I received this book from a friend in 2000 as I was writing my thesis and I needed to learn the basics of philosophy. This novel by Jostein Gaarder deals with fiction, but through the characters, he manages to break down the basics of philosophy, starting from Socrates to Freud and many other great philosophers in between the fun way!
Gaarder taught philosophy in High School for 11 years before he became a writer. No wonder he knows the best way to write a book on the history of philosophy without being boring!
Anyway, in the story, a little girl named Sophie is at the age where she wonders about who she is and where the world comes from. Through an amazing, weird way, a mysterious philosopher gives her a course on philosophy. This philosopher gives him part of a series of letters on philosophy in the mailbox and he uses simple descriptions and examples and explanations in order to make Sophie understand.
Meanwhile, Sophie starts to receive weird letters about a person named Hilde. She doesn't know who she is and she's very intrigued about this Hilde person. Everything will be revealed in the end in a very interesting way. You'll never be bored!
So, whether or not you're trying to learn the history of philosophy with a twist or maybe you're just trying to find a good, deep fiction to read, this book is HIGHLY recommended, except for people who're looking for a light book to read!