Monday, January 24, 2011

The Golden Mean by Annabel Lyon


Aristotle was a pretty interesting guy. According to Annabel Lyon's fictionalization of this intellectual giant he was also wracked with self loathing, burdened by bipolar illness and forced to endure his own brilliance during an era of ignorance and warmongering. This account of his relationship with a young Alexander the Great starts off wonderfully but loses its way at the midpoint. The focus shifts jarringly from an exploration of interesting characters to a more broad (and far less engaging) exploration of historical events. I really wanted to love this book, and I almost did. But just as Aristotle learns while trying to teach compassion to a young Macedonian who was weaned on war; you can't change the nature of something to fit your own idea of greatness.

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