• Sophie's World

  • A Novel About the History of Philosophy
  • By: Jostein Gaarder
  • Narrated by: Simon Vance
  • Length: 16 hrs and 53 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (1,940 ratings)

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Sophie's World  By  cover art

Sophie's World

By: Jostein Gaarder
Narrated by: Simon Vance
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Publisher's summary

One day, 14-year-old Sophie Amundsen comes home from school to find two notes in her mailbox, 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, while receiving letters addressed to another girl. Who is Hilde? And why does her mail keep turning up? To unravel this riddle, Sophie must use the philosophy she is learning - but the truth turns out to be far more complicated than she could have imagined.

A pause-resisting novel that is also an exploration of the great philosophical concepts of Western thought, Sophie's World has fired the imagination of listeners all over the world, having been translated into 45 languages and with over 20 million copies in print. 

©1991 H. Aschelhoug and Co. (W. Nygaard), Oslo. Translation 1994 Paulette Moller (P)2007 Audio Renaissance, a division of Holtzbrinck Publishers, LLC

Critic reviews

"Gaarder pulls off the difficult feat of blending philosophy and entertainment in a way that will capture [young adults'] interest and make them eager to explore further." (School Library Journal)
"First, think a beginner's guide to philosophy....Next, imagine a fantasy novel - something like a modern-day version of Through the Looking Glass. Meld these disparate genres, and what do you get? Well, what you get is an improbable international bestseller...[A] tour de force." (Time)
"Sophie's World is sheer delight. How I wish I'd had it during my college freshman survey of philosophy!" (Madeleine L'Engle, author of A Wrinkle in Time)

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