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Maya by Jostein Gaarder
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Maya (1999)

by Jostein Gaarder

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English (7)  Spanish (1)  German (1)  All languages (9)
Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
Como em seus livros anteriores - entre eles o best-seller internacional 'O mundo de Sofia' - em 'Maya' Jostein Gaarder parte de uma estrutura ficcional muito bem arquitetada para armar um mundo de reflexões e curiosidades sobre diferentes campos do conhecimento humano. Na obra, o autor convoca o leitor para uma viagem pelos origens do Universo e da vida, numa narrativa que, através da compreensão da evolução das espécies, busca respostas para uma de nossas perguntas eternas - 'Quem sou eu?'
  melissa.gamador | Sep 4, 2014 |
This is really the first "philosophy" book I've read, and I'm not sure what to make of it, honestly. The initial part of this book, in which the background hints that there is a bit of a mystery are given, to me had a little bit of a gothic mystery feel. Everything seems normal on top, but underneath, there's something just not quite right. It had me intrigued, and was enough of an intrigue to allow me to read through this book in the better part of a day and a half, despite some very deep intellectual and spiritual content.

I really did enjoy that content, which surprised me as I am not drawn to philosophy in general, so maybe my choice of the word "despite" above is wrong. But that's how it feels. I read quickly for the mystery, but not so quickly that I couldn't grasp and ponder the deeper stuff that the mystery was a part of.

I recognized a lot of my own thought processes and neuroses in this book, much to my surprise. Concepts like whether we're really here at all, or if we're just part of a dream that we're not enlightened enough to wake from in order to recognize it for what it is... Concepts like death, and not so much what becomes of the deceased after death, but what happens to the rest of existence after the death of the deceased. I myself find it hard to contemplate that the world, existence as I know it, will continue on in the same way as it always has when I'm gone. Logically, this makes sense, but even as a little girl, I've wondered how things would change if I no longer existed as part of the world. Not if I had never existed, but if I was no longer there to see it. Would my mother still be my mother as I know her? Would my friends still be my friends as I've known them? Or would something shift and be different, but I wouldn't know because I'm not there to see?

In a way, one would think that these thoughts should make me believe in a life after death, so that I can still look on the world and keep up with my friends and loved ones... but I see this as two separate things. If I was a religious person, perhaps I wouldn't have this fear, because I'd have faith in something greater than myself. But I'm not religious, and this fear is not currently enough for me to be able to change this. It's not a great enough fear that I need something to soothe it, if that something requires believing in what to me is improbable, if not impossible.

I'm kind of rambling on, now, but I just wanted to talk about some of the things that this book made me think as I was reading it. Another thing that kind of struck me about this book is that it seemed to be a kind of meeting of the minds between "Evolutionary spirituality" and "Religious spirituality". It struck me how we're products of millions and millions of years of selective evolution, but that there could be a "creator" out there who got the ball rolling and who is subtly making sure that things take a certain path to a wanted result. Is that result us? Or are we only a step in the path to an end result we can't even fathom yet?

Anyway... So I mentioned before that this book started out with a feeling of a gothic mystery, but it quickly changed as the focus became more of the philosophical aspects, and then about 3/4 of the way through, it seemed to morph again into a kind of philosophical magical realism style. Things then started to take a strange and unreal turn, and this is where I think I got a little lost. I don't understand what happened at the end of the book, or how things came together. I'm happy with it, but I don't understand how it came about.

Overall, I enjoyed this book, but I'm not sure if philosophy is really my thing. :) ( )
  TheBecks | Apr 1, 2013 |
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.

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.
( )
  Jaguar897 | Mar 31, 2013 |
I totally don't get Gaarder's reputation as a writer for the intellectually inclined. Apparently in the postmodern world, being vague and contrived is enough to become famous. ( )
1 vote ari.joki | Sep 30, 2010 |
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". ( )
  DubaiReader | Jun 13, 2009 |
Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (14 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jostein Gaarderprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Pijttersen, LucyTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Snoeijing, KimTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Voor Siri
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Nooit zal ik die natte, winderige ochtend in januari 1998 vergeten, toen Frank op het kleine Fiji-eiland Taveuni arriveerde.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0753811464, Paperback)

Thrown together for three days on the paradise island of Taveuni, a lonely Norwegian biologist, a bereaved English novelist, and a strange and beautiful Spanish couple so much in love they seem to have evolved a private language, fill the long Pacific nights by playing bridge, telling stories, and discussing ideas. This brief encounter is no mere interlude, but the start of an intertwined story, full of illusion and allusion, that will unfold many months later. Part tragedy, part mystery, and, above all, a love story, Maya debates and unravels the questions that give meaning to the lives of its characters—and to our own. Jostein Gaarder is the author of Sophie's World, a huge bestseller in over 40 countries.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:18:33 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

A chance meeting on the Fijian island of Tavenui is the trigger for a novel that intertwines the stories of an English author grieving for his dead wife, a Norwegian evolutionary biologist, and an enigmatic Spanish couple. From the author of Sophie's world.… (more)

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