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116. A Girl's Guide to Modern European Philosophy by Charlotte Greig...

July 21, 2009
About the book:
Set on a 1970s college campus in Sussex, Susannah is a sophomore philosophy major with more on her mind than Nietzsche’s polemics. Caught between her sophisticated older boyfriend and her new student beau, Susannah finds herself in a life-changing predicament— she’s pregnant. Susannah is suddenly immersed in the gender politics of her generation— the ideals of the new feminism versus the conservative values of former generations.

Susannah instinctively evokes the teachings of the master philosophers, from Heidegger to Kierkegaard—on a whim at first, but with serious deliberation soon after—to determine monumental decisions about her future. Along the way, several foundations of female gender identification are inadvertently examined.

With clever nuance and a lively voice, Greig achieves a rare blend of intellectually stimulating thought, down-to-earth relatability and good-natured fun. Humorous, light-hearted, yet intellectually satisfying, A Girl’s Guide to Modern European Philosophy is an affable overture to philosophy and an absorbing exploration of what it means to be female in the modern world.

drey's thoughts:
I have to admit, I had high hopes for this one... With a title like A Girl's Guide to Modern European Philosophy, who wouldn't? But I just couldn't "get" Susannah... She lives with her boyfriend Jason, who's older, and doesn't always remember that she's there. And then she gets involved with one of her classmates, Rob. Which, in and of itself, I don't have a problem with. It's the dithering about that bothers me... Stop swinging like a pendulum between these two, and make a choice already! And it's not like they're such stellar specimens that makes it really difficult to choose, either--one swings for a different team, and the other's young & irresponsible. Then again, if you can't be irresponsible while young, then when can you? *sigh*

Philosophy is dispersed liberally throughout--but lest you're misguided, this is NOT a discussion of philosophy. Rather, it's a sprinkling of philosophy as it is covered in Susannah's courses. Until she gets to the point where she needs to figure out what to do, and enlists the help of Heidegger and Kierkegaard.

A Girl's Guide to Modern European Philosophy is definitely a coming-of-age story, but not as humorous as I expected it to be.

Title: A Girl's Guide to Modern European Philosophy
Author: Charlotte Greig
ISBN-10: 1590513177
ISBN-13: 978-1590513170
Paperback: 275 pages
Publisher: Other Press, 2009


Anna said...

I've seen a lot of reviews similar to yours. This one is on my shelf, and I'll be reading it soon. I've been looking forward to it, but after all the mixed reviews... Well, we'll see.

Diary of an Eccentric

bermudaonion said...

Thanks for your review - I think I'll skip this one.

Serena said...

I also have this book for review, but have not seen any really positive reviews of this book. I think that's why I have been hesitating.

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