Sophie's World

Sophie's World

A Novel About the History of Philosophy

Book - 2007
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The protagonists are Sophie Amundsen, a 14-year-old girl, and Alberto Knox, her philosophy teacher. The novel chronicles their metaphysical relationship as they study Western philosophy from its beginnings to the present. A bestseller in Norway.
Publisher: New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2007
Edition: Paperback ed
Description: xi, 518, [6] p. ; 21 cm
ISBN: 9780374530716
Branch Call Number: Gaar


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May 04, 2019

This Norwegian novel was very popular in the 90's. It has a lot of ideas but is not a particularly good novel. If you've taken an intro philosophy course, much of it will be familiar.

Nov 18, 2018

This is my favourite book of all time because it’s highly thought-provoking and instructive in an engaging way, but also because each time I read it there’s a new take-away. Recommend it highly.

Apr 23, 2018

This book was an incredible read, one of those rare books that aren't quite like any other. It is also a book that is not for everyone. While the story is engrossing and captivating, large portions of it are taken up by philosophical monologues. I found these to be fascinating (I'm still thinking philosophically), but it may bore readers who are unused to such large amounts of information in fiction. But please don't let this turn you away—this book is one you don't want to miss! While its protagonist is a young girl, this is definitely one for adults and more sophisticated teenagers (tweens probably wouldn't enjoy it). Its philosophical material is complex but is explained in ways that nearly everyone could understand. Sophie is very entertaining and makes for a great protagonist.

My only trouble was with the ending. To avoid spoiling it, I will simply state that it was a letdown. The captivating plot seemed to start to fall apart, and while up until this point I had been enjoying the author's technique, it grew a bit too outrageous and seemed to happen much too fast to understand. It didn't seem an appropriate end to Sophie and Alberto's story. However, the last chapter does make up for it, and I was left feeling very satisfied, which is why I still rate it five stars.

If you have ever found yourself questioning the meaning of life, this book is for you. Do not miss this wondrous opportunity to learn about philosophy while reading a fabulous story pulled off by a brilliant author.

Aug 25, 2016

An amazing book, recommended for everybody. If you share an interest in philosophy this is a book surely recommended. Sophie, a 14 year old girl who lived about her daily life until one day she receives a mail by a mysterious person that asks her the question that philosophers where always trying to solve; Who are we? Where did we come from? The author shows her analysis in which a normal person would think and then the mysterious person tells her what it most philosophers have agreed on. The beauty about this book is that it doesn't always talk about different philosophical ideas and the history of philosophy, but it also talks about Sophie, her daily life, and later on she interacts with that mysterious man. I find that a good thing because most people would have most probably lost interest without a "break" from philosophy.
- @L of the Teen Review Board at the Hamilton Public Library

Nov 24, 2014

a short great introduction to philosophy packaged in a cute story with a mysterious twist.

Nov 19, 2013

Incredible book. Everyone should read it.

Oct 12, 2013

This is a very clever way to introduce the basic ideas from the different eras of Philosophical thought. I was thoroughly entranced and loved every second of it!

Oct 14, 2011

My all-time favorite book (I know, how can I say I even have a favorite book!?). I can read this whenever and still get a kick out of it. Hilarious, mysterious, insightful. I real pleasure to read. And not just for those of us that love philosophy... Have trouble understanding philosophy? This book will surely help!

Apr 24, 2011

One of my favorite books. I loved learning about all the different philosophies through the eyes of Sophie.

bidbid Mar 18, 2011

'Sophie's World' is basically a summary of the various philosophical ideas that have come into existence over time put into story form.
The book can be a bit tedious in parts though, since a good portion of the story is in a lecture format where Sophie is asking questions and the teacher is verbally explaining things. At the end of the book, however, you do feel like you have a good foundational understanding of the Western philosophical thoughts that have occurred through time.
On a side note, I kept alert for any bias that the author might have towards one philosophical idea over another... at first I thought there was, but after reading further I felt that it was just Sophie (the main character) thoroughly immersing herself in each philosophy for the reader's benefit of understanding.


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Apr 23, 2018

"'But it's not fair that you're so rich when this girl is so poor,' insisted Sophie. 'It's unjust!'
'Bah! Humbug! Justice only exists between equals.'
'What do you mean by that?'
'I had to work my way up, and it has paid off. Progress, they call it.'
'If you don't help me, I'll die,' said the poor girl.
'You don't figure in my accounts! So—be off with you—to the poorhouse!'
'If you don't help me, I'll set fire to the woods,' the girl persisted.
That brought the man to his feet, but the girl had already struck one of her matches...The man threw up his arms 'God help me! The red cock has crowed!'
The girl looked up at him with a playful smile. 'You didn't know i was a communist, did you?'

Apr 23, 2018

"The theater of the absurd represented a contrast to realistic theater. Its aim was to show the lack of meaning in life in order to get the audience to disagree. The idea was not to cultivate the meaningless. On the contrary. But by showing and exposing the absurd in ordinary everyday situations, the onlookers are forced to seek a truer and more essential life for themselves."

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