Panglossian philosophy states that, "All is for the best in the best of all possible worlds." The result, in this instance, is the best of all possible Candide's!
Voltaire's Candide argues against that optimistic viewpoint, showing that in the real world "s**t happens" and that all is not necessarily for the best. Voltaire challenges the blind faith and wishful thinking which Pangloss had taught him, and he does it in a highly entertaining fashion.
In this version of the classic (adapted here in the form of a one-man stage play by actor/author Prentis Hancock), Voltaire is found near Geneva, recounting Candide's adventuresome journeys (both hair-raising and hilarious), and poking fun at all around him in a satirical lampoon that is alternately witty, charming, eye-popping, thought-provoking, and savagely funny.
I was lucky enough to see "Voltaire's Candide" on stage in Greenwich (twice, in fact, for it was that good!) In performance, Prentis Hancock's warm stage delivery and commanding voice brought this Candide to glorious life. His enthusiasm and enjoyment of the varied characters and ever-taller tales was obvious, as was his savouring of the delicious dialogue.
Hancock's theatrical adaptation of "Voltaire's Candide" is a book not only to be enjoyed by those in the theatre world (indeed, other actors should rush to acquire this text and performance rights, as it is a tour-de-force piece, drawing on an actor's skills and offering the opportunity to play wonderfully varied characteristics), but by all who enjoy quality storytelling.
I recommend this version of "Voltaire's Candide" highly, and found - as an inherent optimist - much that I continue to ponder. Indeed, as the text states, "Let's get on with cultivating our garden."