Abi Rhodes's Reviews > The Solitaire Mystery

The Solitaire Mystery by Jostein Gaarder
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's review
Apr 14, 2011

it was amazing

One of the best books I have ever read. It has as it's basis the concept of 'God is Dead', first coined by Nietzsche, which is coupled with Plato's World of Ideas and delivered via Creationism. Central to the book is a magical island created from the consciousness of one being, which can be interpreted as the Earth, where the inhabitants are blind to the creator. One inhabitant, the Joker of the pack (literally), sees the reality of their island life and seeks to remove the blinkers worn by those who surround him. Once these are removed, however, disaster strikes and the created turn on their creator. Gaarder entwines the magical island narrative with the parallel story of a little boy's search for a complete family. This is a book that reminds you to live your life everyday and not to take the world surrounding you in for granted - because when one stops to look at the world with fresh eyes one can see just how beautiful a place it really is.
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Chris I think you are right to see in this a meditation on creatures not being aware of their Creator, but I also think that, if this is so, this is a weakness of the book as the parallel is not drawn to some of its logical conclusions. But it's still an intriguing story.

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