Reviews of If Minds Had Toes

Alain de Botton in The Observer, January 7, 2007

‘She’s intellectually rigorous, but refuses to let high ideals get in the way of writing a book that will be fun and charming for the young adult audience to which it seems aimed. … [Eyre] has some of the playfulness of early Stoppard, or even Diderot. … Most of the book is given over to the philosophy lessons that poor, befuddled Ben receives, which enables Eyre to introduce us gently to some of the great questions of philosophy. The pill is beautifully sugared. The chapters include discussions of such themes as: does time speed up when your heart beats faster? Does the evidence of our eyes really tell us about the nature of the world? And what is the judicious balance between free will and determinism? Ben is a lazy pupil, always keener to think about girls than metaphysics, but this enables Eyre to do her best to keep us entertained, which she does with plenty of good jokes and some cute line drawings by Paul Jackson.’

Financial Times, January 26, 2007

‘If Minds Had Toes, Lucy Eyre’s entertaining and ingenious first novel, contains descriptions of a number of famous thought experiments. But it is itself also an extended thought experiment, one that is designed to raise questions about the nature and purpose of philosophy. … Eyre is fascinated by the dialectical cut-and-thrust of the dialogue form, which she deploys with great flair to dramatise a number of philosophy’s central puzzles.’

Telegraph, February 25, 2007

‘This novel makes a much more enjoyable job of introducing basic philosophical concepts than Sophie’s World, and is illustrated with whimsical line drawings by Paul Jackson in the style of Saint-Exupéry.’

The Guardian, January 20, 2007

Eyre … has written a nimble, witty introduction to the basic tenets of philosophy which never takes itself too seriously. A playful guide for young adults, it’s a charming endorsement of the benefits of the examined life.

Seattle Times, August 3, 2007

‘Lucy Eyre takes Ben and her readers back and forth between workaday reality and the World of Ideas with an ease and nonchalance that are a constant delight. … As whimsical and irreverent as she is in handling her subject, Eyre is rigorous in leading her readers through the pivotal philosophical questions and the various schools of philosophical thought.’

Kirkus, October 1, 2006
‘Eyre has a great talent for injecting humor into dialogue, which keeps the debates entertaining while retaining their intellectual rigor; the arguments bounce back and forth rapidly, and Ben’s engaged responses reflect the reader’s own.’

Julian Baggini in The Philosphers’ Magazine, January 2007
‘.. it is possible to get arguments terribly wrong, and one of the great strengths of Eyre’s book is that her telegraphed discussions of the great debates always get the philosophy right.’

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