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The Golden Mean

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The Golden Mean Cover

ISBN13: 9780307593993
ISBN10: 0307593991
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Awards

The Rooster 2010 Morning News Tournament of Books Nominee

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

On the orders of his boyhood friend, now King Philip of Macedon, Aristotle postpones his dreams of succeeding Plato as leader of the Academy in Athens and reluctantly arrives in the Macedonian capital of Pella to tutor the king's adolescent sons. An early illness has left one son with the intellect of a child; the other is destined for greatness but struggles between a keen mind that craves instruction and the pressures of a society that demands his prowess as a soldier.

Initially Aristotle hopes for a short stay in what he considers the brutal backwater of his childhood. But, as a man of relentless curiosity and reason, Aristotle warms to the challenge of instructing his young charges, particularly Alexander, in whom he recognizes a kindred spirit, an engaged, questioning mind coupled with a unique sense of position and destiny.

Aristotle struggles to match his ideas against the warrior culture that is Alexander's birthright. He feels that teaching this startling, charming, sometimes horrifying boy is a desperate necessity. And that what the boy - thrown before his time onto his father's battlefields - needs most is to learn the golden mean, that elusive balance between extremes that Aristotle hopes will mitigate the boy's will to conquer.

Aristotle struggles to inspire balance in Alexander, and he finds he must also play a cat-and-mouse game of power and influence with Philip in order to manage his own ambitions.

As Alexander's position as Philip's heir strengthens and his victories on the battlefield mount, Aristotle's attempts to instruct him are honoured, but increasingly unheeded. And despite several troubling incidents on the field of battle, Alexander remains steadfast in his desire to further the reach of his empire to all known and unknown corners of the world, rendering the intellectual pursuits Aristotle offers increasingly irrelevant.

Exploring this fabled time and place, Annabel Lyon tells her story in the earthy, frank, and perceptive voice of Aristotle himself. With sensual and muscular prose, she explores how Aristotle's genius touched the boy who would conquer the known world. And she reveals how we still live with the ghosts of both men.

From the Hardcover edition.

Synopsis:

A startlingly original first novel by “this generations answer to Alice Munro” (The Vancouver Sun)—a bold reimagining of one of historys most intriguing relationships: between legendary philosopher Aristotle and his most famous pupil, the young Alexander the Great.

342 BC: Aristotle is reluctant to set aside his own ambitions in order to tutor Alexander, the rebellious son of his boyhood friend Philip of Macedon. But the philosopher soon comes to realize that teaching this charming, surprising, sometimes horrifying teenager—heir to the Macedonian throne, forced onto the battlefield before his time—is a necessity amid the ever more sinister intrigues of Philips court.

Told in the brilliantly rendered voice of Aristotle—keenly intelligent, often darkly funny—The Golden Mean brings ancient Greece to vivid life via the story of this remarkable friendship between two towering figures, innovator and conqueror, whose views of the world still resonate today.

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About the Author

Annabel Lyon’s story collection, Oxygen, and her collection of novellas, The Best Thing for You, were published in Canada to wide acclaim. She studied music, philosophy, and law before she decided to write full-time. She received the 2009 Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize for The Golden Mean. She lives in Vancouver.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

FleurDeMar, February 21, 2011 (view all comments by FleurDeMar)
I’ve been wanting to read The Golden Mean for some time now and when I finally found my window of opportunity, I jumped on the chance. It didn’t take long before I discovered why so many accolades were being heaped upon it. I devoured each and every word, neglecting my husband and children in the process. Thankfully (for them) I read it quickly – it was impossible to put down.

Annabel Lyon’s first novel tells us the story of Aristotle and his pupil, Alexander (later to become ‘The Great’). The two had great regard for each other and, I think, each had something to teach the other. I didn’t know much about Aristotle before reading this book, but the way Lyon writes him, he became real and so much more than just the philosopher we hear about. And reading about Alexander before his greatness was a huge treat for me.

In short, the book is smart. The dialogue is witty. The characters are believable (and thank goodness for the character guide at the beginning of the book. With all those hard to pronounce names, I found myself referring to it often). All in all, it’s a work of genius.
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Krista Smith-Moroziuk, July 4, 2010 (view all comments by Krista Smith-Moroziuk)
Anyone interested in philosophy should read this. It is a well written book about Aristotle. Lyon brings the characters, the time, and the place to life.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780307593993
Author:
Lyon, Annabel
Publisher:
Knopf
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Publication Date:
20100907
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
304
Dimensions:
8.67 x 5.88 x 1.13 in 1 lb

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

The Golden Mean Used Hardcover
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$8.50 In Stock
Product details 304 pages Knopf Publishing Group - English 9780307593993 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , A startlingly original first novel by “this generations answer to Alice Munro” (The Vancouver Sun)—a bold reimagining of one of historys most intriguing relationships: between legendary philosopher Aristotle and his most famous pupil, the young Alexander the Great.

342 BC: Aristotle is reluctant to set aside his own ambitions in order to tutor Alexander, the rebellious son of his boyhood friend Philip of Macedon. But the philosopher soon comes to realize that teaching this charming, surprising, sometimes horrifying teenager—heir to the Macedonian throne, forced onto the battlefield before his time—is a necessity amid the ever more sinister intrigues of Philips court.

Told in the brilliantly rendered voice of Aristotle—keenly intelligent, often darkly funny—The Golden Mean brings ancient Greece to vivid life via the story of this remarkable friendship between two towering figures, innovator and conqueror, whose views of the world still resonate today.

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