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I don t belong anywhere I am neither a heart, a diamond, a club, nor a spade I am neither a King, a Jack, an Eight, nor an Ace As I am here I am merely the Joker, and who that is I have had to find out for myself.Every time I toss my head, the jingling bells remind me that I have no family I have no number and no trade either I have gone around observing your activities from the outside.Because of this I have also been able to see things to which you have been blind.Every morning you hI don t belong anywhere I am neither a heart, a diamond, a club, nor a spade I am neither a King, a Jack, an Eight, nor an Ace As I am here I am merely the Joker, and who that is I have had to find out for myself.Every time I toss my head, the jingling bells remind me that I have no family I have no number and no trade either I have gone around observing your activities from the outside.Because of this I have also been able to see things to which you have been blind.Every morning you have gone to work, but you have never been fully awake It is different for the Joker, because he was put into this world with a flaw he sees too deeply and too much Truth is a lonely thing This is my all time favorite book, and Gaarder is one of my all time favorite authors His sopho effort is the strongest, I feel, for many reasons complex enough to keep you interested, interesting and whimsical enough to keep it light, and new enough in his works that the story within a story within a story had yet become cliche.I generally don t believe in destiny, but this book makes me want to believe. The Solitaire Mystery is a very unusual fantasy novel by the Norwegian author Jostein Gaarder, the first novel he wrote after his bestsellingSophie s WorldIt was published in 1990 asKabalmysteriet , and won the Norwegian Critics Prize for Literature In common withSophie s World , it has a lot of philosophical content, although The Solitaire Mystery does not specify particular philosophers, or explicitly refer to philosophical theories It can be read as a YA novel, but the themes trans The Solitaire Mystery is a very unusual fantasy novel by the Norwegian author Jostein Gaarder, the first novel he wrote after his bestsellingSophie s WorldIt was published in 1990 asKabalmysteriet , and won the Norwegian Critics Prize for Literature In common withSophie s World , it has a lot of philosophical content, although The Solitaire Mystery does not specify particular philosophers, or explicitly refer to philosophical theories It can be read as a YA novel, but the themes transcend this, and apply to all ages The book has an interesting structure, with each chapter represented by a different card in a pack From the start the reader is aware of an intriguing premise, and a subtext The superficial story, which weaves together all the other themes, is narrated by a 12 year old boy, Hans Thomas, who lives in Arendal, in Norway.In the story, Hans Thomas and his father set out on a car trip to find Hans Thomas s mother, who had left them both eight years earlier, in order to find herself They drive through Europe, starting from their home in Arendal, intending to travel to Greece the birthplace of philosophy where they expect to find Hans Thomas s mother But are Hans Thomas and his father really going to search for the boy s mother Or is somethingsubtle happening As Hans says,It s always easier to ask than to answer The book explores fantasy and reality, fairy tales and family history It is supremely imaginative, with mystery piling on top of mystery During the car ride, Hans Thomas discovers that his father is not just an embarrassing adult who collects jokers, frequently butting into the card games of total strangers to ask if they would give him their joker but that he himself is a bit of a philosopher Hans Thomas is well aware of his father s little failings his drinking and his need for frequent cigarette stops, but deduces that these enable him to philosophise about the universe Their conversations are fascinating to Hans Thomas full of questions about the meaning of life.During the stops, Hans Thomas has some strange experiences In the first of these a strange little bearded man at a petrol station gives him a magnifying glass with the mysterious message,You ll need itand gives them directions which take them miles out of their way to a village called Dorf view spoiler Then in Dorf, the baker gives Hans Thomas a bag containing four sticky buns Inside the largest of these, Hans Thomas is amazed to find a miniature book, where the writing is too small to read with the naked eye, and needs a magnifying glass Thesticky bunbook tells the story of an old baker whose grandfather had given him a few drops of a precious magical drink he calledRainbow FizzThe drink came from an island where the grandfather had been shipwrecked on as a young man, in 1842 hide spoilerI stepped inside and it was like slipping into another world Baker Hans sat in a deep rocking chair and all over the room there were glass bowls with goldfish inside In every corner a little piece of rainbow danced But there weren t only goldfish here.I stood for a long time staring at objects I d never seen before It took many years before I could put into words what I saw there There were ships in bottles, and conch shells, Buddha figures and precious stones, boomerangs and wooden dolls, old rapiers and swords, knives and pistols, Persian carpets and South American carpets made of llama wool I particularly noticed a strange glass figure of an animal with a little pointed head and six legs It was like a whirlwind from foreign lands I might have heard of some of the things I saw, but this was long before I d seen a photograph The whole atmosphere in the cabin was totally different from the way I d imagined it to be The story switches between Hans Thomas s narration of each day, as they approach nearer and nearer to their destination and finding Mama , and what he reads in thesticky bunbook, which becomes increasingly fantastic, strange and dream like.In thesticky bunbook, the sailor describes finding himself on an island where a pack of cards have each come to life As Hans Thomas secretly readsof the tiny book with the magnifying glass, he discovers an astounding connection between himself and the sailor called Frode Hans Thomas becomes determined to finally solve the mystery of the island, and the pack of cards Life on the island seems to be full of strange rules, unknown spontaneous events and complex paradoxes It reveals a great deal both about the world and about Hans Thomas himself, but increasingly throws up manyquestions than it answers The cards seem to talk nonsense,The goldfish does not reveal the island s secret but the sticky bun does Why did all the dwarfs on the magic island have clubs drawn on their backs The baker conceals the treasures from the magic island Sparkling drink paralyses joker s senses Hans Thomas comments,Although I understood almost every word they said, I couldn t grasp what they meantAs The Solitaire Mystery unfolds, so does thesticky bunbook, and as each chapter of this novel has the title of a playing card, so each playing card is introduced in thesticky bunbook There is also a connection with a yearly calendar a parallel between the weeks in the year and the 52 cards plus a Joker The Joker is unique, as is the enchanting Ace of Hearts, whom Frode seems to be quite smitten with, even though she is alwayslosing herselfShe it is who will have a different destiny,I have finally found my way out of the labyrinth I know now that I belong to a different shore I have crossed oceans and moods I ve struggled over mountains and difficult thoughts, but someone has shuffled the cards As the two stories of Hans Thomas s journey and the events in thesticky bunbook seem to start to overlap, Hans Thomas doggedly pursues the meaning and significance behind thesticky bunbook view spoiler Why did the baker give it to him hide spoiler What does it all mean Does it mean anything at all, or are the playing cards not real , but just imagination The thing which baffles Hans Thomas most is the element of chance How can a tiny book found at random in a bun tell him things about his own lifeThe sticky bun man shouts down a funnel so his voice carries hundreds of miles Destiny is a cauliflower head which grows equally in all directions The magic island crumbles from within The baker s son must find the way to the sea Occasionally Hans Thomas has an inspiration, and understands the significance of one of the sentences spoken by one of the playing cards He sees it as a prediction, and shouts it out delightedly to his father, who increasingly worries that Hans Thomas is talking gibberish.Do Hans Thomas and his father discover Hans Thomas s mother, or is she forever lost in the fairytale world of fashion Well that would be telling Throughout the story we have glimpsed a strange little bearded man following them about The first time was when he gave Hans Thomas the magnifying glass which proved so useful to read thesticky bunbook He has reappeared inexplicably several times along the way, right through to a critical moment near the end Whenever Hans Thomas approached the little man, he seemed to dash away and vanish There are many elusive elements in the story, which features some unusual occurrences But the family history, although complicated, is compelling, and fully explained in the end Hans Thomas gradually unravels the mystery of the cards, and the knowledge he learns there about some events in the distant past, do shed a surprising light on his own life.This book is far better than an average YA novel, and the themes dealt with are fascinating and thought provoking But it is also ultimately frustrating Philosophical enquiry provides few answers, and is an uncomfortable medium to meld with a novel Enquiries pertaining to the unknown aspects of human existence do not fit well within the framework of a story The imagery is ingenious certain ideas and images such as the pack of cards, the goldfish,rainbow fizz , and the mysterious and undefinable perception of flavour will stay with me a long time.However it is better read as an elusive fantasy rather than a confused philosophical enquiry It may make you re examine some assumptions, or raise new questions it may make you think What it does not do is to provide any answers As Socrates said, and the book quotes near the end,All I know is that I know nothingI don t belong anywhere.I am neither a heart, a diamond, a club, nor a spade I am neither a King, a Jack, an Eight, nor an Ace.As I am here I am merely the Joker, and who that is I have had to find out for myself I suggested a translation theme to my small group of GR friends for this weekend which later turned into mystery translation , and this was the book that came to my mind It was short to read over the weekend, a translation, and has been out under mystery category by GR members To be honest, I thought it to be a murder mystery with a 12 year old protagonist But once I started reading I found that I was very wrong Once I finished reading this book, I told myself not every mystery is about m I suggested a translation theme to my small group of GR friends for this weekend which later turned into mystery translation , and this was the book that came to my mind It was short to read over the weekend, a translation, and has been out under mystery category by GR members To be honest, I thought it to be a murder mystery with a 12 year old protagonist But once I started reading I found that I was very wrong Once I finished reading this book, I told myself not every mystery is about murder, theft or abduction.This is a road trip that Hans with his father from Norway to Greece in search of his mother who left them when he was 4 year old to find herself During this trip Hans not only discovered about his family curse but also come to know about his grandfather and a secret island of Dwarves This book is a beautiful tale of story within story and concentrate on father son relationship This was surprisingly good Will definitely going to reread it sometime [ FREE PDF ] ♤ L'enigma del solitario ⚔ Se la vita un solitario, ciascuno vorrebbe essere il jolly proprioquello che capita al piccolo Hans Thomas Dodici anni, un mazzo di carte e unminuscolo libriccino come compagni di gioco, intraprende un lungo viaggio allaricerca di sua madre Scoprir cos un isola incantata, abitata dananistrambi, un fantasioso naufrago e un folletto dispettoso Ad Hans non rester che trasformarsi egli stesso in un jolly per risolvere l enigma e non restareschiacciato dal suo beffardo destino You can really read this book at any age and appreciate it on different levels every time On one level this is a mystical tale about a Norwegian boy and his father driving across Europe to find the boy s mother who left his father several years months time isn t exactly linear in this novel.Along the way, the boy is given a tiny little book hidden in a sticky bun and then a magnifying glass with which to read the book In the book unfolds a fantastical tale about life of an island.Muche You can really read this book at any age and appreciate it on different levels every time On one level this is a mystical tale about a Norwegian boy and his father driving across Europe to find the boy s mother who left his father several years months time isn t exactly linear in this novel.Along the way, the boy is given a tiny little book hidden in a sticky bun and then a magnifying glass with which to read the book In the book unfolds a fantastical tale about life of an island.Muchentertaining than Sophie s World or Maya, this is essentially a clever children s book which is thought provoking, intelligently written and imaginative This novel, which was published in Norway before Sophie s World , is another offbeat, delightful ontology masquerading as an ingeniously constructed fairy tale It tells the story of the 12 year old Hans Thomas, who is driving with his father from Norway to Greece in a quest to retrieve his errant mother.I was captivated by the twin storyline of Hans Thomas who left Norway with his philosophical father in search of his mother who had went out into the world to find herself and that of Baker This novel, which was published in Norway before Sophie s World , is another offbeat, delightful ontology masquerading as an ingeniously constructed fairy tale It tells the story of the 12 year old Hans Thomas, who is driving with his father from Norway to Greece in a quest to retrieve his errant mother.I was captivated by the twin storyline of Hans Thomas who left Norway with his philosophical father in search of his mother who had went out into the world to find herself and that of Baker Hans, Albert Klages whose mother died when he was a child, Ludwig the German soldier and Frode who found himself stranded on an island with nothing but a pack of cards for company This is a story within a story in which fantasy and reality, the past and present, are brilliant mixed Encapsulated is the advice that we should all try to be jokers in order to appreciate what is in front of usA joker is a little fool who is different from everyone else He s not a club, diamond, heart, or spade He s not an eight or a nine, a king or a jack He is an outsider He is placed in the same pack as the other cards, but he doesn t belong there Therefore, he can be removed without anybody missing him Very few books make one want to sit down and re read them all through again after the first reading, but this is one of them It is deceptively simple, yet the ideas are so striking that you can t work out why nobody ever pointed them out before As the story progresses, the themes of the essence of being, of God s role in the world, destiny and the joy of being alive or of the beauty of the world resonate in both storiesOur lives are part of a unique adventure Nevertheless, most of us think that the world is normal and are constantly hunting for something abnormal But that is just because we don t realise the world is a mystery As for myself, I felt completely different I saw the world as an amazing dream I was hunting for some kind of explanation of how everything fitted together Gaarder, a former philosophy teacher in Norway, concentrates on these aspects of philosophy, using both stories to illustrate his themes and intrigue his reader At one point during their visit to Athens I was reminded of a theme utilized by a lot of authors e.g Gaiman to explain the intertwining of religion and the passing of timeBut in a way they were in the world, as long as people believed in them People see what they believe the world didn t grow old or frayed at the edges until people started to doubt Once you ve read it you ll wonder why you never read it before A classic plot, yet such a very new one Simple yet incredibly complex, yet an intelligent child could understand itIt s because the world has become a habit Nobody would believe in the world if they hadn t spent years getting used to it We have seen everything so many times before that we take reality for grantedA novel of ideas that is coherent and striking and memorable.Book Details Title The Solitaire MysteryAuthor Jostein GaarderReviewed By Purplycookie I m really toying the line between 3 and 4 stars so I ve settled with 3.5 It s a hard one, as the concept with this book was so clever and different and it s not like me to say but I almost think it was too different Hans Thomas and his father travel across Europe in search of his mother, who they believe is in Athens While on this journey Hans Thomas is given a magnifying glass by a dwarf and shortly after 4 sticky buns from a baker, the largest one containing a very small book inside So b I m really toying the line between 3 and 4 stars so I ve settled with 3.5 It s a hard one, as the concept with this book was so clever and different and it s not like me to say but I almost think it was too different Hans Thomas and his father travel across Europe in search of his mother, who they believe is in Athens While on this journey Hans Thomas is given a magnifying glass by a dwarf and shortly after 4 sticky buns from a baker, the largest one containing a very small book inside So begins a story within a story within a story threefold Even my head was struggling to keep everything straight During the story within the sticky bun book we learn of a magical island with 52 dwarves each a card from a pack of playing cards so 2 of diamonds, king of spades etc.Throughout we learn that this information passes on to another every 52 years, and by the very end of the book we learn how this island and the men who have learned all of its secrets and treasures link in with Hans Thomas and his family A very smart premise and it is a remarkably woven tale, I enjoyed it and the writing was wonderful, with even some philosophy thrown in I just feel it was kind of tricky for me to get my head around, I was concentrating so much I didn t get to stop and actually enjoy the book itself Still 3.5 I reckon I may never look at a deck of cards the same way again The Solitaire Mystery is another imaginative, clever, and thought provoking philosophical tale by Jostein Gaarder This time, the protagonist is a 12 year old boy named Hans Thomas, a bright boy who is quickly exiting childhood and trying to make sense of the world around him This story does not have too much in common with Sophie s World it s muchlike a fairy tale I did not expect this, and yet I enjoyed it very much, and thought I may never look at a deck of cards the same way again The Solitaire Mystery is another imaginative, clever, and thought provoking philosophical tale by Jostein Gaarder This time, the protagonist is a 12 year old boy named Hans Thomas, a bright boy who is quickly exiting childhood and trying to make sense of the world around him This story does not have too much in common with Sophie s World it s muchlike a fairy tale I did not expect this, and yet I enjoyed it very much, and thought it worked very well, in its own way Eventually, I d like to readof Gaarder s novels.Excuse me, may I have your Joker Good read Warning once you start reading Jostein Gaarder you will never recover, nothing around you will look the same again so be ready to see the world through the eyes of a child be ready to burst into a state of wonder and jump out of your conciousness bounderies you never know, you might be the next joker in a pack of cardsafter sofie s world I was confused how I m going to rate this book for all the knowledge I gained from the first but something touches you that deep shouldn t be rated less than Warning once you start reading Jostein Gaarder you will never recover, nothing around you will look the same again so be ready to see the world through the eyes of a child be ready to burst into a state of wonder and jump out of your conciousness bounderies you never know, you might be the next joker in a pack of cardsafter sofie s world I was confused how I m going to rate this book for all the knowledge I gained from the first but something touches you that deep shouldn t be rated less than five