Jostein Gaarder’s last book: The World According to Anna

Book Reviews, Book Thoughts, teen book reviews, Uncategorized, Writing Thoughts


Anna is passionate about the environment, and as she approaches her 16th birthday she begins to have strange dreams of a future world where her granddaughter lives. Here nature is ravaged, and the human race scrabbling to survive on the few remaining resources. But Anna has a chance: a magical ring that could change everything. 

Jostein Gaardner is one of my favourites. His blend of philosophy, weirdness and excellent stories created some of the most intriguing books that I’ve ever read. But when I realised this, his last novel published posthumously, was about climate change, I was worried. Can anyone make such a guilt-ridden topic enjoyably readable?? Happily, he did.

There was a lot of climate facts in here. Gaardner used his familiar technique of letters and articles to throughly educate his readers. And it was pretty depressing, and I was unsure whether I was going to manage to enjoy the book.

But Gaarder pulled it out of the bag. He of course is perfectly aware that guilt isn’t going to save the world, and so what Anna and her boyfriend are searching for is a way to motivate people rather than scare them.

And I think the ideas he came up with are pretty good; basically the gamification of fundraising. By the end of the book I felt excited rather than convicted, and hopeful rather than terrified.

And, as the main character Anna works to change the world as a legacy for her granddaughter, so Gaardner leaves his last book as a legacy that may perhaps help to change the world.

We can certainly hope. I’d recommend this for sure – but not as much as my all time Gaarder favourite ‘The Solitaire Mystery’.

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