After days of poring over the pages of the book, I found it fascinating from one chapter to another. Unlike my experience with The Castle in the Pyrenees, this one didn't bore me at all. To tell you honestly, I was surprised to be interested because it's all about philosophy—not to mention its history (come on, most of you would agree that Philosophy is boring at times). But the thing that made me finish the book was the kind of mystery that will keep one on turning the pages until curiosity is satisfied.
First off, the characters were few but memorable. Sophie (common nickname for Sophia, meaning wisdom in Greek) is a witty fifteen year-old who is innocently curious about the world. But this didn’t occur to her until that day which started the rest of the adventure. It was so nice to imagine how the events happened especially the one-on-one lessons she had with this intelligent and weird man (I can actually picture out Tim Burton in my mind). More so, how would it feel like to be talked straight to the face by Socrates? The other characters were well-kept that I wanted to know who they really were from the onset of the story. But of course, it’s mystery. The different settings were as interesting. It goes to show how Jostein Gaarder has a very creative imagination in both character and plot making. From meeting Disney characters to having a special tour in Acropolis, one would certainly not predict the story’s flow, which, for me, is exciting.
Now if you still haven’t been to a philosophy class yet, you might be dumbfounded with all the supply of information in every chapter. Or, it could be the other way around: you might as well be interested because after all, the explanations are very clear and simple. The analogies are not complicated; they’re often times humorous even. Gaarder puts in a manner that even first time learners of philosophy would understand. As for me who already took up freshman course in Philosophy (I’m studying Political Philosophy this semester), it’s a good review, plus it’s a lot easier to comprehend than the books we use at school. It’s delightful to encounter familiar names, too!
The book, I must say, is beautifully ended. I was so hooked with the usual teacher-and-student conversations that the ending appeared a bit sad for me (see, that’s how affected I was with the story).
I highly recommend this book to everyone because even if Sophie is only fifteen years old, her insights will make people older than her think. It will also be as helpful to students who take up philosophy subjects and to those who might have forgotten them already. You might even want to host a philosophical garden party after reading the book. ;)
Your reading buddy,