On her way home from school, Sophie Amundsen finds two notes in her mailbox. On each note is written a simple, yet infinitely profound question. "Who are you?" and "Where does the world come from?" These questions are the humble beginnings of Sophie's very own basic course in Philosophy being taught by a mysterious nameless philosopher. As Sophie progresses through the History of Western Philosophy, strange things begin to happen. Sophie gets letters intended for Hilde, a girl with the same birthday as Sophie. To unravel the mystery behind the letters, and the other strange events which occur, Sophie must use philosophy. However, the inevitable truth is unfathomable until it is finally revealed.
Sophie's World is a thrill ride. There is no other way to fully describe Sophie's World in such simple terms. Right from the beginning, the reader begins to ask themselves the same questions being faced by Sophie. Who are you? and Where does the world come from? are just the beginning. Sophie's anonymous teacher takes her from the Pre-Socratic natural philosophers, through the famous Greek trio of Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle, up to Descartes, Spinoza, Hume, Hegel, Kant, Marx, even Darwin and Freud. These are just to name a few. The wealth of knowledge in this book makes Bill Gates look poor.
The most remarkable thing about this book? It pulls you in. It fascinates you. It makes you hunger and thirst for more. You cannot put it down. Ever heard of food for thought? Well this is a feast, only not just a feast. It induces a kind of intellectual high too. It's like flying. The mind is opened up to such a multitude of things. You're left feeling weightless, capable of anything. You feel all this, right from the beginning. Right from chapter one until you close the book, the intensity rises, the fascination grows. About two-thirds into the book, the most dramatic twist I have ever seen in any piece of literature occurs. From then until the end, the puzzle pieces begin to fit together into a big picture. It is impossible to summarize the twist, or its effect on the already mounting tension. Simply put, it is mind-blowing, earth-shattering, and totally wicked!
I give Sophie's World by Jostein Gaarder 5 out of 5 daggers.
It is quite possibly the best book I've ever read.
Yours in wonder and awe,
P.S. I apologize in advance for sounding like a screaming schoolgirl in the front row of a Jonas Brothers concert for the majority of my review. The fact of the matter is, this book is just fantastic. I loved it. Therefore, it is impossible to separate emotion from my own personal reading experience.