The first time I started reading Sophie’s World by Jostein Gaarder was last year in October, but I only read the first few pages and then completely forgot about. The months passed, January began, and I came across it once more, so I decided to give it another try.
I’m glad I was stubborn enough to finish it, regardless of those moments when I felt I was drifting off to sleep. Don’t get me wrong, the book itself is not boring, but the plot starts getting interesting towards the middle and afterward it becomes weird. I know ‘weird’ isn’t a sophisticated adjective, but I’m unsure of what word to use. I won’t be getting into details because I don’t want to spoil it for those interested in reading it, but some scenes were a bit off track and indecent even, considering that the main character is a girl who had just turned fifteen.
Like the title states, it’s a novel on the history of philosophy. The story revolved around a teenage girl who receives a free philosophy course from a mysterious teacher. The lessons go in chronological order, from Ancient Greece all the way up to the Big Bang Theory. It summarized the most important ideas from recognized philosophers throughout history. To me, it felt like a recap of the philosophy course I took in college, and honestly, this book would’ve been quite useful if I’d known about it back then. The explanations given are easy to comprehend without drifting away from its’ essence.
If you enjoy pondering on philosophical inquiries and would like to get lost in Sophie’s World, you’re more than welcome to do so. Just beware that this book has Lewis Carroll vibes, so when I said things got weird, I meant surrealistically. However, I didn’t enjoy the ending that much. Throughout the novel, the author implies that ‘something’ is going to happen, but it never does. Or was that not the author but a mere shadow? I guess the whole purpose was for the readers to reflect and interpret the events in their own way.
Overall rating: 3 / 5
P.S. There’s a Norwegian film based on the novel. It was released in 1999, so I’m guessing the special effects won’t be as believable, but I’d like to watch it all the same.
1 thought on “Review: Sophie’s World”
I read it a couple years back and I agree that it had interesting ideas and philosophy concept, but a slow plot and found the ending a bit confusing. Maybe I would understand it better on a second read through. Also you reminded me that I should watch the movie soon!
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