The Christmas Mystery

The Christmas Mystery

4.0 2
by Jostein Gaarder, Elizabeth Rokkan, Rosemary Wells
     
 

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THE CHRISTMAS MYSTERY transcends all barriers. We all love a beadtime story and here we have a philosophical meditation wrapped in the simple clothes of a journey across Europe to Bethlehem. The qualities of wonder and enquiry that readers loved in SOPHIE'S WORLD are as strong as ever in this beautiful and mysterious story. This has a metaphysical matrix that brings

Overview

THE CHRISTMAS MYSTERY transcends all barriers. We all love a beadtime story and here we have a philosophical meditation wrapped in the simple clothes of a journey across Europe to Bethlehem. The qualities of wonder and enquiry that readers loved in SOPHIE'S WORLD are as strong as ever in this beautiful and mysterious story. This has a metaphysical matrix that brings in God and doctrine in a way that will appeals to believers and non-believers alike. A boy called Joachim acquires a strange old Advent calender - and uncovers from it the story of a girl called Elisabet, who disappeared from her home fifty years earlier. Elisabet has been taken back through time and right across Europe to Palestine, to see the Holy Family in Bethlehem. Two thousand years of history flash by, and angels, shepherds and wise men join her on her joyful pilgrimage. It is Joachim who, through the Advent calendar, makes it possible for her to come home.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Even grownups enjoy a bedtime story every now and then, especially one that combines, as does this one, the sophistication of a novel with the whimsy of a fairy tale. Gaarder, the Norwegian former professor of philosophy who brought us The Solitaire Mystery (1996) and the bestselling Sophie's World (1995), is up to his usual tricks here, serving up a metaphysical brainteaser that unfolds into a warmbut not preachymeditation on God and the Christian doctrines. Set in an unnamed town in present-day Norway, it tells the story of Joachim, a young boy who finds a faded, handmade Advent calendar in a bookstore on the eve of December first, and begs his father to let him take it home. The next morning, when he opens the calendar's first door, Joachim discovers not just the expected picture but also a tightly folded piece of paper, the first installment of the fantastic tale of a little girl's journey through time and space to be present at the Nativity. Soon the girl's story is making unexpected intrusions into Joachim's own life, and he races to solve the mystery of the calendar before Christmas Eve. First published in Norway in 1992, this work is less structurally sophisticated than Gaarder's later ones, and some will be dismayed by a repeated pro-Palestine, anti-Israel theme that undercuts the novel's larger message of universal tolerance and harmony. But in the end it is Gaarder's frank, friendly voice and the adorable character he has created in the inquisitive, enthusiastic Joachim that stay in the reader's mind. (Nov.)
Library Journal
What's Norwegian novelist Gaarder's latest plot device? In Sophie's World (LJ 9/1/94), it was philosophy taught via correspondence and in the forthcoming The Solitaire Mystery (reviewed in this issue), a pack of cards. Now, a magical advent calendar takes a little girl on an incredible journey.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781559213950
Publisher:
Moyer Bell
Publication date:
01/01/2010
Pages:
232
Product dimensions:
6.32(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.66(d)

Meet the Author

Jostein Gaarder born in Oslo spent many years as a teacher before writing full time. SOPHIE'S WORLD, his first book published in English has been a bestseller published in over forty languages. His intriguing storytelling probes philosophical questions in imaginative, thought-provoking and entertaining ways. Gaarder often writes from the perspective of children, exploring their sense of wonder about the world. He often uses metafiction in his works, writing stories within stories.

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The Christmas Mystery 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
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