The Golden Mean by Annabel Lyon

 

The Golden Mean by Annabel Lyon

 

This short historical fiction novel is a first person account in Aristotle’s voice, of Aristotle’s time in the Macedonian court of Alexander the Great.

 

The book begins with a quote by Plutarch. “It must be borne in mind that my design is not to write histories, but lives. And the most glorious exploits do not always furnish us with the clearest discoveries of virtue in men; sometimes a matter of less moment, an expression or a jest, informs us better of their characters and inclinations, than the most famous sieges, the greatest armaments, or the bloodiest battles whatsoever.”

 

While the book is more graphic and banal than I expected it was a compelling read for me. I would not recommend it if you are interested in Aristotle’s teachings and brilliance, but it is an interesting snapshot of his day to day character and that of Alexander, as the Plutarch quote foreshadows. We also get a cameo appearance by Plato.

 

An interesting device was the fact that the name Aristotle appears only on the cover’s subtitle and in the credits. It never appears in the book. He is never referred to as Aristotle. For me, it made him seem even more common.

 

The author’s use of modern slang and foul language seemed out of place to me.

 

Bottom line though, I read the book in a day and enjoyed it.

 

 

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~ by jmforceton on December 9, 2010.

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