Customer Reviews for

Sophie's World: A Novel about the History of Philosophy

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

I could read it again and again..

The author knows just how to take the reader into these worlds within worlds and places you inside of each character where you feel every piece of the story as if you were living it yourself. I recommend this book to everyone.

posted by Anonymous on August 31, 2008

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

Just Another School Book

I started this book a few days ago and it feels more like a textbook for Philosophy rather than an actual novel. As if I want to read about Philosophy embedded in a story... No, it's pretty much the whole story. I feel like I'm in school again. Don't buy this book, s'il...
I started this book a few days ago and it feels more like a textbook for Philosophy rather than an actual novel. As if I want to read about Philosophy embedded in a story... No, it's pretty much the whole story. I feel like I'm in school again. Don't buy this book, s'il vous plait.

posted by Paige-Face on December 19, 2009

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  • Posted May 17, 2010

    Something to think about

    I was assigned this book to read for my philosophical psychology class and thus, assumed I would be in for a long, dry read. I was pleasantly surprised, however, to find that the story is actually quite entertaining with several plot twists that leave you guessing until the very end. The author has a very clever way of teaching you philosophical lessons right along with the character, provoking new thoughts and ideas without making it seem instructional. By the end of the book, you will most definitely have some new ideas as to who you are, where you come from, and what it all means. Or at least, you'll be thinking about it.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 11, 2000

    An Interesting Book

    This is a good book about philosophy and it is confusing one.We thanks to Yrd.Doc.Dr.Nilgun Ariturk who makes us read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 5, 2014

    Sophie┬┐s World by Jostein Gaarder is about a teenage girl named

    Sophie’s World by Jostein Gaarder is about a teenage girl named Sophie who lives in Norway. She receives two mysterious notes in the mail, one asking “who are you?” and the other asks “Where does the world come from?” Later she is sent a packet for a philosophy course and becomes the student of a philosopher named Alberto Knox who is the one that sent her the papers and the packet. Throughout the book she learns about the rise of Christianity, Hellenistic civilization, the ancient Greeks, and the renaissance. Sophie also receives a postcard from a man named Albert Knag to Hilde Moller Knag, who is his daughter. I chose this book because it covers the whole course and I’ve heard that’s very good.
    I thought this book was very well written and i would definitely recommend it to others. Its very infomational and makes you think while reading. Within the first few minutes i had it i didn't want to stop reading because i really wanted to find out what happens. there were many plot twists anf the story was always interesting. Overall i thought this was a very good book and it is one i would take the time to read again

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 26, 2012

    AP World History Review: a description of my opinion of the book

    Humans are made to wonder. They are built to challenge what is accepted as the "norm." Throughout the ages, philosophy has shown how humans perceive the world. "Sophie's World" is an excellent outline of how humans and their thoughts about the world, the universe, and how life itself have evolved over time. From the philosophers of ancient Greece to today's challenging new topics, the big bang, Jostein Gaarder has created a book that illustrates history. This is not your typical philosophy book. Jostein weaves irony into this story which is more than just a book, it can be helpful in everyday life.

    I would definitely recommend this book to anyone. I think everyone should be aware of what the world is and all the opportunities that it holds. You can become so engrossed in this book that it will leave you asking yourself questions that you have never thought about before. It will keep you up all night proposing challenging topics that you are not used to. And then, when you finally end the book, it will leave you wanting more. This is a great book that outlines the major philosophies of all times. I strongly recommend you read this book, even if it just for fun. Is this book made to satisfy the human want for knowledge or was this book written to endorse a new age of philology? Read it for yourself and make your own conclusions.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 6, 2008

    A reviewer

    It has a good plotline, and a great read for history geeks. Near the end of the book, it became much harder to comprehend, and the chapter, 'Garden Party' was entirely disturbing to me. But as a read for pleasure, I absolutely recommend it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 15, 2008

    Makes you take into consideration different perspectives

    For me reading this book was just a way to gain knowledge about humans, their beliefs, and how differently we all perceive or can perceive the world. And in that respect this book was definitely tops, however despite the continual facts and commentaries made on philosophy I must say that the end of this book, while fitting to the subject in question was hard to follow and a little disappointing. Yet for some reason I can't shake the insurmountable knowledge packed into this story while still following a plot line.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 5, 2007

    Awesome novel!

    This book is an awesome novel to read for insight into philosophy and introduction to philosophy. From the moment I started reading this book I never wanted to put it down. From Socrates to Plato the author explains how and what the philosophers believed in. It was both insightful and intellectual to me and will be to the reader.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 1, 2007

    Wonderful book

    This is a very good book to introduce you to philosophy. In studying philosophy, it's imperative to learn the history and the basic beliefs of well-known past philosophers, and this book provides that. Once you've read Sophie's World, if you want to read more on the subject, find philosophers mentioned in the book who interest you and read their works. If you already know a lot about the basics, I suggest finding a different book, because this barely begins to scratch the surface. The story with Sophie and Alberto, though it did attempt to tie in with the philosophy within the chapter, was often Gaarder's interpretation of the philosophy, and while I was reading the book for the second time, I often found personal opinion regarding the philosophies. If you're just getting into philosophy, this book may help you sort out what your personal philosophy may be, but take care that Gaarder's interpretation doesn't influence you too much.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 11, 2005

    The Mind Of A Schizophrenc

    Sophie's World is a novel about the history of philosophy and how how it is overlooked by others. Who are you and where does the world come from are the two most important questions throughout this novel which grasps the mind of the reader taking them to a land of thoughts that has never been thought of. Sophie Amundsen, a 14-year old Norwegian girl, becomes caught in the knowledge of philosophy and her existence in the universe, in the novel, Sophie¿s World. This is due to the curiousity of being young and the lack of answers that the world provides. It all begins when she receives mysterious letters in the mail from an unknown teacher. He provides her with an understanding of the history of philosophy and how it affects the world. Before recieving these letters, Sophie was living a ordinary teenage life which includes accepting the world how it is, no questions asked.The information taught by the philosophy teacher leads Sophie into an confusing but adventurous mystery of her own. At around the same time she begins to receive postcards from a man named Albert Knag. Sophie becomes forced to put together a puzzle using the ideas of philosophy that will provide the answers to the unsolved clues in the real world and remain a key for the future. Though Sophie's World contains sophisticated language and a mass of confusing information, the storyline is adventurous to the thought filled minds. Readers will enjoy questioning the ordinary and the things that are just. This novel influences the readers to go search for answers in their own lives and to question the ordinary essentials of life. The only downfall of this novel is the organization of the historical information. Most of the information provided about philosophy is jammed between the story which confuses the reader a bit. I personally enjoyed reading Sophie's World due to my interest in expanding my knowledge of understanding the world and the thoughts of others. This book also influenced me to write pieces that question the simple things of life such as living and love. Sophie's World also allowed me to realize that all knowledge is impossible to obtain for answers to simple questions are unable to be found.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 30, 2003

    An Involved Journey

    This is a very creative and original book. It also refreshed my memory from my Intro to Philosophy Class in college. I enjoyed the book very much, and I recommend it to anyone with a brain. I warn the reader that it is very involved, and you have to be in the right mindset to get through it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 29, 2003

    The Philosophical Journey

    ¿Who are you?¿ and ¿where does the world come from?¿ are the two significant questions that transform this novel into a new and exciting world. These long discussed and controversial questions bring new meaning to the world and to the views of the people within it. Sophie Amundsen, a 14-year old Norwegian girl, becomes caught in the knowledge of philosophy and her existence in the universe, in the novel, Sophie¿s World. It all begins when she receives mysterious letters in the mail from an unknown teacher. He provides her with an understanding of the history of philosophy and how it affects the world. Before receiving these letters, Sophie was just an ordinary, average girl who viewed the world day by day and didn¿t think about things that were out of the ordinary. The information taught by the philosophy teacher leads Sophie into an odd mystery of her own. At around the same time she begins receiving the philosophy letters, she also receives postcards from a man named Albert Knag. Sophie becomes forced to put together a philosophical puzzle that will provide the answers to the unsolved clues in the real world and remain a key for the future.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 27, 2002

    You Either Love it or Hate it.

    Alright, here's the thing: I LOVED this book. So did a lot of my friends. The ones who didn't love it absolutely HATED it. In my opinion, this book was very worthwhile. It was kind of long, and at times, truthfully, sort of boring. However, most of the time, it was very interesting. The book was awesome. The plot drives the philosophy in this book, and it makes you question a lot of aspects of reality. It is an accomplishment to finish this book in itself, but it's immensly worthwhile, and enjoyable.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 29, 2002

    An amusing romp through Westerm Philosophy

    Sophie's World is a novel about the history of philosophy. At first glance, it reminds one of those poorly produced car commercials¿the ones where they expect the viewer to believe that normal people really sit around discussing, in detail, why their Kia Spectra was a better deal than a Honda Accord. But, if one is even remotely interested in philosophy, one quickly gets sucked in by the simple explanations of complex ideas, as well as by the intriguing subplot of this novel. The protagonist, Sophie Amundsen, is about to turn 15 when she begins to receive letters from the mysterious Alberto Knox, philosopher. Who are you? The first letter asks. Where does the world come from? Inquires a second. If that were not enough, Sophie begins receiving letters addressed to one Hilde Moller Knag from her absent father, Albert. Sophie's own father is also absent, and her discourse with her mother, who suspects her daughter of experimenting with drugs, is terrifically amusing. Sophie, who can't avoid recognizing that her life is touched with mystery, agrees to become a student of philosophy. Alberto sends her lessons in chronological order, and Sophie's reflections on each address the difficulties of viewing the past from a modern perspective. As her studies approach present time, Sophie's surroundings morph impossibly to match the changing philosophy. Soon, Sophie and Alberto to suspect that they are merely characters in a novel written by Albert for his daughter Hilde. Together, they try to understand and even escape their unusual situation. As the discourse grows denser and more difficult to grasp, the subplot grows more fascinating and bizarre. In order to understand the events in Sophie's life, one must carefully read and critically apply the works of such philosophical giants as Kant, Hegel, Kierkegaard and Freud. Admittedly, this task will prove too much for some readers, who would prefer to snuggle deep within the triviality of everyday existence. The majority of readers, however, will appreciate the accessibility, sophistication, and jaunty Norwegian slant that made Sophie's World an instant bestseller.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2001

    Heavy, but worth the effort!

    A warning about this book- if you don't enjoy deep thinking, it will give you a headache! Sophie's World is about 20% narrative and 80% philosophy textbook. If you are at all interested in philosophy, this book will crack your world open. This book would be amazing in a philosophy class. However, if you are an escapist who is craving a 'no-brainer' sort of read, this book is not it. This book is so rich and so complex, you have to put it down and walk away from it every now and then, just to convince yourself that you still exist.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 13, 2001

    refreshing

    Sophies worl is like a bucket of ice cold water on your flaming head. It is almost in its own way...salvation. It allows one to think for oneself as the story is happening.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 6, 2001

    Wonderful!

    Sophie's World is a book about a nearly 15 year old girl who is living her life in ignorant bliss when one day she mysteriously recieves a course on the history of philosophy in the mail. Throughout the book Sophie learns about philosophy and also tries to figure out why a UN Major is sending her letters for his daughter. By the end of the book you will be questioning your own existence!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 13, 2000

    Sophie's World is a good book

    I'm 14 and I had to pick a summer reading book, I chose Sophie's Worls not knowing it was a book on philosophy, and when I saw that is was a book on philosophy, I thought it would be really boring. As I started the first chapter it was pretty boring but as I read on, I realize that Sophie's World is actually a good book, not only does it give you information on different philosophies, it also talk about how Sophie is trying to figure out who is Hilde and why does her father keep sending postcards to her and why does she keep finding things that belongs to Hilde. The ending caught me off guard because I was surprised at how it turned out. And if you want to find out how it ends and you're interested in philosophy, I would suggest you to buy this book. It's educational and entertaining all in one.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 21, 2000

    Smashing!

    When I first started reading this book, I was afraid it was going to read like a text book. However, I soon discovered that Gaarder was able to give LOTS of informational facts, and still create an interesting novel. The fact that it was so educational made reading it even more rewarding. You must read it, even if you have limited or no knowledge of philosophy and its origins.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 20, 2000

    a world not so wide

    Well we see... the author wishes to spread the knowledge of philosophy, so, he creates Sophie, a girl fifteeen years old. The book is half a success, because I find two problems there: firstly, more or less, from St. Tomás de Aquino, philosophy is virtually impossible to simplify without distortion, and secondly but not less real, there are people as Sophie's mother. This class of 'normal' adult wants his daughter goes well in the school, but... she doesn't like Sophie speaking with 'strange people' as philosohers. A truly common contradiction, very own of today vulgar people from middle class (social and mental). So I think Sophie goes to learn few and you also. Howewer this book is appealing and different.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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