Books I Loathed discussion

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Loathed Titles > Sophie's World

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message 1: by Kate (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:36AM) (new)

Kate (katiebobus) | 136 comments Mod
This book is the worst kind of creative nonfiction. The idea, which sounds like a bad standardized test practice manual, is that this girl gets clues and has to learn about famous world philosophers to solve the clues. I think. I tried to read it just for reference, since I am pretty ignorant about the history of philosophy, but the smarminess of it made me cease to care about philosophy at all. In fact, I basically hate it now. Thanks, Jostein Gaardner.


message 2: by christina (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:36AM) (new)

christina I'm so glad you said this! I started reading it after college, because the boy I thought was perfect for me suggested it as a primer to philosophy (he was a "political and social thought" - read: super smart - major). aaaand ... what? it lost me. it got shelved. and so did the boy. oh, nathan.


message 3: by Barbara (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:36AM) (new)

Barbara Domue | 2 comments agreed. I tried this one during my junior year of college...tried hard, and had to stop about halfway through...if I wanted to read a textbook, I would have taken Philosophy over again...


message 4: by Christine (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:43AM) (new)

Christine I agree that this was a failure. I like philosophy, and thought this would be interesting, but it was handled so clumsily. And written like a children's book: "Sohpie loved her secret den. She climbed in and shooed away the cat. Who was sending these strange messages?..." Spare me.


message 5: by Robin (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:46AM) (new)

Robin | 4 comments Well! I loved this book ,I know were supposed to talk about "books I loathed", but all the freinds I lent it to liked it too.But then again I don't like Leamony Snickett, so what do I know...


message 6: by Norman (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:49AM) (new)

Norman | 48 comments I read Sophie's World after reading one of Gaarder's other works, The Solitaire Mystery, which I really liked. In my opinion Gaarder achieved the right mix of story and philosophy in TSM, but in SW the silly plot was merely an excuse for elementary lessons on philosophy, and it bored me to death! For all of you who read SW and thought "Never again!" for a Gaarder novel, I would recommend you try TSM...give the poor guy one more chance!


message 7: by Kate (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:49AM) (new)

Kate (katiebobus) | 136 comments Mod
I'm glad you said that, Norman. I often pick up TSM because the cover is so rad, and then I see the author and quickly put it back. Next time it catches my eye I'll read the first chapter and see how she feels!


message 8: by Emma (last edited Aug 26, 2008 10:24PM) (new)

Emma This was my favourite book for years. But when I picked it up I knew nothing about philosophy, I didn't even know what the word meant, and so it turned out to be a perfect introduction. The protagonist is 14 and, as far as I can tell, the book is aimed at that age group. I can imagine if I read it for the first time now I'd find it dull and simplistic, but at 11 it opened my eyes to a whole new world.


message 9: by Novi (new)

Novi Bobby I'm somewhat interested in philosophy yet never took any philosophy classes, so I found this book as a quick review of important philosophers and - well - their philosophy. So in a way, I never treated this book as a novel, but as CliffsNotes of Philosophy 101.

Had I treated this book as a novel, I would've agreed with how most of you feel. It's frustrating (because less story and more excerpts from philosophy books) and annoying (because the ending left you with your head cocked to one side saying "Ha..? Wha..?").


message 10: by Lisa (new)

Lisa (Glinda) | 8 comments I really wanted to like this book but I hated it so much I couldn't even finish it. I know many others loved it but I just couldn't get into it.


message 11: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie I am with you Lisa and was basically going to write the same posting. I wanted to like it, I felt like I SHOULD like it, but I just DON'T. I OWN it, and have tried to read it three times but am just never interested. I took honors philosophy in high school WAY back, and took philo again in college. YUCK to this ridiculous waste of time.


message 12: by Jordan (new)

Jordan | 10 comments it's not even a good introduction to philosophy, given all the stuff it leaves out. I thought Gaarder's prose was intermittently eloquent, but the book is flawed in so many other ways.


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