Saturday, 6 May 2017

Review of 'Sophie's World' by Jostein Gaarder

Review of 'Sophie's World' by Jostein Gaarder

Sophie's World has been sat on my bookshelves since I was about ten years old. I think it was actually a present for my sister when we were kids: her name's Sophie and the gift-giver thought it was funny. I imagine they overlooked the fact that it was a deep philosophical text that I struggled a little to get my head around over the past few weeks.

This novel is without a doubt completely mind-blowing. It totally turned on its head what I thought of the world and of novels about 17 times, and I was genuinely astounded by so many areas of progression in the text.

If you don't want any spoilers, then look away now! Sophie's World begins with a young girl called Sophie receiving letters about philosophy in her mailbox. They start all the way back at the Ancient Greek Philosophers, and with each new envelope comes a new development in the history of philosophy. Sophie is scared that her mother will find out about her secret correspondence with a philosopher, so she does all she can to meet him in person.

However, as Albert Knox, the philosopher, continues to teach her, stranger and stranger things happen. Sometimes he calls her Hilde, and she keeps getting postcards addressed to this girl sent to her. Soon strange things start popping up in her town and in her home; things that she's never seen before. As things start to get more and more surreal, we leave the story behind, and realise that actually, Sophie's world is in itself a story. A story created by Hilde's father for her 15th birthday. All of the postcards sent to Hilde c/o Sophie arrived at Hilde's home by being inserted into the novel. Am I making sense? The book gets seriously trippy here, and had me sat back thinking about how everything made sense and yet made no sense at the same time.

If you want to learn more about philosophy, and see the linear structure of a novel completely turned on its head at the same time, then I would highly recommend reading Sophie's World! 

Have you read it? What did you think?

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