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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic book..
What a remarkable book "The Philosopher's Apprentice" by James Morrow is.

Not to be perturbed by it's rather docile cover illustration which conjured up a in my mind something between chick lit and a kids book I was captivated by the time I'd finished the first few pages.

Until reading this book, I was, in the diction of a philosopher 'Tabla rasa',...
Published on 12 May 2009 by Matt Watson-Power

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars "More Things... Than Are Dreamt Of"
Swiftian satire on the state of the modern world, particularly as seen by Western Philosophy.

Like Gulliver, Mason Ambrose the narrator of "The Philosopher's Apprentice" is rather a cipher, the fantastical events and settings he finds himself in are the subject of the book, characterisation and plot are very much secondary considerations.

Impossible...
Published 18 months ago by Rotgut


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic book.., 12 May 2009
By 
Matt Watson-Power "DragonDrop" (Harrogate, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Philosopher's Apprentice (Paperback)
What a remarkable book "The Philosopher's Apprentice" by James Morrow is.

Not to be perturbed by it's rather docile cover illustration which conjured up a in my mind something between chick lit and a kids book I was captivated by the time I'd finished the first few pages.

Until reading this book, I was, in the diction of a philosopher 'Tabla rasa', or without knowledge of most of the base concepts of philosophy.

In the essence of something akin to TV's 'LOST' the environment of a seemingly uninhabited tropical island was the stage. Further to the LOST setting, the story unfurled several of the islands oddities and secrets as the young Philosophy drop out set about his task of giving an amnesic girl on the island a Moral Compass.

Darwin verses the rest of the world played a strong part in the sub plot to this book, where the author draws on examples, exercises and anecdotes from the world of phillosophica and without thinking too hard, I'd gathered a great insight into 'the best bits' of some of the greats - Aristotle, Socrates, Plato and Epicurus as well as some of the more up to date great thinkers such as Heidegger and Leibniz. 20th Century heads such as Kierkegaard and Nietzsche also had quite a chunk of beutifully crafted ink dedicated to their cause. Some of the basic (but fascinating) principals of philosophy were also quite neatly woven into the take - things such as Rationalism, Stoicism and a bunch of other ism's to boot. I'd say - if you like the sound of a fantastic un-putdownable book that's expanding your knowledge of Philosophical thinking without being a dullard brain ache, get it got!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Persistence pays off, 28 May 2008
This is the story of Londa, a clone without a moral compass, whom the Philospher has been brought to a tropical island paradise to "fix". It starts slowly, with possibly too many exerpts from the great philosphers, but bear with it. It soon turns into a fascinatingly bizarre and unpredictable combination of scifi and morality tale, with love both requited and unrequited (well, you'll have to read the book to understand that) as well. And the plot and the characters grows more and more complex, but I can't reveal how without giving away too much of the story. It helps to have some understanding of ethical philosophy, but it isn't essential. Its a book that gets better and better as you read on, although I felt a little deflated by the denouement. Nevertheless, its a classic-in-the-making and far better than Sophie's Choice despite the latter's hype.
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3.0 out of 5 stars "More Things... Than Are Dreamt Of", 19 Nov. 2013
By 
Rotgut "rotgut" (Warrington UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: The Philosopher's Apprentice (Paperback)
Swiftian satire on the state of the modern world, particularly as seen by Western Philosophy.

Like Gulliver, Mason Ambrose the narrator of "The Philosopher's Apprentice" is rather a cipher, the fantastical events and settings he finds himself in are the subject of the book, characterisation and plot are very much secondary considerations.

Impossible to answer moral puzzles of the "Would you kill Hitler as a child if you knew what he'd become" type are fleshed out into sci-fi-ish scenarios but, although diverting they aren't especially illuminating. The longest of these extended morality fables is the unpleasant conceit of foetuses from abortion clinics been returned to life, aged to become adults and sent to accuse their parents. This is a difficult read.

These moral/philosophical choices become more and more extreme as the book progresses, culminating in the narrator having to choose between letting the woman he loves die or causing the death of his enemies. These puzzles feel forced and false and (deliberately or not) seem to support the late (P322) judgement on Philosophy : "Caputo's...wry argument that lofty theories...have done the world a grand total of no good."

Playful and inventive but inevitably, given the subject matter, a rather ponderous read. I admired rather than enjoyed it.
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The Philosopher's Apprentice
The Philosopher's Apprentice by James Morrow (Paperback - 19 Mar. 2009)
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