Thursday, July 09, 2009

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

Susannah’s official boyfriend, Jason, is the perfect foil for her student lifestyle. He is ten years older, an antiques dealer, and owns a stylish apartment that prevents her from having to live in the seedy digs on campus. This way, she can take her philosophy major very seriously and dabble in the social and sexual freedom of 1970s university life. But circumstances become more complicated than Susannah would like when she begins to have an affair with her tutorial partner, Rob. Soon she is dating two men, missing her lectures, exploring Independence and feminism with her girlfriends, and finding herself in a particularly impossible dilemma: she becomes pregnant. Forced to look beyond her friends and lovers for support, she finds help and inspiration from the lessons of Kierkegaard and other European philosophers.

A Girl’s Guide to Modern European Philosophy
is a delightfully insightful, bittersweet coming-of-age romp, in which love is far from platonic and the mind—body predicament a pressing reality. It even succeeds where many introductions to philosophy have failed, by effortlessly bringing to life the central tenets of the most important European philosophers of modern times.

A Girl's Guide to Modern European Philosophy was just ok to me. I think before deciding to read it I should have considered the fact that the word "Philosophy" was in the title a bit more than I did. I think if I appreciated Philosophy a bit more than I do I would have enjoyed it more.

I found the story to be rather slow moving for me. I thought the idea of Susannah trying to balance two relationships, school, and growing up would be enough to grab my attention but still I had troubles enjoying it. I think part of it was that I didn't really like any of the characters. Don't get me wrong, I didn't really dislike any of them I just didn't really find myself attached to them either.

While I did have some troubles with the book there were also some rather enjoyable passages for me. I especially liked when Susannah was first getting to know her classmate Rob and they would just sit around and chat for hours. I really liked those parts.

I'm not spoiling anything for you by saying that an accidental pregnancy comes to play in the book. I found that an interesting dilemma, Pro-Life vs. Pro-Choice. I kind of liked going through the thought process with her but at the same time it kind of stressed me out. To me that's one of life's biggest questions.

Overall an interesting coming-of-age novel, especially for those interested in Philosophy. While maybe it wasn't for me, I can see how others could definitely find it very interesting.

A Girl's Guide to Modern European Philosophy on May 12th.
Genre: Adult
2.5/5 Stars
ARC provided by Amazon Vine


  1. Thanks for the honest review. I've seen mixed reviews of this one. It's on my shelf, and I'll be reading it soon, so we'll see...

    Diary of an Eccentric

  2. I'm not interested in philosophy so I think I'll skip this one.

  3. I thought this one was meh too. I didn't like anyone in the book and started getting annoyed with Susannah by the end. I haven't seen anyone yet that loved it ... I think I might go searching for a review just to see why someone would love this book.

  4. Hmm, I like philosophy but this isn't for me ^_^ I like the points you brought up however!


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