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If Minds Had Toes Hardcover – 2 Jan 2007


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC (2 Jan 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0747582513
  • ISBN-13: 978-0747582519
  • Product Dimensions: 20.5 x 2.9 x 13.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,209,507 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

`An engaging philosophical fiction which will invite comparisons with Sophie's World but also draws on the tradition of British children's fiction such as The Chronicles of Narnia and Alice's Adventures in Wonderland' -- Saturday Telegraph

`Lucy Eyre (definitely a Socratist) has written a nimble, witty introduction to the basic tenets of philosophy which never takes itself too seriously. A playful guide for young adults, it's a charming endorsement of the benefits of the examined life' -- Guardian

A book of tremendous originality: funny, clever and hugely
beguiling -- William Boyd

Intellectually rigorous, fun and charming with some of the
playfulness of early Stoppard or even Diderot -- Alain de Botton, Observer

`Entertaining and ingenious ... her book is altogether subtler and more elegant that Gaarder's'
-- Financial Times

About the Author

Lucy Eyre grew up in London and currently lives in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. This is her first book.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By P. M. Fernandez VINE VOICE on 5 Feb 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My wife bought this for me on a whim for my birthday, and I am so pleased! As far as I know, "Sophie's World", by Jostein Gaarder, was the first book that explicitly directed philosophical questions at people from smart teenagers upwards. This is the second. A variety of philosophical questions (Is death the worst thing that can happen to you? What is happiness? Do we have free will?) are introduced to a teenager, with characters around him arguing from different perspectives. As tends to be the way, no conclusions are really reached - but by the end of the book, Ben has (and hopefully the reader will have) a more thoughtful perspective on the nature of life, the universe and everything.

The principal characters (Ben and Lila - to what extent, I wonder, is the author writing herself into the part of Lila?) are sympathetic and well-painted. The plot is imaginative and playful. The writing is snappy and clever - "Ben had heard of Plato. And now he'd seen his sports car, he was even more impressed." And if we are really homo sapiens, then we ought to be thinking about the issues that the author discusses.

Please write some more, Ms Eyre!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By BookJumper on 28 Nov 2009
Format: Paperback
If you liked the idea behind Jostein Gaarder's seminal Sophie's World but find yourself slightly daunted by its thickness and sometimes didactic approach, this is for you.

If Minds Had Toes rests on a silly yet brilliant premise: there is an afterlife specifically devoted to housing dead philosophers; Socrates is the president of this land; he and the mysanthropic Wittgenstein enter a bet to decide once and for all whether philosophical vocation is a gift or a curse.

In order to prove their respective theses, an ordinary live boy is selected, and taken on a series of guided tours of the World of Ideas, where he is confronted by the great questions in a series of amusing yet provocative dialogues.

A good idea well-executed, this is Sophie's World for beginners - shorter, snappier, funny, even cute.

Full marks would have been awarded if there'd been more real dead philosophers: those that are there are there to provide ambience and comic relief; though they do this exceedingly well, it would have been more ambitious and gripping to have the thinkers behind the theories arguing for them. Still; it's but a small quibble: the book's well worth the time and grey cells.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By B. Hoffman on 24 Mar 2007
Format: Paperback
I have never posted a review before, but I loved this book and felt compelled to write. I read a review in the Times and ordered this from Amazon - I could hardly put it down. It was thought provoking, accessible and truly engaging. Finally, something that isn't depressing, aristo-turns-sleuth, man-bricked-up-in-cellar, medieval-mystery, bring-down-the-catholic-church, chick-lit or aga-saga. An original and stimulating novel. Why don't they write them like this any more? You can probably tell, I loved it - refreshing and as thought provoking as you want it to be, this is an educational and enjoyable read. It deserves to be a great success.
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