Voltaire sours any hope of the optimism preached by his contemporaries in Candide and Other Writings. Instead, he treats the reader to riveting dialogue, riotous events, and acerbic commentary. InCandide, for instance, he plunges a gentle young man into arduous circumstances. There, he encounters the most interesting of characters: the Pope's daughter, whose hindmost is sliced off by starving soldiers; a rich nobleman from Venice searching for happiness; and of course who can forget the two young women who escape their monkey lovers. Candide, Zadig, and Micromanegas are three eighteenth-century works that will leave a lasting impression on your mind.