The Socrates Express (Review)

The Socrates Express (Review)

his was an interesting find. Only I (it would seem) could find a book that combines two of my curiosities. The first, the philosophy of being human, the outlooks and considerations of our human natures. And the second, trains.

In The Socrates Express, Author Eric rides a train to the locale of each famous philosopher, musing about the train, the travel, the philosopher, and the life lesson we might learn from him (or her). There are fourteen stops and fourteen philosophers, grouped in subjects from the general (how to get out of bed, how to walk, etc), to specifics (how to fight, how to enjoy and be kind, how to see the small things) to the final fade we all make (how to grow old, how to die). Given that I’m sliding ever closer to that final chapter (and that recent cancer scare), it made for interesting reading (and thoughtful contemplation).

I’ve mentioned elsewhere that this book really drove me in a couple of places. When a friend and I had a fight, I found myself reading this book and drinking an americano in a cafe and realized how important the friendship was, so I called and we worked it out. And when a motorist lost his shit at me and wailed his horn at me in a crosswalk, sure, I was mad, but I didn’t carry the anger away with me. In many ways, the life lessons given are quite good, the telling warm yet humorous, and the history interesting. It was a cozy little book that doesn’t make too much of itself.

The bit about Nietzsche was very thoughtful. In it, you are guided to look at your life and see if, in taken in whole, was it heaven or hell. The author doesn’t force you to change, nor press you to be better. He simply points out the philosophic nature of what it means to be human.

A thoughtful book. With trains.