I have read parts of this book in English classes in college, but never read the whole thing. I am certain that much of the humor in the story was better understood by people contemporary with Voltaire because it is clear that some of his jabs had to do with issues and people of the times. Would people 200 years from now understand what you are talking about with references to Watergate, etc.? It is clear that there are many jabs at government and governments, religions (and specifically the Catholic Church), and contemporary figureheads. I appreciated that so much of it was funny to me, knowing that I was not fully in on all of the jokes. I found his commentary on philosophers and philosophies the most humorous part.