The Philosophy Book and Sister Carrie

 The Philosophy Book by Otto Bohmer

This little book (168 pgs) is meant to be an accompaniment to Sophie's World by Jostein Gaarter. It didn't come to me until years after I'd read that book and on it's own I must admit it was a bit dry. It gives a little information about each philosopher as he shows up in the novel, so I think having it as an accompaniment would have made Sophie's World, already an exhilarating reading experience, even better.

Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser

Carrie, 18, looks for work in Chicago where the jobs available to her pay so little that she remains dependent upon her sister's charity until she meets Drouet, who charms her into letting him support her in style. She doesn't love him, but he offers an alternative to poverty and as his mistress she quickly learns to appreciate the comfort and personal luxuries money can buy. 

After a time he introduces her to his friend Hurstwood, who becomes obsessed with Carrie and to whom she also feels an attraction. She continues to live with Drouet while Hurstwood urges her to run away with him, but then she finds out that he already has a wife and family and furiously refuses to see him again. 

Desperate, he sends her a message implying that Drouet is very ill, and offering to  take her to him. Instead, Hurstwood kidnaps her and takes her to New York City. Not being very attatched to Drouet (and loyal to nobody but herself it seems), she barely protests and sets about getting used to a pleasant New York lifestyle. 

What she doesn't know is that Hurstwood has lost control of his fortune and is supporting her only on the 10,000 pounds he stole on his way out of Chicago. That money eventually runs out and, determined to avoid poverty, Carrie auditions for a part in a play. She begins to find success as an actress and becomes financially independent enough to leave him. Hurstwood goes into a downward spiral ending in.....I won't say just in case I'm not the only person left on the planet who hasn't read this book.  

I intended to read it for years and finally got down to it when offered an audio version at an appealingly low price. I'd like to say I loved the story but the truth is I didn't. It was interesting enough to keep me going though, and the writing was wonderful. 


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