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Wanting to understand the most fundamental questions of the universe isn't the province of ivory-tower intellectuals alone, as this book's enormous popularity has demonstrated. A young girl, Sophie, becomes embroiled in a discussion of philosophy with a faceless correspondent. At the same time, she must unravel a mystery involving another young girl, Hilde, by using everything she's learning. The truth is far more complicated than she could ever have imagined.
This long, dense novel, a bestseller in the author's native Norway, offers a summary history of philosophy embedded in a philosophical mystery disguised as a children's book-but only sophisticated young adults would be remotely interested. Sophie Amundsen is about to turn 15 when she receives a letter from one Alberto Knox, a philosopher who undertakes to educate her in his craft. Sections in which we read the text of Knox's lessons to Sophie about the pre-Socratics, Plato and St. Augustine alternate with those in which we find out about Sophie's life with her well-meaning mother. Soon, though, Sophie begins receiving other, stranger missives addressed to one Hilde Moller Knag from her absent father, Albert. As Alberto Knox's lessons approach this century, he and Sophie come to suspect that they are merely characters in a novel written by Albert for his daughter. Teacher and pupil hatch a plot to understand and possibly escape from their situation; and from there, matters get only weirder. Norwegian philosophy professor Gaarder's notion of making a history of philosophy accessible is a good one. Unfortunately, it's occasionally undermined by the dry language he uses to describe the works of various thinkers and by an idiosyncratic bias that gives one paragraph to Nietzsche but dozens to Sartre, breezing right by Wittgenstein and the most influential philosophy of this century, logical positivism. Many readers, regardless of their age, may be tempted to skip over the lessons, which aren't well integrated with the more interesting and unusual metafictional story line. Author tour.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
A good 101 of course and excellently written, but I thought some of the connecting threads were rather weak. Thoroughly enjoyable.Published 2 months ago by Douglas Bates
A great way to be introduced to the great philosophers but has to be read slowly as there is a lot of information for those of us who are not familiar with the great thinkers.Published 16 months ago by Val
A great book for growing minds. The author creates a fascinating world of philosophy and animates the imagination with an intriguing plot.Published 18 months ago by Joel Duff
Everyone should read it , young & old !The book I purchased was in good shape & I received it promptly .Published on Nov. 24 2013 by Gordon Ivany
one of the best books I ve ever read.
it reveals most difficult ideas with plain languages. ez to understand.
philosophy is for everybody
That is right this is a novel about the history of philosophy. It was written by Norwegian professor Jostein Gaarder. Gaarder Now writes other novels and has a large following. Read morePublished on Oct. 27 2013 by B. Chandler