Café de Sophia

Fiction - Literary
194 Pages
Reviewed on 11/01/2022
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Author Biography

M.A. Alsadah has a love for world-building, story-writing, and philosophy. He has published a high fantasy novel titled 'The Seal: The Five Metals' in which he invented two languages. He also developed and published a story-focused game on Steam titled 'Sky Realm: Essences.'

Alsadah enjoys reading non-fictional books of all sorts of topics, especially philosophical and sacred works of antiquity in which Hermes Trismegistus is his favorite author. When he’s not reading, he is probably playing a video game of grandiose story, adventure, and imaginative world such as Nier Automat and the Legend of Dragoon.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Diana Lopez for Readers' Favorite

Nate River is a sixteen-year-old teenager who ends up entering Café de Sophia on a rainy day. There he meets someone who calls himself Plato and they engage in a casual conversation. Nate didn't expect that this moment would be the first step on a path to self-discovery. After that meeting, Nate joins a group of friends interested in the study of and search for the truth. The dialogue in the book is developed through conversations in the form of a debate that follows the Socratic method. The exchange of ideas will motivate the reader to reflect on concepts such as justice, love, and other topics concerning knowledge. In this manner, M.A. Alsadah shares philosophical ideas in a contemporary context.

Café de Sophia is not only about the search for knowledge. The characters try to understand why all the topics they reflect on are significant. I appreciated the different opinions and belief systems involved because readers can draw their own conclusions. The perspective is one of a teenager open to accepting a diversity of ideas. The arguments are analyzed with examples, and the explanations are easy to understand. The topics covered are diverse and entertaining, and were derived from the most common notions explored in philosophy. M.A. Alsadah shares the message that it is possible to be a philosopher in everyday life. I consider this book to be suitable for young adults because the content is a great introduction to philosophical thought.

Bryone Peters

Café de Sophia by M.A. Alsadah revolves around a sixteen-year-old teenager who aspires to be good at debating complex issues. Nate, the protagonist, meets someone who has a passion for debate. Over time, he becomes Nate's mentor as they discuss existential and other philosophical issues. The discussions are not restricted to just the two but extend to many group members who belong to this informal debating club. Their meeting place is the Café de Sophia, a popular restaurant in Paris. Members of the club can make prior arrangements or simply arrive at the Café. Nate loves the discussions and goes to the Café frequently to participate. Nate starts off feeling insecure and inadequate but with some encouragement, he learns debating skills.

My favorite part is when the members of the informal debating club attempt to define perfection. The people involved in the debate eventually conclude that the concept of perfection is when something functions optimally. They also add that it does not require modifications or additions. One of the waiters of the establishment knows the group well. He abruptly contests their conclusion. According to their definition, that would mean he is perfect! The dialogue is well-written. Every subject debated is explained clearly and coherently. The characters are interesting as they come from diverse backgrounds, each having a unique perspective on the topic of conversion. Café de Sophia by M.A. Alsadah contains material that will help anyone who may wish to learn debating skills and etiquette.

Pikasho Deka

Readers who like to read literary fiction are in for a treat with M.A. Alsadah's Café de Sophia. Sixteen-year-old Nate River feels that he is not passionate about anything in his life. Although competent in his studies and taking game design classes in the afternoon, for the most part, Nate struggles to be decisive and finds himself unable to take sides in any matter. One day after school, Nate visits a local Parisian café while waiting for his mother to take him home when he meets an enigmatic man in his fifties. The man who calls himself Plato instantly strikes up an engaging conversation with Nate, stimulating his young mind like no other. Later, Plato's friends arrive at the café and put their own input into their weekly discussions.

If you love reading books with invigorating philosophical discourse or which encourage you to contemplate, Café de Sophia is the perfect book to spend your evening with. Through an experimental Socratic-style narrative, M.A. Alsadah touches on a wide range of topics related to the human condition. The book contains conversations that show how knowledge differs from perception, how science and reasoning are just parts of the whole that contribute to wisdom, and how justice and equality are intrinsically related, yet equality differs from equity. Alsadah also reiterates that while half of wisdom is intellectual, the other half is about applying the intellect in real life. Some books make you ponder long after you've finished reading them, and this story definitely falls into that category.