk journeys to see her on the weekends. Of particular interest was the work of Michael Sugrue. I’ve added more than a few books to the to-read list because of him, and one of those books was Candide.

It's a little like reading Dante or Homer, as there’s an archaic rhythm to the old language it comes from, which in turn is further altered by translation. But once you find that rhythm, it tends to flow along as easily as any contemporary writing.

This book is in turns hilarious, bizarre, and disturbing. It bears examining through a philosophical lens, but it also stands on its own as a work of surreal adventure. I have been actively studying French for almost a year now, and I think one of the eventual tests of my comprehension will be to read this one again in its native language.


Next: All The Light We Cannot See
Previous: Nemesis