Sophie's World is a philosophical novel that takes the reader on an imaginative journey while reviewing the last several centuries in philosophical trends and thoughts. As the main character learns about philosophy from her mysterious tutor, her life begins to illustrate the philosophies themselves. It seems as though every philosophy that the main character reads about somehow appears in her daily life. Each philosopher and his or her thoughts are explored in easy-to-understand detail. By the end of the book, the reader is not really sure whether or not the main character ever even existed, and finds out that he or she was the one who was to learn from all of these things.
While the plot may be sometimes hard to find through lengthy letters and lectures in philosophy, every word in the book is worth reading, for both enjoyment and learning. It is not the sort of novel that one can simply read with one's brain on vacation - the book requires you to think. If you are looking for a mindless read, this isn't it. However, if you are looking to learn about past and current philosophies in a simple, easy to understand, and entertaining way, this book may just be for you. Even if you are already well versed in philosophy, this book is a good review, and so much more. I particuarly loved the fact that the book went beyond simply explaining the philosophical thoughts to illustrating them. It is often very hard to pin down abstract thoughts into daily life, but Gaarder has truly done an amazing job doing just that in this book. It is wonderful for anyone looking to learn or review philosophy on their own.