The Golden Mean by Annabel Lyon

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A startlingly original first novel by “this generation’s answer to Alice Munro” (The Vancouver Sun)—a bold reimagining of one of history’s 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 Philip’s 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.

From the Hardcover edition.

About Annabel Lyon

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Annabel Lyon's first novel, The Golden Mean, was a number one best seller in Canada that won the Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize, was short-listed for the Scotiabank Giller Prize and the Governor General's Award for Fiction, and has been translated into fourteen languages. She is also the author of a story collection, Oxygen; a book of novellas, The Best Thing for You; and two juvenile novels, All-Season Edie and Encore Edie. Lyon lives in British Columbia with her husband and two children.

Author Residence: Vancouver, Canada

Author Hometown: Vancouver, Canada
Published September 7, 2010 by Vintage. 306 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Golden Mean

BC Books

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The Golden Mean explores the life and ideas of Aristotle by looking at his time as Alexander the Great's tutor.

Sep 05 2011 | Read Full Review of The Golden Mean

BC Books

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For most people today, classic Greek philosophers like Socrates, Plato or Aristotle seem largely irrelevant.

Sep 05 2011 | Read Full Review of The Golden Mean

The Globe and Mail

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Annabel Lyon's first novel takes us inside the minds of Aristotle and his pupil Alexander. In doing so, she highlights the plight of a lonely thinker in a world that prizes soldiers

Aug 14 2009 | Read Full Review of The Golden Mean

Open Letters Monthly

In the beginning, Aristotle told Alexander that he was just a “violent, snotty little boy.” In the end, he is impressed with his student, “the boy who knew where to find the head, the heart, the breath, the brain.” Before they say goodbye, Alexander tells his teacher that the two of them are alik...

Nov 01 2010 | Read Full Review of The Golden Mean

When after the defeat and deaths of Antony and Cleopatra, Octavian – soon to be known as the emperor Augustus – had become master of the Roman world, he commanded that a sarcophagus be brought from its mausoleum and opened, so that he might gaze on the face of Alexander the Great, conqueror of th...

Oct 09 2010 | Read Full Review of The Golden Mean

MostlyFiction Book Reviews

But, although Lyon makes the ingenious choice to afflict Aristotle with manic-depression – smitten with the moderation he finds so difficult, he holds up temperance as a moral paradigm – Aristotle’s manias and depressions are little more than assertions – “On the worst days, I stayed in bed, una...

Sep 07 2010 | Read Full Review of The Golden Mean

The Blurb

The first fifty pages or so of this book were hard going, not because there was anything particularly tough about the prose, but a large cast of characters that demands a cast list at the beginning, and more importantly the slightly dry nature of Aristotle as a...

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The Saturday Evening Post

In her novel The Golden Mean , Annabel Lyon brings these ancient heroes back to life with the story of Aristotle’s beginnings at the Macedonian court and his adventures in teaching the impetuous young prince Alexander.

Mar 05 2012 | Read Full Review of The Golden Mean

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