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Das Kartengesheimnis by Jostein Gaarder

Das Kartengesheimnis (original 1990; edition 1999)

by Jostein Gaarder

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2,543343,674 (3.9)36
A Norwegian and his son search Europe for the boy's mother who left them to find herself. On the way they are given a magic book which will help explain her disappearance. A philosophical novel on family and destiny by the author of Sophie's World.
Title:Das Kartengesheimnis
Authors:Jostein Gaarder
Info:Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag (1999), Paperback
Collections:Your library

Work details

The Solitaire Mystery by Jostein Gaarder (1990)

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» See also 36 mentions

English (25)  German (3)  French (2)  Spanish (2)  Dutch (1)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  Hungarian (1)  All languages (35)
Showing 1-5 of 25 (next | show all)
This book is unusual - at least from my point of view. I'm not clear what category of books it belongs in. It is certainly mystical since you are deal with a boy and his fathers travels and at the same time you are reading and dealing with another world made up of playing card that have come somewhat to life. It is an interesting study in how we live our lives. ( )
  JanicsEblen | Jan 12, 2017 |
"the biggest secret of all was the world itself." ( )
  thebookmagpie | Aug 7, 2016 |
Hm. Even though I have a lot to say about this and so should have written this review immediately, I'm glad I didn't. The more I let ideas from and about it percolate in my head, the less I like the story.

I didn't realize it was by the author of Sophie's World, which I did not like (well, admit, did not finish) years ago. If I had, I would not have picked this up.

In some ways this reminds me of In the Night Garden by Catherynne M. Valente, with the otherworldly tales within tales vibe and structure.
In some ways it reminds me of The Neverending Story, with the child hero in a book that is marketed as much to adults as to children, and the fantastical philosophical metaphorical metaphysical world.

Fans of either might enjoy this. I was a fan of Valente's when I read it a few months ago, but it's fading in my memory and I have a less than rosy memory of it. I don't care for Ende's 'masterpiece' much at all.

The philosophy was rather childish, and all mixed up with science and self-help cliches: those three kinds of thought are distinct and should not be jumbled together if one is trying to communicate effectively about any of them. The most prominent theme as that everyone needs to wake up & truly live & understand how wonderful the world is -- but the child spends almost the whole trip reading a book, and he and his dad are on this trip to retrieve 'Mommy,' who, for all we know, is more alive in Greece on her own than she was with her family in Norway.

And what's up with Mommy? Gaarder (like just about any other philosopher) doesn't care what women think about. We have no idea why Mommy abandoned the family. Other females in the story are a few mere tokens. I guess it's true that most women are busy with more pragmatic concerns and it does tend to be the men who can spare the time to think deep thoughts about where we come from and what is our purpose. I know my purpose is to nurture my family, for example, and if I get a chance to smell some roses as I go along, that's enough.

I did manage to finish it, even though the structure and language (translation?) prevented me from immersing myself in it and so it took too long. So I guess it's not a terrible book. But I'm not recommending it.

It would be good for book groups. I know I have questions. I don't care about them, but they are discuss-able. ( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Jun 6, 2016 |
"the biggest secret of all was the world itself." ( )
  hoegbottom | Jan 30, 2016 |
"the biggest secret of all was the world itself." ( )
  hoegbottom | Jan 30, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 25 (next | show all)
''The Solitaire Mystery'' is a slight story that digresses frequently into ontological riddles and idle musings over rather trivial coincidences (the fact, for example, that there are the same number of cards in a deck as there are weeks in a year).

» Add other authors (26 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jostein Gaarderprimary authorall editionscalculated
Buchholz, QuintIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Eriksson, MonaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Haefs, GabrieleTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pijttersen, LucyTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Törnqvist, LenaAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Six years have passed since I stood in front of the ruins of the ancient Temple of Poseidon at Cape Sounion and looked out across the Aegean Sea.
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