Sophies World Jostein Gaarder REMARKABLE a whimsical and ingenious mystery novel that also happens to be the history of Philosophy. —The Washington Post Book World Jostein Gaarder made his Norwegian literary debut in 1986 with a collection of short stories, followed by two young adult novels. In 1990 he received the Norwegian Literary Critics Award and the Ministry of Cultural and Scientific affairs Literary Prize for his book The Solitaire Mystery. Mr. Gaarder taught high school philosophy for eleven years in Norway, giving him a strong basis for writing Sophies World, his first book to be published in English. After its three-year spot at number one on Norways bestseller list, it has held the same status in Great Britain, Germany, and France also appearing on bestseller lists in Italy, Spain, Canada, Denmark, Sweden, and the United States. In Sophies World, Jostein Gaarder twines the history of philosophy with the supernatural antics of Alice in Wonderland. The main character is a girl named Sophie Admunsen, the novels namesake. Sophie is fourteen years old, and lives in Norway with her mother and all of the animals in her Garden. She is soon joined by the mysterious Alberto Knox, first through correspondence, and then linked by a full-scale philosophy course he has chosen her for. He seems to have lived forever, with the ability to bring magic and supernatural lessons into her life. Alberto is old, kind, extremely wise, and cloaked in mystery for much of the novel. It is difficult to explain the relationship between all of the main characters outside of explaining the plot. Sophie and Alberto are the initial main characters. Sophie comes home from school to find a white envelope addressed to her. Who are you? Where does the world come from? This begins her thinking about the major questions of existence, and then the philosophy course began. Alberto is not physically revealed until la…
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