Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Jostein Gaarder, Sophie's World

I started reading this book a while back, and I've only just finished it. I've been reading it on and off during my limited commutes on the metro. It's the first book I've finished reading in 2011. It's really unfortunate that I haven't been reading with the voracity that is befitting of a young, intelligent, knowledge-seeking woman, but what can one do when there are so many things that are worthy of time and attention?

When I first picked it up I found it to be easily engaging. The language is straightforward. The philosophical topics are also addressed in much the same way. I liked it for its simplicity and at the same time I was bored by it. Maybe it was because it's a translation, but the language is very flat. Dialogue is the predominate method of information transferral, and since it is dialogue it can only be as engaging as the characters and the topic. The characters were pretty normal and the topic more informative than dramatic. I guess I felt like I was missing a bit of linguistic dynamism. It definitely was not a piece of lyrical prose, and nor was it a fast plot driven story.

On the other hand, it was very informative as it was a history of philosophy, and there was a lot of material presented that made you think. At least it made me think, considering I am more of a fancier of philosophical thougth than the average passerby. At the end of it I think I learned a lot about what I want to learn more about. (Kierkegaard's philosophies as well as the existentialist philosophies of Marx and Sartre in particular piqued my interest.) All in all, Sophie's World was a fairly enjoyable read and very informative. I would recommend.

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