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Sophie's World
 
 

Sophie's World [Kindle Edition]

Jostein Gaarder
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (203 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £7.99
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Product Description

Review

"First, think a beginner's guide to philosophy . . . Next, imagine a fantasy novel--something like a modern-day version of "Through the Looking Glass". Meld these disparate genres, and what do you get? Well, what you get is an improbable international bestseller . . . [A] tour de force." --"Time""" "This book contains a novel mantra for those days when the world gets in your face."--"Entertainment Weekly""" "Extraordinary...read it for yourself."--"Newsweek" "A simply wonderful, irresistible book...a cross between Bertrand Russell's "History of Western Philosophy" and "Alice in Wonderland"."--"Daily Telegraph """Sophie's World" is sheer delight. How I wish I'd had it during my college freshman survey of philosophy!"--Madeleine L'Engle

Review

"First, think a beginner's guide to philosophy . . . Next, imagine a fantasy novel--something like a modern-day version of "Through the Looking Glass". Meld these disparate genres, and what do you get? Well, what you get is an improbable international bestseller . . . [A] tour de force." --"Time""" "This book contains a novel mantra for those days when the world gets in your face."--"Entertainment Weekly""" "Extraordinary...read it for yourself."--"Newsweek
"
"A simply wonderful, irresistible book...a cross between Bertrand Russell's "History of Western Philosophy" and "Alice in Wonderland"."--"Daily Telegraph

"""Sophie's World" is sheer delight. How I wish I'd had it during my college freshman survey of philosophy!"--Madeleine L'Engle

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 826 KB
  • Print Length: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Phoenix (15 July 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003TSDI0E
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (203 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #8,685 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Jostein Gaarder was born in Oslo in 1952. A former Professor of Philosophy, he now writes full time.

Following the phenomenal success of Sophie's World - which has been translated into 55 languages and sold over 30 million copies worldwide - ten of his novels have been translated into English, including The Solitaire Mystery, Vita Brevis and The Orange Girl.

He lives in Oslo with his wife, and has two grown-up sons.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Philosophy for the uninitiated 11 Sep 2009
Format:Paperback
This is a book to teach young adults about philosophy and ideas that have influenced the world. 15 year old Sophie starts to receive messages that ask her to think about who she is and where the world comes from. Then Alberto Knox sends her lessons about philosophers' attempts to ask and answer philosophical questions. The lessons cover highlights of 2000 years of philosophical thought. She also begins to receive some postcards from a UN observer in Lebanon. The philosophy lessons are made interesting by the story of Sophie trying to figure out why she is receiving the lessons and the postcards. This book is not only a great introduction to philosophy for young adults but would be a fascinating read for everyone who heard about different philosophers' ideas throughout their lives but never really got around to reading about philosophy.
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67 of 74 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
Sophie's World was my first introduction to the work of Jostein Gaarder. It is a book that had me captivated from the very first page right through to the last! Gaarder very cleverly combines two elements which result in a both informative and totally gripping story. Firstly the book provides the reader with a 'beginners guide' to philosophy which introduces all the major philosophical ideas and concepts from Socrates through to current day Existentialism and 'New Age' thinking. It gives an insight into all those names you have heard but knew nothing about! Combined with this, Gaarder manages to weave an exciting story about fourteen year old Sophie which holds the reader entranced not least because of the unexpected twists as the story unfolds. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, learnt a great deal and it is a book I could read several times over and still learn something new.
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44 of 49 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars IN ALL PROBABILITY.... 29 Nov 2001
Format:Paperback
The bad news: It's not as good as the hype might lead you to expect. The good news: It's better than most of the other over-hyped pop-philosophy blockbusters on the shelves.
'Sophie's World' is at its worst when it pretends to be the sort of novel you would read purely for entertainment. That's because it starts out as a very good novel but finishes as a very bad one. Early on it catches your interest with an intriguing mystery and efficient classical narrative. Then about half way through, the author reveals his hand and ruins the plot. We are left with just another bit of post-modern ironic detachment or some such gimmick. From then on the fate of the characters ceases to matter, and as a novel it's all downhill from there on.
The book is at its best when it sticks to what Gaarder does best: lecturing on philosophy. This is where the fictive elements work best - by providing a character to voice the questions in our own heads. The author shows a good gra!sp of what will make sense to an uninformed reader, and provides a gentle ramble through a couple of dozen centuries of human thought that will help most people's understanding of the world in which we live.
That is not to say that Gaarder dispatches all periods in history with equal aplomb. His dealing with the metaphysical and ontological abstractions (jargon-free equivalent = world of ideas) of ancient Greece and the middle ages is exemplary. He manages to explain the more-or-less-unexplainable in terms of the easily-understood, in a way that more school texts should copy. Even the prickly thickets of 20th century existentialism yield up some of their unappetizing secrets under his patient hand.
Gaarder is least successful in dealing with creeds that go beyond pure ideas and involve a challenge to behaviour and lifestyle.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A dual book 27 Nov 2009
Format:Hardcover
This is rather a dual book, on the one hands its very good 'history of philosophy' and other it's 'Sophie's Worlds: A Novel'. The first aspect of the book is very well presented and the author has a very effective way of the presenting complex concepts in an understandable and engaging way. The novel aspect of the book is very bland and I found myself skimming the some of the story parts as I got towards the end of book.

I was also left a little battled by what the 'philosophy teachers' take on spirituality actually was. The teacher explains that philosophers such as Plato have believed that a spirit level exists and our physical plane is in fact a reflection of that level. Later in the teacher explains that the new wave of interest in spirituality and 'supernatural' is nothing but 'humbug'. Seems a rather closed minded for a philosopher teacher.

Saying this its well worth a read.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A book to really make you stop and think 26 Jan 2000
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Initially, I suffered from an information overload with this book. But the story draws you in and really makes you look at things in a different way. I found this an excellent introduction to philosophy and a delightful story. Jostein Gaarder makes a very difficult subject accessible to all. The more you read the book, the more you will learn.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
Reading Sophie's World is a great investment of time. Sophies World set me off on a journey of learning all about philosophy. Since then I have devoured other books on the subject. But it was all thanks to this book that I got started. It put the philosophical ideas within the framework of a story about a little girl Sophie and her daily life. Sophie starts to receive mysterious philosophy lessons in the post. At least 50% of the book consists of these "lessons". They are very readable and truly mind-expanding. They teach alot about the development of philsophy over history. It was fascinating exciting reading for me.
The underlying story of what happens to Sophie becomes, in itself, a sort of philosophical investigation. The twist is really rather mind blowing. This book not only introduces the reader to major philosophical ideas, but also implements some really interesting and mind-bending ones in the way it is written.
I cannot recommend this book enough. The joy of learning and thinking are at its core, but it is not some dry textbook. By the time you are a quarter of the way through, you will already be "climbing out of the rabbit fur" as Sophie would say. Reading this book was the beginning of a year long journey of learning and excitement for me. But it was also a fun experience. I do not know how interesting a child under 14 would find this book, but I am an adult of 33 and I loved it!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars There is no rabbit only his hare
If I were real would my opinion on this book matter more?
If I wasn't would it be less .
Published 1 day ago by stephen palmer-adams
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Best book in the world
Published 3 days ago by lucythomas
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb book, read it as a child and it ...
Superb book, read it as a child and it took me on an adventure of open mindedness that has benefited me throughout my life, this one is for daughter when she has finally learned to... Read more
Published 8 days ago by Lingus
3.0 out of 5 stars Good
Good book but it had to love with the tag of coming to highly recommended and I suppose I might have been looking for a bit of something different from this book although still... Read more
Published 21 days ago by steven patrick
4.0 out of 5 stars Very much enjoyed the book
Very much enjoyed the book and the story it told, the detail and overall plot was one of the major plus points
Published 28 days ago by Mr Nigel P Venn
4.0 out of 5 stars interesting read
bought this for my daughter age 17 to read to help her decide whether to study philosophy at uni............will let you know the results !
Published 2 months ago by jon perry
5.0 out of 5 stars Very special for me!!!!!!!
I've already read lots of book. But this one in my top listed and I like it very much. I live in Bangladesh and a very poor village but some how I collected this book. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Zihad Hossain
5.0 out of 5 stars Sophie's World
I bought this book for a secondary school library. The students have enjoyed reading it and I have a waiting list.
Published 4 months ago by Red Tiger
4.0 out of 5 stars books
was advised this book is a good way to be introduced to philosophy - so looking forwards to finding out
Published 4 months ago by Taffy Lewis
5.0 out of 5 stars New favourite book
Don't know how I missed this book but a reading list for a philosophy module I was teaching on directed me to this. Read more
Published 5 months ago by anon
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This unshakable faith in human reason is called rationalism. A rationalist is someone who believes that human reason is the primary source of our knowledge of the world. &quote;
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