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Zadig or the Book of Fate


Book Overview: 

Zadig or the Book of Fate 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.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Pride, who not meeting with Success in the World, sought his Revenge in railing against all Mankind. Rich as he was, it was almost more than he could accomplish, to procure ev’n any Parasites about him. Tho’ the rattling of the Chariots which stopp’d at Zadig’s Door was a perfect Nuisance to him; yet the good Character which every Body gave him was still a higher Provocation. He would sometimes intrude [37]himself upon Zadig, and set down at his Table without any Invitation; when there, he would most certainly interrupt the Mirth of the Company, as Harpies, they say, infect the very Carrion that they eat.

Arimazes took it in his Head one Day to invite a young Lady to an Entertainment; but she, instead of accepting of his Offer, spent the Evening at Zadig’s. Another Time, as Zadig and he were chatting together at Court, a Minister of State came up to them, and invited Zadig to Supper, but took no Notice of Arimazes. T. . . Read More

Community Reviews

First before I talk about the book, I would like to briefly explain the history of the author, to appreciate the novel's value. Voltaire was a philosopher in the 17th and 18th century. His writings included epic, lyric and dramatic poetry, novels and philosophical essays, criticism and historical n


"Zadig" by Voltaire (published 1747) is a short philosophical novel that explores why good things happen to bad people and why bad things happen to good people.

In my opinion it was just OK. Voltaire's "Candide" is a better philosophical novel.

A few quotes from Zadig:

From Chapter 17:
[Zadig and

Even if the your world seems like it's crumbling down... books are one of my escapes.

Un conte philosophique prodigieux, qui retrace la vie de Zadig, un babylonien en quête de justice et de quiétude. Gouverné par ses pensées utopiques et sa bonne foi, il lutte pour ancrer les valeurs les plus humaines et nobles au sein d'une société qui macère dans l'injustice, l'ignorance et la supe

Voltaire had a unique sense of satire and his Zadig character is one of the great ones - sort of a 17th century Forrest Gump. The other stories in this collection all feel a bit dated, and none reach the quality of Zadig in this reader's opinion. It remains, with Candide, one of Voltaire's signature

I wasn't planning to read this, well not yet, but i bought a copy of Candide that had this and a couple other stories. I was pleasantly surprised with this, i wasn't even sure i was gunna like Candide (i'am reading it at the moment) because ive never read anything this old before, it was writen in 1

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