Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Heidegger and a Hippo Walk Through the Pearly Gates: Using Philosophy (and Jokes!) to Explain Life, Death, the Afterlife, and Everything in Between” as Want to Read:
Heidegger and a Hippo Walk Through the Pearly Gates: Using Philosophy (and Jokes!) to Explain Life, Death, the Afterlife, and Everything in Between
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Heidegger and a Hippo Walk Through the Pearly Gates: Using Philosophy (and Jokes!) to Explain Life, Death, the Afterlife, and Everything in Between

3.62 of 5 stars 3.62  ·  rating details  ·  1,073 ratings  ·  145 reviews


Q. Why are there almost as many jokes about death as there are about sex?

A. Because they both scare the pants off us.


Thomas Cathcart and Daniel Klein first made a name for themselves with the outrageously funny New York Times bestseller Plato and a Platypus Walk into a Bar. Now they turn their attention to the Big D and share the timeless wisdom of the great philosoph...more
Kindle Edition, 256 pages
Published (first published 2009)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

Be the first to ask a question about Heidegger and a Hippo Walk Through the Pearly Gates

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,876)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Reese
This book actually reminded me of a dream that I made up. I'm at a hotel in the Catskills, and hundreds of once-upon-a-time comedians are competing for a chance to host SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE or replace greeters at Walmart -- whatever. So one guy after another does his "shtick"; I'm "plotzing" because even a Passover Seder is funnier and because the waiters aren't schlepping any big trays of food. Sometimes I catch a glimpse of men with beards and black hats; they're frantically explaining why chom...more
kelly
While I enjoy the jokes and cartoons (especially the cartoons) - i guess I was looking for more depth... I know what was I thinking? OK to be be honest - I was looking for an answer :)
Al Bità
The title says it all... and obviously, with a title like that, you ought not to expect anything particularly deep, or too subtle (though the authors do tackle some of the complexities, they do tend to shy away from actually confronting them too deeply) — though, if you want depth, you can always follow up with some of the books included in the suggested books for further reading at the and of the book! Even so, the book covers most of the main ideas people have had about this vexed and often ve...more
Michael
The book provides a light-hearted look at the meaning of life and death as discussed by a number of philosophers, theologians, and scientists. Liberally illustrated with cartoons and jokes, it is best taken in small doses. I didn't find it as funny or as insightful as Plato and a Platypus Walk into a Bar, but it was a fun read. For someone with a limited exposure to philosophical thought, it might inspire further reading. I did enjoy and think well deserved the fun made of Heidegger's convoluted...more
AmberBug
Review on Shelf Notes

Dear Reader,

This book made me roll my eyes so much they almost fell out of my eye sockets. What do you get when you mix really dumb jokes with basic philosophy? You'd think something interesting and fun, this was the opposite of that. Maybe it wasn't just for me... maybe it was meant for someone with a different sense of humor. The jokes just didn't get me going AT ALL. I laughed maybe once, if even that. However, I do believe there is an audience out there that could be int...more
Kenny
A fun and funny overview of the various approaches to belief in the afterlife (or not), combined with some nice jokes, to wit:

The monitor confirmed cardiac arrest as an elderly man suddenly lost consciousness. After about twenty seconds of resuscitation, he came to. Explaining to him that his heart had momentarily stopped, the doctor asked if he remembered anything unusual during that time.

"I saw a bright light," he said, "and in front of me a man dressed in white."

Excitedly, the doctor asked if
...more
Dustfinger
On the topic of philosophie books.
The problem with almost all of them is, that they either are too serious, so you can hardly enjoy them on an easy basis (only enjoy them out of interest on the topic) or are so easy going that they don't really touch the subject with enough depth.
This book is a good exaple of a book that tried to be both and that explained the theories quite well without beeing too complicated to read on holidays. Its fun and gives you a rough idea of the diffrent theories.
Yo...more
Linda Robinson
The authors quote William Saroyan in the Introduction "Everybody has got to die, but I always believed an exception would be made in my case." Humans understand the concept of life cycle, but avert our gaze at cycle endpoint. It's easier to use Woody Allen as our guide to contemplating death than the universe.

Mingling Schopenhauer, Woody Allen, the apostle Paul, Gautama the Buddha, Descartes, Freud, Socrates, Einstein ("spooky action at a distance") and cartoons is brilliant coating on the bitte...more
Shawn
(WARNING: Corny jokes ahead) That should be the warning on the front of this book. As the subtitle states and many reviewers have noted, this book contains jokes that are pretty corny. I found it not too bad, but you have to be in the mood for that kind of humour.

This book is about one of the biggest topics in our lives. What happens after this? Adding humour to the book is a pretty good idea to break up the "death anxiety" as they put it.

Through the book, a number of philosophical and religiou...more
Tim
These two guys take philosophical thoughts, works, etc... about life and death from the works of different historical philosophers like Descartes, William James, Friedrich Nietzsche, Socrates, Plato, and many more, and put it together in this accessible little book. Accessible to some extent, of course. But instead of reading a dry, philosophical work, here the thoughts, impressions and what not are interspersed with jokes and anecdotes.

Of all the jokes, only a handful are good. Now, were the jo...more
Nick Duretta
If you're looking to quickly absorb the essential perspectives of the great philosophers on the weighty topic of life, death and the afterlife, skip this one. It's too frivolous to even qualify as Philosophy Lite. Between a succession of groan-worthy jokes and cartoons, the authors do squeeze in tidbits from the pantheon of philosophers from Aristotle and Plato to Woody Allen, but the jokey tone drowns any substance they may have. I was left scratching my head as to what kind of reader would fin...more
Daryl Seah
quick enjoyable read. spoke to me... literally!
David
I listened to this in the car. I think if I'd actually had to move my eyes, I wouldn't have finished it.

I think the problem is that surface-level philosophy doesn't pack as much of a punch, and they were really just doing an overview of a bunch of philosophers' views on X. Also, while many jokes do have a philosophical viewpoint, I felt like a lot of these were stretching. It might make a better blog or something. Where you can do one joke, then the philosophy behind it. But what do I know?

Hear...more
Ferda Nihat Köksoy
NIETZSCHE ÖLDÜ! BİR HİPOPOTAM OLARAK YENİDEN DOĞDU
(http://www.kitabinomurgasi.com/2013/0...)
Kitaptan Alıntılar ve Sentezler:
-YAŞARKEN HER GÜN VE SAATİ FARK EDEREK YAŞAMAK, şairlerin ve özel insanların haddi olabilir.

-İtalyan Rivierası'nda ölüm üzerine yazan filozof yoktur (Nietzsche).

-Ölümün inkarı, UYGARLIĞIN hayatta kalma stratejisidir (Nietzsche).

-KAYGI bizim nihai öğretmenimizdir ve insanın ÖLÜM UÇURUMUNUN KIYISINDA ANLAMLI YAŞAM SÜRME zorunluluğuna eşlik eder (Kierkegaard).

-Ölümün yanıbaşın...more
Claire
In the beginning, I laughed my ass off at some of the jokes. But as I continued on I found myself less and less interested. After reading over two thirds I just skimmed it to the end. The dialogue with Daryl was annoying and really detracted from the book over. Here were the jokes that made me crack up.


Suicide is our way of saying to God, “You can’t fire me, I quit!” – Bill Maher

Old Sol Bloom lay dying in his bed, when he suddenly smelled the aroma of his favourite strudel wafting up the stairs...more
Thom
This is one more in a series of light-hearted but useful romps through some issues of philosophy. Of the three I've read so far, this one is the most serious. All of the books have helped clarify who my "favorites" are (Kirkegaard, William James, and Paul Tillich remain high on my list). This one closes with a shout out to James that captures my feelings toward the study of philosophy in general, and so I'll share it:
"But there's this one guy who stands out from the pack, an American philosopher...more
Nick
It is written in a humorous, conversational style interspersed with imaginary dialogue, cartoons, and jokes. The color changes and cartoons make this a good book qua book. In other word, Id not want to read the kindle version without pictures and color. Some of the jokes are better than others, but overall they were pretty clever and relevant to the philosophical points they accompany.

Its thought provoking, but not deep. Stimulating, but doesn't dive into the nitty gritty of these issues. Howeve...more
Jenny
Jag har svårt att sätta ord på Heidegger and a Hippo. Filosofi är en genre som jag normalt sett aldrig läser och kan med det erkänna att jag inte har någon större kunskap om det heller. Jag gillade däremot Cathcarts och Kleins förra bok, Plato and a Platypus, så jag beslöt mig för att även läsa denna bok. Jag blev heller inte besviken på denna även om jag föredrar Plato and a Platypus.

I Heidegger and a Hippo utforskar författarna ämnen som människans sökande efter odödlighet och vad det är som h...more
Sven Nomadsson
*Note: Copied from the review on my blog - http://worldwritsmall.wordpress.com

In keeping with my recent theme of reading books concerned with death, real or imaginary and totally unintentional on my part, I have finished Heidegger and a Hippo Walk Through Those Pearly Gates by Thomas Cathcart and Daniel Klein. The mention of pearly gates should give you a clear indication that this book is about death; Heidegger’s name lends to it a hint that some philosophy will be involved and the hippo… well...more
Wes
A light book cracking wise and playfully introducing some of the core arguments/philosophies/perspectives about a very heavy subject that we all, ultimately, become *very* familiar with. This book strives to be a death-oriented philosophy 101 course overlaid with the humor of the New Yorker Caption Contest and on that front it succeeds pretty damn well. Structurally it's presented as a conversation between its two authors and their skeptical/regular-Joe neighbor "Daryl" as they talk about the pe...more
Dylan Popowicz
[To be printed in The Sacramento Book Review]

The joking-philosopher duo are back, and this time around they have delved deeply into the realms of man's mortality. In a wonderfully written, well-paced romp through the philosophy of Death (and Life), Cathcart and Klein cover the likes of Keirkegaard, Heidegger, Husserl, Sartre, Freud and William James—blended with public polls, scientific discoveries, and theories of the future (from cryogenetics to teleportation) . And whereas most books of this...more
Tom Bentley
A book that gives itself a tough assignment from the outset: Refer to (and quote) the work of famous philosophers on a decidedly down topic: death. And make it funny. And like a session with a couple of standup comics—which this book resembles in some way, because it's structured like a conversation with two comics and a listener who occasionally heckles—there are some definite hits and misses with the jokes.

Thus, many of the jokes are 5 stars, but a number of them are twos, and a few are airles...more
Razvan Zamfirescu
Filosofie de duzina si poante slabe. O supa lunga si neclara de filosofie, stiinta, viata (sau moarte) de zi cu zi. Cea mai slaba dintre cartile celor doi aparute pana acum - am ras o sigura data spre sfarsitul cartii.
Numele lui Grucho Marx de pe coperta e supralicitat: are doua vorbe de duh in carte. Una v-o spun eu (SPOILER!!) "De ce ar trebui sa-mi pese de posteritate? Ce a facut posteritatea pentru mine?", cealalta e mai slaba.
Amy
I love these books -- learning philosophy through jokes and in this case "using philosophy (and jokes!) to explore life, death, the afterlife, and everything in between".

Raised in a funeral home, I've heard most of these jokes, stories, etc. before, but this is the best story that I read in the book:

Under the heading "The Perverted Will-to-Live on Death Row"

An Italian, a Frenchman, and an American are about to be executed. They're told they can have whatever they want for their last meal.

Tony re...more
trina
Jul 11, 2010 trina rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: impatient folks who don't like philosophy but enjoy jokes
fluffy little book of philosophy for people like me who have no patience for the absurd circumlocution of most philosophers and the ridiculous abstraction of the topics they cover. covers everyone from socrates, the father of philosophy, to martin heidegger and why he won't get into heaven over a hippo, and woody allen (ne allan stewart konigsberg). replete with jokes and comics and colloquialisms, and an imaginary everyman named daryl who is petrified of death and wants our authors to reassure...more
Mark Russell
The third in their series, and probably the least compelling (initiates are better off reading Plato and a Platypus), Cathcart and Klein attempt to illuminate different cultural, religious and philosophical approaches to death and afterlife using jokes as the prism through which they project their essays. They're good teachers and this book certainly has its moments (the chapter on Existentialism was particularly good), but the connections to the jokes often feels forced and the quality of the j...more
John Jamison
An uninspiring follow-up to the much better "Plato and a Platypus". This follow-up lacks the humor and is a less coherent overview of an interesting field of philosophical study. Of course, this is a topic that can set off people like few others, and the authors don't fail to bang the reader over the head with their often unwelcome personal views.
Mitch
When I first saw this book, I thought it would be great. After all, it treats on the serious subjects of life, death and the afterlife- using humor to offset the gravity of the topics.

I thought I'd learn something along the way, and I did. I learned that philosophers present their guesses as truth in spite of the fact that their various takes cannot possibly all be true- or even necessarily close. I wanted something empirical; I got a lot of speculation masquerading as that.

I did NOT learn much...more
Stewart
Written by two men who majored in philosophy at Harvard and who have pursued varied careers since, this book is illuminating and funny. It examines the philosophical issues of life and death and the possibility of life after death, quoting Western thinkers from Plato and Aristotle to William James, Heidegger, Kierkegaard, Sartre, Camus, and Woody Allen -- and Eastern philosophy as well. One chapter explores the idea that eternity is right now, not after death when many think it will be. Another...more
Coen
By far not as funny as their previous book "Plato and a platypus walk into a bar", but they still touch some interesting topics in philosophy that most of us don't think about that often. I do believe that pondering about your own mortality can make you live your life more fully, and this book sure takes you through some interesting perspectives.

Memento mori!
('remember that you will die')
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 62 63 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Won it but it hasn't arrived yet :( 2 12 Dec 10, 2009 08:43PM  
  • Monty Python and Philosophy: Nudge Nudge, Think Think!
  • Superheroes and Philosophy: Truth, Justice, and the Socratic Way
  • The Pig That Wants to Be Eaten: 100 Experiments for the Armchair Philosopher
  • Woody Allen and Philosophy: [You Mean My Whole Fallacy Is Wrong?]
  • Lost and Philosophy: The Island Has Its Reasons
  • Things That Make Us (Sic): The Society for the Promotion of Good Grammar Takes on Madison Avenue, Hollywood, the White House, and the World
  • 50 Popular Beliefs That People Think Are True
  • Seinfeld and Philosophy: A Book about Everything and Nothing
  • Oneself as Another
  • This Will Kill You: A Guide to the Ways in Which We Go
  • The Birth and Death of Meaning: An Interdisciplinary Perspective on the Problem of Man
  • The Daily Show and Philosophy: Moments of Zen in the Art of Fake News
  • Ophelia Joined the Group Maidens Who Don't Float: Classic Lit Signs on to Facebook
  • The Kolob Theorem: A Mormon's View of God's Starry Universe
  • Mental Floss presents In the Beginning: From Big Hair to the Big Bang, mental_floss presents a Mouthwatering Guide to the Origins of Everything
  • Sherlock Holmes and Philosophy: The Footprints of a Gigantic Mind
  • Mad Men and Philosophy: Nothing is as it Seems
  • Prime Chaos: Adventures in Chaos Magic
105509
Thomas Cathcart and Daniel Klein wrote the bestselling Plato and a Platypus Walk into a Bar: Understanding Philosophy Through Jokes, which will be translated into more than a dozen languages. Not bad for a couple of philosophy majors from Harvard who tried on various careers after graduation. Tom worked with street gangs in Chicago, doctors at Blue Cross and Blue Shield, and dropped in and out of...more
More about Thomas Cathcart...
Plato and a Platypus Walk Into a Bar: Understanding Philosophy Through Jokes Aristotle and an Aardvark Go to Washington The Trolley Problem, or Would You Throw the Fat Guy Off the Bridge?: A Philosophical Conundrum Plato and a Platypus / Aristotle and an Aardvark Boxed Set Macho Meditations

Share This Book

“It's only when we dare to experience the full anxiety of knowing that life doesn't go on forever that we can experience transcendence and get in touch with the infinite. To use an analogy from gestalt psychology, Non-Being is the necessary ground for the figure of Being to make itself known to us. It's only when we're willing to let go of all of our illusions and admit that we are lost and helpless and terrified that we will be free of ourselves and our false securities and ready for what Kierkegaard calls "the leap of faith."

p. 43”
1 likes
More quotes…