Sophie's World: A Novel About the History of Philosophy [NOOK Book]

Overview


One day Sophie comes home from school to find two questions in her mail: "Who are you?" and "Where does the world come from?" Before she knows it she is enrolled in a correspondence course with a mysterious philosopher. Thus begins Jostein Gaarder's unique novel, which is not only a mystery, but also a complete and entertaining history of philosophy.


A ...

See more details below
Sophie's World: A Novel About the History of Philosophy

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook - First Edition)
$9.99
BN.com price

Overview


One day Sophie comes home from school to find two questions in her mail: "Who are you?" and "Where does the world come from?" Before she knows it she is enrolled in a correspondence course with a mysterious philosopher. Thus begins Jostein Gaarder's unique novel, which is not only a mystery, but also a complete and entertaining history of philosophy.


A passionate plea to rediscover our capacity for amazement, Sophie's World is more than a mere mystery. It is also the first novel to present a complete--and entertaining--history of philosophy. "A literary surprise success such as has not been seen since Umberto Eco's learned cloister-thriller The Name of the Rose."

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This long, dense novel, a bestseller in the author's native Norway, offers a summary history of philosophy embedded in a philosophical mystery disguised as a children's book-but only sophisticated young adults would be remotely interested. Sophie Amundsen is about to turn 15 when she receives a letter from one Alberto Knox, a philosopher who undertakes to educate her in his craft. Sections in which we read the text of Knox's lessons to Sophie about the pre-Socratics, Plato and St. Augustine alternate with those in which we find out about Sophie's life with her well-meaning mother. Soon, though, Sophie begins receiving other, stranger missives addressed to one Hilde Moller Knag from her absent father, Albert. As Alberto Knox's lessons approach this century, he and Sophie come to suspect that they are merely characters in a novel written by Albert for his daughter. Teacher and pupil hatch a plot to understand and possibly escape from their situation; and from there, matters get only weirder. Norwegian philosophy professor Gaarder's notion of making a history of philosophy accessible is a good one. Unfortunately, it's occasionally undermined by the dry language he uses to describe the works of various thinkers and by an idiosyncratic bias that gives one paragraph to Nietzsche but dozens to Sartre, breezing right by Wittgenstein and the most influential philosophy of this century, logical positivism. Many readers, regardless of their age, may be tempted to skip over the lessons, which aren't well integrated with the more interesting and unusual metafictional story line. Author tour. (Sept.)
Library Journal
This novel has already been a best seller in Scandinavia and Germany, and though it is markedly different from the prototypical American best seller, it should also do well here. The framework of the story is the receipt by a 14-year-old girl of mysterious letters that present her with a history of Western philosophy, from the pre-Socratics through Jean-Paul Sartre. After reading them, Sophie is prompted to ask questions and to think analytically. She also tries to discover their source and other manifestations, such as the puzzling postcards a Norwegian UN soldier in Lebanon sends to his nearly 15-year-old daughter. Adults and mature teens will appreciate the mystery as well as the philosophy lessons found in this first novel by a Norwegian high school philosophy teacher. Recommended for most collections.-Ann Irvine, Montgomery Cty. P.L., Md.
School Library Journal
YA-From the opening Goethe quotation to the closing discussion of the big bang theory, this is an extraordinary, exciting, provocative book that has been a bestseller in Europe. Gaarder presents a didactic history of philosophical thought as part of a fictional mystery story that both pulls readers along and breaks up the ``heavy'' explanations into manageable parts. Yet the plot is itself a philosophical conundrum, not resolved until the aftermath of a hilarious, disturbing garden party in celebration of both Midsummer's Eve and the 15th birthday of the protagonist, a suburban Norwegian teenager. And even then, the mystery, like the human mystery, is not really resolved, and leaves readers wanting to know more. Gaarder pulls off the difficult feat of blending philosophy and entertainment in a way that will capture YAs' interest and make them eager to explore further.-Judy McAloon, Potomac Library, Prince William County, VA
From Barnes & Noble
Designed for young readers, this novel is an entertaining story about a young girl who attempts to unravel a puzzling mystery by applying the theories of various philosophers--from Berkeley to Kant. A delightful introduction to the history of philosophy. This copy refers to a book club edition.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781466804272
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
  • Publication date: 3/20/2007
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 544
  • Sales rank: 33,396
  • File size: 559 KB

Meet the Author


Jostein Gaarder was born in Oslo, Norway, in 1952. He taught high-school philosophy for several years before publishing a collection of short stories in 1986 and, shortly thereafter, his first two novels, The Solitaire Mystery and Sophie’s World, and several others since then. He lives in Oslo with his family.
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 117 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(65)

4 Star

(26)

3 Star

(11)

2 Star

(5)

1 Star

(10)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 117 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 31, 2008

    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.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 4, 2013

    Beautifully written and interesting to read.

    I read this a few years ago (8th grade), but I still remember and cherish it. I would certainly read it again. It was a school book that I actually looked forward to reading each time. Now, I'm a junior and taking a philosophy class that goes more in depth into some philosophers. I'm writing a lecture on Plato at the moment and am using this book and the book for the class. I certainly recommend this as a school read or just something entertaining and educational.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 27, 2010

    Excellent book!!!!

    I teach teenage girls and they all love this book. They can all relate to sophie and are learning concepts that they would never go near if they were presented to them in its original form. I have inner city kids talking about philosophy and history and they think its fun! This is a brilliant work!!!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • 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.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 21, 2010

    A fantastic book!

    I read this book a few weeks ago, and I loved it. It was thrilling, yet very informational, with a bit of mystery to it. It kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time I was reading. I thought that it was very interesting to learn about the philosophers and how they percieved the world around them. I highly reccommend this book to someone who wants a thought provoking read. It is good for discussion too.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 19, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    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 vous plait.

    1 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 3, 2007

    Philosophy explained in a fun way

    When I read this book I gained great knowledge about philosophy and it's history. This book is a must read to all who want to gain knowledge of philosophy and/or if they themselves want to be philosophers. The sypnosis of this book is very easy and straight to the point.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 29, 2005

    Excellent introduction to the history of philosophy

    Anyone interested in reading about the journey of philosophy from the days of the natural philosophers and the magnificent trio of Socrates, Plato and Aristotle through the Middle Ages into the epochs of Renaissance, Baroque, Enlightenment and Romanticism till the present day must pick up a copy of this book by Jostein Gaarder. In this book, we make this journey through the history of philosophy with a young Norwegian girl named Sophie Amundsen and her mysterious philosophy teacher Alberto Knox. It is a hard to put down book where the evolution of philosophical thinking has been chronicled in a very simple and lucid manner. Through her teacher, Sophie learns about philosphers like Descartes (cogito ergo sum - I think therefore I am), and Kant ('It's a moral necessity to have faith in the existence of God') among others.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 29, 2003

    An Outstanding Introduction to Philosophy

    Sophie Amundsen is (or so she thinks) an ordinary Norwegian teenager. That is, until one afternoon when she discovers two mysterious letters in her mailbox from an anonymous sender containing two questions: ¿Who are you?¿ and ¿Where does the world come from?¿ Sophie decides that she does not know the answer to either question, but it¿s too late to turn back now. Those questions have provoked other questions. Soon, she begins receiving a philosophy course (which seems to be from the same sender) that offers some answers to Sophie¿s questions. But who is sending these letters and why? The answer will change Sophie and her world forever. This well-written, fast-paced book weaves philosophy and fantasy into a captivating fairy tale. These two very different story elements mingle together so well that you hardly notice where one begins and the other ends. You are provided with a main background of philosophy through the ages in lessons from Alberto Knox, Sophie¿s mentor. These lessons are all clear and comprehensive, which shouldn¿t be too much of a surprise. (When Mr. Gaarder isn¿t writing, he makes his living teaching philosophy in Oslo, Norway.) With this knowledge, both Sophie and the reader are free to explore philosophy and test the limits of logic. I whole-heartedly enjoyed reading Sophie¿s World. It¿s one of those books that you won¿t be able to put away when your parents call you to dinner or tell you to go to bed. The plot is what keeps this book moving and suspenseful; it keeps it from becoming too informative or report-like. Although, in my opinion, it was excellent, I would only recommend it to a select audience of middle school students. Read Sophie¿s World if you are intellectually inclined or just have an interest for philosophy. You should also be up for a challenge; Sophie¿s World in paperback is 523 pages in miniscule writing. If you are up for the challenge, I wish you good luck and happy reading. Sophie¿s World just may change your outlook on your world.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 5, 2002

    Skip it

    I had to read this book for my Advanced World History class. I thought it was horrible. Well, at least the story part was. The philosophy part was pretty interesting. The story was just really simple and undeveloped and just became weird about 2/3's of the way through the book. If you're looking for something to read for leisure, skip it. If you're looking for information on philosophy, skip it- you would be better off just reading a textbook- once you take away the story, that's all this book is.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 20, 2002

    Who Wouldn't Want To Think Like This?

    Surprisingly interesting is an understatement of this book. A friend of mine who is a sophmore in college, 4 years older than I, was reading this for a class over the summer. I thought I would try it out since I had never been taught anything of Philosophy, and I loved it. I will say that it doesn't have much of an in depth story, but it's just enough to keep it from being a Philosophy textbook. The first 5 pages already had me thinking differently and asking a million questions. If you're someone who is interested in this subject at all, or has never even thought about it and wants to see what Philosophy is all about, read Sophie's World.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 18, 2000

    Philosophy can be Fun

    This book is the best history and summary of philosophy I have read! It should be read by every student in High Schools, so they would have a better grounding and understanding of the history of philosophy. I highly recommend this book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • 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.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 27, 2014

    Anonymous

    I was assigned this over the summer by my future teacher and although i just started today, i find it fascinating! I've always been curious about the world. I remember being young and asking the adults where everythimg came from and why are we important or why is Earth so important, isn't there something better out there if the universe is so big? As i grew older these questions never actually left me. It was relieving to read this book and see that lots of people wonder about the same things. I haven't finished yet but so far i am loving this book

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • 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

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 3, 2013

    Great book

    This is one of my favorite books of all time. I have read it
    several times, and each reading reveals new depths into the author's understanding of philosophy. I love the history of philosophy.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 6, 2013

    A guidebook for us philosophy-challenged

    This is my 4th time reading this book and each time I discover something new. Love this book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 22, 2013

    I had to read this book for my summer reading of my AP European

    I had to read this book for my summer reading of my AP European class in high school.I really though
    that this book would be interesting until I started to get into it. If you would like to learn about philosophy
    ,I would just read a textbook. The reason I say this is because the only part of the story line that
     doesn't feel like a school book is just confusing and the whole thing drags on FOREVER! I don't 
    recommend this novel to anyone!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 20, 2013

    SCARY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    ENDING SO SAD! I CRIED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 29, 2012

    Sentimental Value

    My grandfather gave me a copy of this book when I was in 7th grade. Back then, much of the meaning escaped me and I disliked it for it's length and difficulty. Reading it again as a teenager introduced me to new ideas and a new way to consider the world. This book got me interested in philosophy and I plan on pursuing that topic when I am older. I am very grateful for Jostein Gaarder's contribution to the world of philosophy.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 117 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)