Heidegger and a Hippo Walk Through Those Pearly Gates: Using Philosophy (and Jokes!) to Explore Life, Death, the Afterlife, and Everything in Between, by Thomas Cathcart & Daniel Klein

Rating: ⭐️⭐️

Genre: Philosophy, Non Fiction, Humour

First off, let me get this straight, I know I have given some books that is not quite to my liking a 2 out 5 rating, but it doesn’t always mean that a 2 out of 5 rating books meant that I don’t like the books. Such as the case of this book, I actually do like this book, but I don’t necessarily enjoy it; it’s not the book’s fault though, my brain is just not wired to read complicated stuff, such as philosophy. I think I can really relate to Daryl Frumkin about that.

I picked this book up on a whim; see I have this habit that anytime I went to a bookstore, I have to come out of it with a book in my hand. So, when I did went to this bookstore on a lunch time (simply because McDonald’s was freakishly crowded), I was not prepared (nor was it scheduled for me) to go to a bookstore. It ended with me choosing the brightest book cover out of them all; resulting with this book.

At that time, I was still struggling with reading Life After Life by Kate Atkinson and with the many talks about death in the book, I was somewhat intrigued by this book (not to mention, I like me some jokes too). So, there I was walking out of the bookstore with this book in my hand. I have to tell you, I was a bit over my head when I first read it, I thought to myself ’hmm apparently philosophy is not as complicated as I thought; I mean, here I am reading what Kierkegaard has to say about death and I get what he meant’. But, as always, I am always wrong. The moment I reached the third chapter of the book, I am more lost than I have ever been in terms of reading a book.

There were many moments when I read a couple of sentences, and it just went kapoof; I had to re-read the sentences again, and it still won’t make any sense to me. That was the moments where I thought to myself maybe I should just give up this book entirely (at this point, I already went to a bookstore again and I bought a copy of Percy Jackson’s Greek Gods, so suffice to say I am very tempted to neglect this book and move on to a more friendly territory), but luckily I didn’t give up.

I have to say, in terms of talking about life, death the afterlife and everything in between, I was more in-tuned (and interested apparently) with the topic of death. I noticed this when I finished the book and most of the colourful post-its were stuck to pages that were talking about death. So, what does that say about me? That I am obsessed about death? Pfft, hardly. I am very grateful that the last chapter of the book really works its wonder in concluding the whole debate about life, death and its hooligans; so word of advice, if by any chance you got stuck with this book and you almost gave up, just go to the last chapter before you truly gave this book up.

One more thing, the jokes are very refreshing and darn spot on! Loved it! I could totally recommend this to my Dad (though maybe he wouldn’t appreciate my gesture, would he?)


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