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I am uncertain if Heidegger And A Hippo Walk Through Those Pearly Gates is philosophy posing as a joke book, or the reverse. I am certain this is a joke book functioning as a philosophy book, but it’s doing a passably good job on both counts. Anyway, I enjoyed having Debbie read this book to me as my bedtime snoozer. It’s good reading material when going into the short death, as the subtitle implies it intends to “Explore Life, Death, the Afterlife, and Everything in Between.” Thus sleep is a perfect in between.

The great American philosopher Woody Allen seems to get the best lines in this book: “I don’t want to achieve immortality through my work. I want to achieve immortality through not dying,” “I don’t want to live on in the hearts of my countrymen; I want to live on in my apartment,” and “the soul embraces the noble aspirations, like poetry and philosophy, while the body has all the fun.” He gets 9 citings in the index, whereas the title character Heidegger gets only 4, although H’s are more verbose. Incidentally, the hippo doesn’t get any cites, and that’s a bummer, because an alternate point of view from a heavyweight would add some gravity to the levity.

The book ends with the hippo not getting in a single grunt, but Saint Peter says to him, “Today’s your lucky day, Hippy!”