Sophie's World by Jostein Gaarder

Sophie's World

One day fourteen-year-old Sophie Amundsen comes home from school to find in her mailbox two notes, with one question on each: "Who are you?" and "Where does the world come from?" From that irresistible beginning, Sophie becomes obsessed with questions that take her far beyond what she knows of her Norwegian village. Through those letters, she enrolls in a kind of correspondence course, covering Socrates to Sartre, with a mysterious philosopher, w...

Details Sophie's World

TitleSophie's World
Release DateSep 8th, 1995
GenrePhilosophy, Fiction, Young Adult, Classics, Novels

Reviews Sophie's World

  • Ahmad Ebaid
    I have started reading the English translation then I compared it to two other Arabic ones, and that was confusing as GOD, then I scheduled it again and againبدأت القراءة في نسخة الترجمة الإنجليزية لأن أحدهم أفاد بأن الترجمة العربية سيئة، ثم قلت لنفسي "بلاش انجليزي أنا مش قد كدا"، وتراجعت للعربية ثم رجعت للإنجليزية م...
  • Toby
    It took me two months to get through this 500-page book. I can rationalize the reasons thusly:— I was busy.— I took time to absorb the content of the book. Instead of rushing through it, I let each chapter sink in before I moved on.But that’s, you know, rationalizing. Here’s the real reason: It’s not very good. Okay, wait, that’s not fair. Let me start again.Sophie’s World is, as the full title suggests, a “Novel about the history...
  • Ahmad Sharabiani
    Sofies Verden = Sophie's World, Jostein Gaarder Sophie's World (Norwegian: Sofies verden) is a 1991 novel by Norwegian writer Jostein Gaarder. It follows the events of Sophie Amundsen, a teenage girl living in Norway, and Alberto Knox, a middle-aged philosopher who introduces her to philosophical thinking and the history of philosophy. The book begins with Sophie receiving two messages in her mailbox and a postcard addressed to Hilde Møller Knag...
  • Beth
    I was a philosophy major in school and *everybody* would ask if I had read Sophie's World. "What an amazing book!" they would gush. "You'll love it!"So I bought it. Purchased the book, let it simmer on my shelf for awhile, and finally picked it up a few years ago to give it a go.I slogged through the first few chapters. Did my best to suspend my disbelief at the transparently device the author uses to introduce the ideas of many famous (and not-s...
  • Luffy
    This has been an upsetting reread because I've found that though the book is a quiet entity on its own and in the mind of its readers, I was left hungry for more, but I was also balanced. For years after I read this book, which changed my life for the better, I thought it was the best read of the world.Naive that I was, I also thought back then, that all philosophy books were as digestible as Sophie's World. What a delusion! The book is now slow ...
  • David Monroe
    I enjoyed the book immensely. I studied basic philosophy in college so I soon became aware that many philosophers were left out and whole era's were glossed over in this book. You know, that's OK. One - It's not a text book and two - It's NOT a text book!The stories are separate and finally come together in a fairly predictable way. It is a bit didactic, but imagine yourself a very bright, curious, thoughtful and sensitive 14, 15 or 16 year-old s...
  • Manny
    Basically, Russell's History of Western Philosophy adapted as a postmodern Norwegian YA novel. Or if you want more details:(view spoiler)["Where are we?" asked Sofie. "I don't understand. We aren't in my world any more. Or in Hilde's world. So..."Alberto sighed. "It is clear," he said, "that we have entered another narrative. By the look of it, I strongly suspect a review. On the Goodreads website.""Explain!" said Sofie."You remember that we beca...
  • Rebecca
    The two things this book has going for it are: the plot and narrative frame are original and creative, and the story is more informative than most. The basic premise is that a 14-year-old Norwegian girl embarks on a correspondence course with a philosopher, and he teaches her the major points of Western philosophy, from the ancient Greeks up until the existentialists. What makes the narrative structure more original than your average novel is tha...
    I really liked the idea of this book and has such a beautiful informations about everything but was boring to death and the same informations repeat them self 💔!!!
  • Nandakishore Varma
    Sophie's World by Jostein Gaarder is an ambitious project which falls flat - in my opinion, of course.It is a very good introduction to European philosophy, with a few casual references to Eastern thought thrown in for the sake of comparison. Starting with Pre-Socratics, it provides a fairly simple and comprehensive look at classical philosophy. In the middle, it makes a detour into Christian theology and the Middle Ages before emerging triumphan...
  • Karl-O
    Sophie’s World is an outline of Western philosophy that is beautifully set in a fictional story. It goes from pre-Socratic philosophy all the way to Sartre. Jostein Gaarder does a very good job not just by writing a concise history of philosophy, but also by writing a very accessible book for as far as early teenagers, which in itself is worthy of high praise. His comparison between different philosophers throughout the book is truly remarkable...
  • Paul Bryant
    My dear Sophie, there comes a time when you have to face some harsh truths about this wicked world. And I think that time is now. Some people, and it pains me to say this, are not what they seem. I'm sorry to have to tell you this, but that breezy scoutmaster, that avuncular English teacher, and that fit young P.E. teacher might not be paedophiles at all. I know! Sometimes you have to read between the lines, and catch the innuendo in what appear ...
  • Emily May
    It was okay. But I was hoping for a beautiful and engaging tale that took away the usual textbook format of reading about philosophy. It didn't happen. This book was nothing more than a lesson in letters and conversations, and I found the style didn't add anything exciting which I'm supposing was the point.I didn't hate it but I could have just read my Philosophy of Religion AQA guide from college.
  • K.D. Absolutely
    This is a truly one of the most amazing books that I read so far! After reading a few pages in 2007, I got really busy at work so this got sidelined. When I got interested on reading again a few months back and last weekend I resumed reading this, I just could not put this down and finished remaining 400 pages or so in just 2 days. I had almost zero background in Philosophy and its novel filled up my brain to the brim! And the way this novel did ...
  • Diane
    This is a novel that I remember zipping through and highly enjoying the first time I read it 20 years ago. When I decided to reread it, in part because of all the philosophical discussions on the excellent show "The Good Place," I was surprised by how much longer it took me to finish and how easily sidetracked I was by other books. (To be fair, I think I had this book with me on a remote vacation the first time, so I was a more captive audience b...
  • Karen
    What went right in the beginning of with Sophie's World? And what caused it to plunge so grievously, groan-inducingly wrong? As a colleague commented to me, it's not often that we make it all the way through books that turn us off so dramatically. True. However, it's also unusual that a book would seem at least moderately intriguing and appealing for 500 pages, then flop. Flop in my personal opinion, that is.The good things about Sophie's World.....
  • Mohammad Ranjbari
    I do not think I wrote a novel based on the teachings of education and called the name of her novel But the novel was able to maintain his side's novel. Particularly in the imagery and narrative coherence, was acceptableI recommend reading this book to teenagersانتشارات هرمس در ایران با کیفیتی بسیار قابل قبول، این کتاب رو چاپ کرده
  • Bader
    Have you ever got from your friend that notebook that you like to read or study from? Have you ever said thing such: “OMG, He got the professor’s idea and wrote it very well” or thing such: “great summary you did for these lessons, may you give it to me to copy it”. Jostein Gaarder is one of these people who know how to give you a well done summary which makes you so comfortable with studying. However, while you are studying those notes...
  • Corinne
    I read this book when I was twenty, and then I read it again recently on a business trip. What's great about this book is that the author takes the prominent Philosophers from the West, and renders their essences into a form digestible by the larger public. In fact, he wrote this book only to teach his high school class in philosophy, but then it became a worldwide success. The only thing I regret is that the author has not cared to look into the...
  • Emad Attili
    I read this book a long time ago, and I really liked it. It's very powerful and attractive. It gave me a general idea of philosophy (it's worth mentioning that it was the first book I read about philosophy). I read it in Arabic and English, and I enjoyed them both:)I recommend it for those who have no idea of philosophy and philosophers. It's simple and noteworthy.
  • Annie
    An interesting little metafiction— at times, meta-metafiction— for aspiring baby philosophers. A digestible, sweet narrative of the history of philosophy that, like many actual philosophers, employs dialogues to explain ideas. At times, it’s pretty adorable, and I wish I’d read this in high school. Other times, it goes off on tangents, hammers its points home a little too aggressively, and exudes a little too much glee over its own clever...
  • Manny
    I read Sophie's World in Norwegian last year and quite liked it. Now my inner German child, who's decided he's called "Manfred", has read it too. He tells me it just blew him away and he'll write a review so that all my friends on Goodreads will know how fantastic it is."You can't write a review, Manfred," I say. "You're not even three yet.""I'm much older than that!" says Manfred. "Would a three year old know words like Schwerkraft and Rationali...
  • Rebecca McNutt
    At times a little dull-paced but overall very well-written and engaging, Sophie's World is an eye-opening classic with powerful themes.
  • Kaya
    “It's not a silly question if you can't answer it.” It’s refreshing when my expectations are met. Though this book is mostly for those who haven’t met with the philosophy yet, it was a nice reminder of everything I studied at University. Since he’s one of my favorite authors, it’s really hard for me to be objective about his work, but this novel is truly remarkable, despite its many flaws. In a nutshell, the book is about the history ...
  • Kenghis Khan
    Marx accused philosophers of describing the world and failing to change it. One of the extremely innovatinve aspects of this book is the author's ability to demonstrate how the world would be if philosophers did indeed change it. Bizarre though Berkeley, Hegel and Leibniz may seem to us, Gaarder does a remarkable job showing us how the world would looks like through the spectacles of these thinkers. Sophie's World is arguably unparalleled in its ...
  • Ko
    It was a good chance for me to know about the basic philosophy. I've never thought about what we are, why we are living in this world. Especially, I got interested in Plato's philosophy. We tend to be inside the box like the people living inside the cave described in this story. They don't understand outside the cave. We should critically think about everything, and find out the truth. This will lead to a new creation. I'd studied my second langu...
  • May 舞
    I'm not sure how to rate this book. As a novel, there were many things that irked me: the dialogue was unnatural, the characters poorly built, and the narration was uninteresting. However, as a simplified re-counting of the history of Western Philosophy, it was extremely easy and enjoyable to read. I appreciate how I finally managed to understand some philosophers who have always eluded me (hello, Hegel). It was not terribly long -like History of...
  • Sohaib
    “You’d better hurry up and cut the umbilical cord to your mortal progenitor. We no longer need their world.”Here is what I think: this is probably the simplest yet most comprehensive book about the history of philosophy. Certainly, it will keep you reading. Sophie's World tells the story of a fourteen-year old girl who, after a long school day, opens her mailbox to find a mysterious letter with this question only, “Who are you?” This le...
  • Mayy Wilde-Shakespeare
    "It's not a silly question if you can't answer it. "This book is packed with thought-provoking quotes as the one above, and that’s what this book is 'thought-provoking'. I’ve never read a book that fucked with my mind so much that I couldn’t read more than 20 pages at a time before setting it down and having a long and intense think on what I just read. I’ve always been interested in philosophy and anyone who is interested in philosophy w...