Andreea's Reviews > Sophie's World

Sophie's World by Jostein Gaarder
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's review
Aug 24, 2009

liked it
bookshelves: 11th-grade, reviewed, for-school-books
Read in August, 2009

** spoiler alert ** The idea behind this book was pretty awesome. The history of philosophy can be very boring if you're not intereseted in that sort of stuff, so slipping it in a fiction/fantasy novel is a pretty smart thing to do.

Sophie starts recieving letters from a mysterious philosopher (Alberto) that make her question everything she knows. As she gets closer to this philosopher, weird incidents start to occur, such as having the long dead Greek philosopher Plato speak to her in English. The incidents become weirder and more impossible, convoncing Sophie (and the reader along with her) that she's not really living in the real world.

I absolutely loved how weird everything seemed if I thought of Sophie as a real person, and how everything made sense when I thought of her as just a character in a book controlled by a writer. I knew many of the philosophers presented in the book, but learned a lot about just what exactly each believed. Of course, I did not agree with everything in the book, but that's the point of a book on philosophy. There is no proof - all that matters is what we believe.

What I didn't really like much about this book was the way it was written. It might be because of the translation, but the writing seemed rather childish to me and some declarations were unsupported. For example, we are told about Sophists, the enemies of Socrates' views. We are then treated to a paragraph in which Alberto whines about how they weren't real philosophers, just annoying little know-it-alls. You'd think that such an accusation warrants proof, or at least an explanation.

All in all, I liked the book, and it was about time I read it since it has been sitting on my shelf for about 3 years.
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