Annabel Lyon,
The Golden Mean
(Alfred A. Knopf, 2010)

By looking through the eyes of Aristotle, Annabel Lyon invites her readers to study the times of Alexander the Great through contemporary eyes.

It's easy to perceive how different life seemed to the ancient Greeks if even the great thinker Aristotle held such strange views in certain areas. This merciless method of forcing readers into an altered state of mind lends The Golden Mean an aptly harsh beauty. It makes it a compelling read, if not a particularly easy one.

The pace tends to wander at times, but the dramatic nature of much of its content allows these rambles to simply dilute the overall tension. Any book focusing on Alexander the Great claims its share of drama, but by focusing more on his interactions with others, this one magnifies Alexander's "greatness," whether it be fine or brutal.

Overall, The Golden Mean is an interesting academic study, but without exception a thoroughly heavy read.

[ visit the author's website ]

book review by
Whitney Mallenby

12 March 2011

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