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Filozofun Çırağı

3.42  ·  Rating details ·  769 ratings  ·  147 reviews
Zeki bir filozof olan Mason Ambrose, beş parasız kalmış hiçbir eğitmenin reddedemeyeceği bir teklifi memnuniyetle kabul eder. Tropik bir adaya seyahat ederek, hem hafızasını hem de ahlak anlayışını garip bir kaza sonucu kaybetmiş olan genç, güzel ve zeki Londa Sabacthani’ye eğitmenlik yapacaktır. Görevi, Londa’nın boş bir kutudan farksız olan ruhunu doldurmaktır.

Paperback, 496 pages
Published 2011 by Pegasus Yayınları (first published 2008)
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Average rating 3.42  · 
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5 stars to James K. Morrow's The Philosopher's Apprentice.

I found this book one afternoon while walking through a book store. It sounded like a good read so I added it to my new pile. It sat for a few weeks while I finished some others ahead of it, and then I dived in. It's divided into 3 separate sections, and even I'll admit there are a few disconnects in the writing style between the various sections, but compared to the amazing aspects of the story, it is very minor (at least to me!). I
Jennifer (aka EM)
Nov 07, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Vonnegut fans; anyone interested in life's big questions
**Warning:** there are bound to be some gross, and most likely inaccurate, generalizations in here about James Morrow based on my current consumption of only two of his novels. And maybe a few small spoilers.

First, let me say that this is the first author in a long time who has engaged me enough that I am working my way through his entire oeuvre. I should probably be doing this in some planned order -- chronologically would make most sense; stylistically could be another option (since he seems
Sam  Hedrick
Jan 17, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Spoiler alert! This book is a piece of crap!! It was reviewed very favorably on NPR, so I gave it a go. The write-up suggested it was kind of a cerebral "Island of Dr. Moreau", but he only wishes he had such a plot...or any plot at all. At first some of Morrow's wordplay was clever, but in reality he spends far too much time wallowing in his self-delusional intellectualism. You've either got to be a philosophy major (with a 4 pt average) or keep your handy-dandy philosopher's bible within reach ...more
Kyle Muntz
The first act of this book is perfect--a subtle, occasionally grotesque meditation on the possibility of ethics, on a picturesque island somewhere between Dr Moreau and The Magus. After that, I don't know. The narrator becomes idiotic and sort of intolerable, and instead of engaging directly with philosophy the book becomes a sort of tirade against right-wing politics and theology, which seemed excessive and silly to me even as an Atheist. The great characters from the beginning are still there, ...more
Ben Babcock
What is this I don’t even.

Argh, my brain hurts. Where did it all start going so wrong? Was it when the sexually ambiguous cadre of private female shock troops seized the recreation of the Titanic in order to force its first-class passengers to toil at menial labour in an effort to rehabilitate them? Or was it earlier than that, when the ludicrously one-dimensional antagonists unleash a clone army of aborted foetuses on unsuspecting would-be parents? Or maybe even earlier, when a lone philosopher
May 21, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's Morrow through and through. Mix 1 part satire, 1 part irreverence, 2 parts modern philosophy and a dash of insanity together and bake -- it's a recipe for disaster or brilliance. This a story of modern morality that makes you laugh and cry at the same time, and challenges your notion of civil society.

The first act of the book is a brilliant adaptation of the Pygmalion story, complete with feather covered iguanas, a brief history of moral philosophy, and the corruption of childhood at the
To say this book is interesting and thought provoking might be an understatement. I really think what one gets out this book will depend on what you are looking for. The premise of the novel starts out simple enough, a philosophy graduate student who torpedoes his opportunity to get his Ph.D., finds himself recruited by a billionaire scientist to come to a remote island to tutor her daughter; specifically, she provides that her daughter has been in a horrific accident that has eliminated her ...more
Susan (aka Just My Op)
Quirky, sometimes unsettling, and very entertaining, this novel can be a challenge for the average reader, or at any rate, it was for me. A philosophy student (Mason Ambrose) walks out while defending his own doctoral thesis, giving up the future he had imagined. He is offered a job working for a wealthy, eccentric woman who owns an island in the Florida keys where she and a geneticist create such beings as a feathered iguana and a sentient tree. The job is to develop morality, a conscience, for ...more
Cool book. Deep philosophy and tough ethical questions brought to life in good story. I’ll read more of this author.
Aug 08, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
In the opening pages of this novel, I thought I was back in the magic land created by John Fowles in "The Magus." A young philosopher with a rebellious bent is recruited to go to a secluded island and tutor a teenage girl, daughter of a billionairess. He's told his student has lost her memory in a horrific accident. His task: to restore her sense of right and wrong.
It's a promising premise and I looked forward to an interesting novel of ideas with some sexual tension thrown in. How wrong I was!
2 stars instead of 1 because it was interesting enough to keep me reading with a modicum of interest. This is one of those books (which I seem to be reading a lot of lately) that presents a compelling premise, but fails to deliver.

The introductory premise was a pretty good hook. A philosophy graduate student gets a job offer to travel to a tropical island, full of genetic anomalies, and tutor a 17-year-old girl who doesn't have a conscience or any sort of "moral compass". The philosopher balks
Brian Steed
Morrow's novels satisfy on pretty much every level - wrestling with big questions while keeping you entertained with his sharply written and wonderfully ludicrous stories. In this one Morrow explores the question of morality, and what might happen if the teachings of the most prominent thinkers on the subject (Plato, the Stoics, Jesus, Kant, etc.) were allowed to override our inexplicable innate sense of morality. The end product is a tasty stew of Dr. Moreau, Frankenstein, Daniel Dennett, ...more
If I could rate this book on two scales, I would give it a 3 out of 5 for enjoyability, and a 4.5 out of 5 for content. It’s tough to rate books with the breadth of this one along side the likes of the Peter Grant series - the latter is a romp, and I love it, but compared to the chewy ethical plot point of The Philosopher’s Apprentice it is a piece of fluff.

Anyway. My enjoyment was reduced by the narrator, whom I disliked, and his relationship with Londa which was frankly creepy in ways that the
Nov 23, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Having failed the final stages of his PhD, Mason Ambrose accepts the lucrative position of "morality" tutor to Londa Sabacthani on the remote tropical island, Isla de Sangre. What follows is a cross between Pygmalion and Frankenstein (and some have suggested there are element of Lost and the Island of Dr Moreau) as Londa leaves the island, intent on rectifying injustice in the world, but at what cost??

The result is an erudite, beautifully written novel wherein questions of morality and ethics
Jun 08, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: third-book-club
I hated this book. Hated hated hated hated hated this book.

This book is preachy, sanctimonious, incoherent, poorly plotted, misogynistic, overwritten, under-characterized, and petty. Deus ex machina is happening all over this thing, large parts of it make no sense, and the "hero" manages to be completely passive and have a Messiah complex at the same time. Somehow, this book is completely insane, and yet boring, too. It boggles the mind without engaging the mind in any pleasant way.

This book
May 25, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I made it to pg 122. And I feel really, really awful about what may be a disparaging comment made in 3-2-1...:

So overly adjectival! Make it stop. I returned this so quickly to the library that I can't even recall some of the special imagery. A smile is once described as a croissant. And that's not even an adjectival phrase.

Synopsis: An ABD from "Hawthorne University" in Cambridge (hmmm...) who takes a mystery job as personal tutor for a troubled 17-year-old. His dissertation which he requires
Aug 13, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: religion
Another wild ride from the author of The Last Witchfinder. At the outset, our narrator walks out on his defense of his philosophy PhD dissertation, "Ethics from the Earth." Thereafter, he faces one impossible ethical choice between evils after another. Unfailingly clever, amusing, and interesting, as well as occasionally deeply disturbing, its strong antireligious bias and ideological heavy-handedness are more bothersome than they were in the earlier book set in the 18th century. But who else ...more
Sep 30, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
This book kind of reminds me of Towing Jehovah - wherein the protagonist finds himself in an outlandish situation. From the juxtaposition of "normal perspective" and abnormal situation, complex events gain perspectives that aren't otherwise seen. Sometimes Morrow's dalliances into the absurd are just silly. Other times, they're treasures.

This book is mostly the latter. Whether your issue of choice is cloning, right to life, fundamentalist religion vs secular thought, the distribution of wealth
Mar 28, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book was recomended to me and therefore I wasn't familar with this author. He difinley must have his fan base but I am not in that catagory. I enjoy some science fiction movies but not books especially when unexpected.

The book actually felt like it was two or three different stories just with the same characters. The biginig was entirley different then the section that takes place on the island. Off the island is where I totally wanted to put the book down but since we have a rule in our
May 08, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book but not as much as I thought I would when I began it. I am not a big fantasy/sci-fi reader and this novel,while it caught my attention for book 1, sort of spiraled into th as t fantasy realm where it lost some plot lines to me and I felt like I wished it would just cut to the chase which happened in book 3. So, as I said I liked the book, but it was sort of out of my comfort zone as far as genres are concerned.
Mar 08, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent writing as always from a master of satire who can make even the most outrageous plots turns seem plausible.
Gary Leach
Liked it. Had to make a list in the back cover of vocabulary I didn't know. I now use the word "zaftig" where i didn't before...
Feb 22, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009
(Dug review out of the depths of LiveJournal.)

The return of extremely upfucked: hooray! Also: baffling. I enjoyed it. A little bit like a mash between Oryx & Crake and Neal Stephenson. I also liked his The Last Witchfinder which has similar levels of crazytown.
Nov 18, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This one took awhile. I was very intrigued in part one, then came to be horrified and bewildered. Very imaginative for sure. Disturbing is a better word at many points. I am at a loss for how to even describe this one. I may come back later after having thought about it more.
Started of great. Too bad about the last 2/3rds of the book.
This is an entertaining science fiction novel that is replete with philosophical thoughts and allusions. The Philosopher’s Apprentice, begins as Mason Ambrose, the author of an idiosyncratic, Darwinist dissertation called “Ethics From the Earth”; is offered a position tutoring Londa, a teenager whose mother is a fabulously wealthy and brilliant molecular geneticist.
Londa awaits her new teacher at Isla de Sangre, at the farthest edge of the Florida Keys. On this updated version of Dr. Moreau’s
E. Sabin
Mar 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Philosopher’s Apprentice is a challenging read, daring the reader to examine philosophical systems as they apply to ethical living. That may sound dry and uninteresting, but Morrow weaves it into a tale filled with fascinating characters and plenty of suspense and danger. Doctor of Philosophy candidate Mason Ambrose, when defending his doctoral dissertation in the field of ethics, faces an irascible opponent whose ridicule of his ideas forces him to walk out in fury, renouncing the coveted ...more
I generally love James K. Morrow's sardonic take on religion and science in the (almost) real world, but this book fell flat for me. It started out well, and promised to do for religion and ethics what _Blameless in Abaddon_ did for religion and the law, or _The Last Witchfinder_ did for religion and witchcraft. But unlike the main characters in the aforementioned books, the main character in _The Philosopher's Apprentice_ is just unlikeable - he's weak-willed, whiny, self-centered, and without ...more
Rossrn Nunamaker
I wasn't familiar with James Morrow's previous work, but grabbed this one at the library upon reading the back cover which had a review of the Last Witchfinder described by USA Today as "A book to delight fans of writers such as John Barth...".

This was the only time I can recall a review calling on the fans of Barth (how many of us are really out there?) so I grabbed this one and will probably read the other eventually.

I didn't find the Philospher's Apprentice to be as good as I thought it could
Aug 24, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The set-up is actually pretty good...a philosophy Phd candidate who has just blown his thesis defense is hired as a tutor for an adolescent without a moral compass...all situated on an idyllic tropical island, complete with mad genetic scientist and even madder clone-mommy. the whole first section of the book develops this idea rather entertainingly, with the tutor gradually acquainting his charge with Western philosophy and ethics. When it turns out there are two other genetically identical ...more
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Can anyone recommend other books like this? 2 11 Jul 18, 2011 08:08PM  

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Born in 1947, James Kenneth Morrow has been writing fiction ever since he, as a seven-year-old living in the Philadelphia suburbs, dictated “The Story of the Dog Family” to his mother, who dutifully typed it up and bound the pages with yarn. This three-page, six-chapter fantasy is still in the author’s private archives. Upon reaching adulthood, Jim produced nine novels of speculative fiction, ...more
“Above all, the Stoics sought wisdom, a condition that I myself hope to achieve after I stop wrecking and burning things.” 2 likes
“Fair are the daughters of men, and fairest are those who read.” 0 likes
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