A mysterious novel by the author of the international bestseller SOPHIE'S WORLD. A chance meeting on the Fijian island of Taveuni is the trigger for a fascinating and mysterious novel that intertwines the stories of John Spooke, an English author who is grieving for his dead wife; Frank Andersen, a Norwegian evolutionary biologist estranged from his wife Vera; and an enigmatic Spanish couple, Ana and Jose, who are absorbed in their love for each other.
Why does Ana bear such a close resemblance to the model for Goya's famous Maja paintings? What is the significance of the Joker as he steps out of his pack of cards? As the action moves from Fiji to Spain, from the present to the past, unfolding further stories within the stories, the novel reveals an astonishing richness and complexity.
As bold and imaginative in its sweep as Sophie's World, it shows again that Jostein Gaarder's unique and special gift is to make us wonder at the awe-inspiring mystery of the universe.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 352 pages
- Publisher: Orion Publishing Co
- Publication Date: 05/07/2001
- Category: Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)
- ISBN: 9780753811467
Showing 1 - 3 of 3 reviews.
Review by katrinasreads
I abandonded this when it got to the 4 page discussion between an alcoholic and a lizard about the theory of evolution - I started the same page several times and just thought there are other books on my tbr pile i could be reading
Review by DubaiReader
To much of a struggle.This book was recommended by our book group but in spite of my best intentions I think I'm going to do the unforgiveable and abandon it.It's not as if the origins of life on earth don't interest me, I did my degree in Plannt Science.BUT I have got as far as p130, a fair test I think, and I'm finding it pretentious and tedious. Who has 20 page conversations with a geko?? What is all this nonsense with elves and the joker?? Unfortunately I can't be bothered to find out.In the words of a fellow book clubber who got to p50, "Life is too short".
Review by Jaguar897
This is my first Gaarder book, as well as my first “philosophy” book. Admittedly, during the first portion of the book I had a hard time getting into it. There is quite a bit of mystery built up and much talk of evolution as the main character is a biologist. The dialogue is designed to make the reader question their own beliefs and purpose in life, which I thought was very interesting. However, the evolutionary discussions at times became too heavy and tiresome to read. It seemed like Frank, the main character, would constantly digress into an evolutionary speech whenever given a chance and at times he came off as very whiney as he went on and on. However, once I stopped focusing on these digressions I started to enjoy the story itself, which come to find out is in fact a love story despite all the evolutionary discussions. <br/><br/>What I found most surprising was that I didn’t like any of the characters, but despite this I loved the message and thought the concept of the book was awesome. Weird, as I never had this experience before with a book that at times I felt like I had to push myself to get through. I’m not sure if I would pick up another Gaarder book anytime soon since it seems like I would have to be in the frame of mind to read another philosophy book like this but I definitely would not discount him in the future. <br/>