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The Philosopher's Apprentice


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A funny but also thought-provoking novel from the author of THE LAST WITCHFINDER James Morrow's debut sold almost 20,000 copies in paperback alone He receives terrific reviews: 'Morrow's inventiveness is beguiling, as are his delight in Western philosophy and his concern for the sorry state of the world... Provocative and entertaining' New York Times 'James Morrow is a literary swashbuckler, his proud vessel a stalwart craft ... his weapons a rapier intelligence and a Swiftian gift for satire' Washington Post 'Arch-satirist Morrow turns in a tumultuous take on humanity, philosophy and ethics that is as hilarious as it is outlandish' Kirkus Reviews 'Strong characters, shots of humor and an unpredictable narrative make this a winner' Publishers Weekly 'James Morrow addresses controversial topics in The Philosopher's Apprentice without being heavy-handed, and infuses the narrative with a wit that pragmatists and idealists alike will appreciate' Entertainment Weekly 'James Morrow is a wildly imaginative and generous novelist... He's been compared to Vonnegut and Twain... Fielding and Sterne should be added to the list' Sunday New York Times

About the Author

James Morrow was born in 1947. He has lectured and taught and worked in the fields of magazine publishing and television, as well as writing for children.


Aristotle is referred to so often in this brilliant comedy of manners as to seem to be alive. Also present are Plato, Lawrence Kohlberg, Kant, Sartre, Heidegger, Gadamer, Rawls, Piaget, Captain Kangaroo, and Mister Rogers. How can a novel so loaded with ideas be so funny and consistently engrossing? Missing in this hilarious send-off on Pygmalion are Rousseau and Locke, although it could be argued that the book is an extended riff on their ideas about how we acquire our moral sense. The premise is not new: a philosopher-tutor is given the opportunity to impress ethical ideas on a first-class mind that is, in matters of morality, a blank slate. But Morrow (The Last Witchfinder) is an inventive writer possessing a fine comic sensibility; the story is infused with wit and brio. And that brings one more name into the mix-Diderot. Morrow may not mention Diderot, but in many ways Morrow is a successor to that finest of Enlightenment thinkers, a man who believed that literature and philosophy marched hand in hand and who was not afraid to discuss serious matters in a comic tone. Enthusiastically recommended for all libraries.-David Keymer, Modesto, CA Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

With a talking iguana, a tree with a heart and an army of clones created from aborted fetuses, Morrow's latest is a treat for readers willing to take an imaginative leap. Philosophy ABD (all but dissertation) Mason Ambrose takes a job tutoring 17-year-old Londa Sabacthani after withdrawing his Ph.D. candidacy during a heated dissertation defense. Londa lost her moral center after a head injury, according to her mother, Edwina, a molecular geneticist with a reputation for being as "smart as God," and it's Mason's highly compensated duty to help Londa regain her conscience. Soon after arriving on Edwina's remote Florida Keys island home, Mason discovers a separate estate where five-year-old Donya lives with two tutors hired after she lost her "rectitude" in a bicycle accident. Donya claims Edwina as her mother and, like Londa, believes she is an only child. The three tutors, sensing something grossly amiss, begin snooping and uncover a fertility scheme akin to a Dr. Frankenstein experiment. Meanwhile, Londa ventures out into the world and seeks to apply her newfound morality to American capitalism through whatever means necessary. Morrow guides readers through preposterous plot points without sacrificing plausibility. Strong characters, shots of humor and an unpredictable narrative make this a winner. (Mar.) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

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