The Golden Mean Epub ê The Golden PDF/EPUB ²



10 thoughts on “The Golden Mean

  1. Nathan Nathan says:

    I have read entirely too many ponderous and self aware books lately books written to please the author first and the reader second books whose construction is as much the point of writing the book as its contents I only realised that when I read Golden Mean because it is not such a book It's like the first time you have a really good steak and realise that all the others those artistic meat arrangements were too focused on visual taste and not enough on gustatory taste Golden Mean was that great steak to meGolden Mean reminds me of a Roman statue When you encounter one you're taken by the subject of the statue how beautiful and serene they look Then you realize they're made of marble incredibly hard and it was chipped away and all this smooth serenity is the byproduct of hard work But you don't think gosh that must have been difficult or what a work of sculpture first you appreciate the subject that shines throughThere's no challenging construction or postmodern self awareness here Golden Mean is written simply with the occasional rare word thrown in for good effect It doesn't aim to boggle you with the research that Lyon did but rather gently guides you through the history and nature of the times without making you feel like you should be taking notes to keep up The one paragraph of dialogue that did make me blink full of military tactics and political strategy involving alliances and borders and generals with unpronounceable names turns out to have been the one that made the lead character doze off Lyon wrote perfectly for my ability to enjoy and to keep upThe book follows Aristotle as he becomes tutor to Macedonian prince Alexander the boy who will famously weep when he runs out of lands to conuer and gives emotional context to Aristotle's relationship with Alexander Aristotle's wife slaves Alexander's father and The writing is simple the story is straightforward there's no mystery or surprise twist but the relationships are deep and layered Men and boys fathers and sons all connect misunderstand heal and reflect on their relationships with each other but never to the point where it feels like an episode of Dr Phil in togasThe delight though is Aristotle He is the sort of person you'd love to have dinner with He's depressed he pays great attention to the world around him he's wise and thoughtful My dimly remembered bits of Aristotle make me suspect that this is a generous and anachronistic portrayal but it brings him to life with the bustling energy and keen intellect of an 18th century natural philosopher Lyon has created the Aristotle you wish had been and to meet him is reason enough to read this book


  2. Kara Babcock Kara Babcock says:

    Let me summarize this book for youAristotle Join me Alexander Feel the power of the Dark SideAlexander NeverAristotle Alexander I AM YOUR FATHERAlexander NoAristotle Look within your heart Alexander which is actually a heart and is not merely the shadow of an ideal heart because how the hell did Plato think that would work anyway? You know it to be trueAlexander NooooooooAristotle chops off Alexander's hand with a light sabre—wait no sorry that’s Star Wars Let’s try this againAristotle Everything the light touches is your kingdomAlexander WowAristotle A king's time as ruler rises and falls like the sun One day Alexander the sun will set on Philip’s time here and will rise with you as the new king Alexander What’s that dark part over there?Aristotle That is Persia We do not speak of it Later Aristotle gets trampled to death by wildebeest while Alexander looks on and it is ALL HIS FAULT Then his uncle becomes——no no now that’s Lion King DAMN ITOK don’t worry I got thisAristotle If you’ll just concede the necessity of going to school we’ll go on having conversations about leadership every night just as we always have Is it a bargain?Alexander Yes sir prepares to spit on his handAristotle We’ll consider it sealed without the usual formality Now about Boo RadleyNailed it


  3. Fran Fran says:

    This is a beautifully written book but don't let it fool you into thinking its lyricism lacks substance This is a history lecture masked as fiction each word backed by research and hard work The mask hiding it all convincing us we're reading tales of long death myths is made of details that grab our senses intoxicating us We hear the cries of a man suspected of possession as his head is open to let the demons bleed out And we smell the horrifying destiny of a man jailed for writing of truths the Great Alexander prefers to ignore And we feel the weariness of a troop journeying under heavy rain their cargo exotic and dying as they follow Aristotle and his wife on their way to Pella where he will teach the youngest son of King Philip how to be a king a forger of empiresAnnabel Lyon recreates the landscape of ancient Macedonia with strokes loaded with salt from the Mediterranean and the wind and sun of a thousand days She watercolors her words with rainy autumns and octopus ink delivering us into an old world cruel and unforgiving It's the beauty portrayed by Lyon that highlights the violence of the times And among it all we see Aristotle become a man a husband a teacher We see he doubting himself and forgiving himself It's through Lyon's words that Aristotle becomes human And It's through his eyes that we witness the horrifying yet mesmerizing reality of a moment in history and a place in the world when and where slavery rape beatings and murders are the norm the only way the best way This is not a fast paced book but it will grab your imagination and it won't let go until you've read its last page and perhaps not even then


  4. Richard Derus Richard Derus says:

    Rating 375 of fiveThe Publisher Says 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 uestioning mind coupled with a uniue 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 conuer 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 honored 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 conuer the known world And she reveals how we still live with the ghosts of both menMy Review I think this is up there in ambition of storytelling with The Song of Achilles the five star imaginative tour de force by Madeline Miller Aristotle as narrator of his time spent in Pella? A good idea Tutoring Alexander means getting to the heart of the legend that surrounds Alexander and vivifying him dusting off the fustian and falderol accreted to his taleHere's Alexander speaking to AristotleYou who understand what a human mind can be how can you bear it? I don't have the hundredth part of your mind and there are days when I think I'll go mad I can feel it Or hear it It's like hearing something creeping along the walls just behind my head getting closer and closer A big insect maybe a scorpion A dry skittering that's what madness sounds like to meNice Not a teenaged person speaking and no I'm not retroactively applying 21st century standards to Alexander I'm fully aware that he was a powerful king's heir and a man before he was 17 But that's not my inner ear's problem with the passage It sounds like speechifying It's not faux archaic it's not arch or overwrought It's justspeechy Like a modern presidential speech to the jus' folks at a Town Hall Aristotle a man of immense intellect and unbounded curiosity attempts to instill those ualities in Alexander's still forming mindYou must look for the mean between extremes the point of balance The point will differ from man to man There is not a universal standard of virtue to cover all situations at all times Context must be taken into account specificity what is best at a particular place and timeAristotle uses some pretty vulgar in all senses of the word subjects to piue the youth's uesting intelligence's appetite for information If Alexander was alive now he'd be a Google employee assigned to counter hackingMy father explained to me once that human male sperm was a potent distillation of all the fluids in the body and that when those fluids became warm and agitated they produced foam just as in cooking or sea water The fluid or foam passes from the brain into the spine and from there through the veins along the kidneys then via the testicles into the penis In the womb the secretion of the man and the secretion of the woman are mixed together though the man experiences the pleasure in the process and the woman does not Even so it is healthy for a woman to have regular intercourse to keep the womb moist and to warm the bloodIn the end the historical Alexander and the historical Aristotle are brighter figures for Lyon's spit polish of their statues It's a good book and I won't read it again I feel it's delivered its payload of meaning and philosophical pondering to me Alexander sums up the experience of The Golden Mean uite wellYou and I can appreciate the glory of things We walk to the very edge of things as everyone else knows and understands and experiences them and then we walk the next step We go places no one has ever been That's who we are That's who you've taught me to beI can't begin to tell you how tough it was for me to finish this five star idea and rate it under four stars I can't honestly push it higher for the reasons I've given It might seem to others a perfect five which rating I can't give but can see how a reader with a accepting nature wouldWatch this writer This is a debut novel following a story collection and a novella collection as well as some YA work There is nothing in this book either structural or aesthetic that suggests to me a career of mediocre mehness Fine imaginitive writing will come forth from her pen I haven't read the follow on to this book The Sweet Girl about Aristotle's daughter Happen that I will with a deal of hope for excellence This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial ShareAlike 30 Unported License


  5. Lorina Stephens Lorina Stephens says:

    While Annabel Lyon’s much acclaimed novel The Golden Mean has been received well by critics I’m afraid it fell short for this readerThe novel deals with Aristotle’s life during his tutelage of Alexander who would become The Great Lyon attempts to paint a picture of Aristotle’s own struggle to find balance between depression and joy passion and reason and in doing so employs a considerable wealth of research into the historical charactersHowever research into the historical milieu is lacking In the opening Lyon’s describes “I spent yesterday on the carts myself so I could write though now I ride bareback in the manner of my countrymen a ball busting proposition for someone who’s been sedentary as long as I have”Agreed riding bare back can be a painful experience over the long term; however the glaring inconsistency here is the fact Aristotle was writing while riding in a cart In an era of no suspension and roughly paved or even dirt roads the jouncing and ‘ball busting’ would have had his backside black and blue and any writing would have been rendered illegible Further Lyon fails to illustrate that if paper papyrus were used or likely parchment or vellum all would have reuired sanding and burnishing tasks not easily accomplished on a bouncing crashing cart Moreover use of any stylus and ink would have been prohibitive If however a wax tablet had been used which would have been likely the case even then any legible cipher would have been an impossibilityThe language of the novel was another point of contention for me Altogether very modern even to the use of the modern phrase whapping each other upside the head the language of the novel didn’t ring true and conseuently a sense of time period and placement left me feeling disoriented I wasn’t looking for Shakespearean diction here; far from it But I was looking for something a little less modern streetAround the middle of the novel that modern touch became completely arresting when Lyons writes a scene wherein he and his wife watch snow falling and Aristotle explains to his wife “The gods don’t send it” I say “It’s part of the machinery of the world When the air is cold enough rain turns to snow It freezes The water atoms attach to each other and harden”Now while Democritus one of the ancient Greek philosophers credited with the concept of atomic theory was a contemporary of Aristotle’s the statement Lyon’s writes reads just a bit too modern and stretches the boundaries of credibility As to the tone of the language it is altogether very vulgar which may be an attempt to reflect a male voice Instead at least for this reader that vulgar tone simply rendered the novel somewhat adolescent and reliant on the use of shock factor instead of writing skillWhen analyzing writing skill there is a profound lack of character development so that Aristotle himself is merely a talking head as are most of the enormous cast of characters There’s nothing there for me to hang on to And that lack of character development extends to lack of environmental detail so that what should have been a very alive vibrant sensory plunge into ancient Greece and Macedon instead remain a grey slate waiting for colour There was no sense of heat or cold of architecture or furnishing of environment or countryside The only explicit detail Lyon ever uses is that of periodic clinical gore or base sexualityIt may be that this sensory deprivation was Lyon’s attempt to reflect the lack of depth and character in her protagonist Aristotle but for me it was like reading a green screen waiting for the magic to appearIf Lyon’s novel The Golden Mean is the standard by which we now measure excellence then I am outdated antiuated and obsolete


  6. Tamara Agha-Jaffar Tamara Agha-Jaffar says:

    The Golden Mean by Annabel Lyon is the story of the nearly seven years Aristotle spent as the tutor of Alexander the son and heir of King Philip of Macedon The narrative is told in Aristotle's voice opening with his arrival in Pella the capital of Macedon He is accompanied by his wife Pythias and his nephew CallisthenesAristotle's initial task is to work with Philip's mentally challenged son Arrhidaeus Although he treats Arrhidaeus with compassion and helps him improve both his physical and mental agility it is Arrhidaeus' younger brother Alexander who consumes Aristotle's interest and becomes the focus of his attention Aristotle is portrayed as highly intelligent and with an unbounded curiosity of the natural world including human anatomy Even though the novel is told from his point of view he remains somewhat aloof and impenetrable He is subject to fits of depression and has a tendency to weep he knows not why His conversations occasionally sound stilted and have the flavor of a lecture as if he were nothing than a mouthpiece for his ideas Alexander emerges as an inuisitive petulant arrogant lonely willful ambitious and brilliant young man capable of performing atrocities both on and off the battlefield that horrify even his father Aristotle struggles to reign him in to teach him the self control reuired to live within the gold mean Their conversations assume the form of verbal sparring challenging each other back and forth as they debate ideas without arriving at mutually satisfactory resolutions Lyon guides us through a period of history replete with examples of male dominance Her prose is muscular straightforward and for the most part engaging However her freuent use of obscenities and modern phrasing was jarring and incongruous Such language yanks readers out of historical time and place and thrusts them smack in the middle of contemporary terminology and contemporary cuss words Their presence is gratuitous detracts from the setting and diminishes what would otherwise have been a enjoyable read


  7. Lata Lata says:

    25 starsI bought this book many years ago then stuck it on a shelf and forgot it Every now and again I would look at it on the shelf then choose something else to read Jo Walton got me to pick this book up and finally read it No I don't know Jo Walton but I finished reading her Thessaly series and those books reminded me I had thisSo preamble out of the way what did I think of this?The blurbs on the cover made me think I was holding the work of THE Canadian novelist comparing Annabel Lyon to Alice Munro I'm not sure I'd agree with that comparison but I do think she's a good writer The book describes the years Aristotle spent tutoring young Alexander that conueror guy before returning to Athens I knew nothing about that period in history other than Alexander later went on to much short lived successThe book's opening sentence let me know I wasn't in for pretty philosophical speeches There is an earthiness to the story featuring blood sex knives plotting masculinity and its blindness and costThe story is told from Aristotle's perspective He seemed happiest investigating natural phenomena and writing about his findings instead of interacting with others The Alexander we meet is young and needing some guidance and teaching; he's also seen as a bit strange by some; this strangeness is explored a little in the book Lyons shows us examples of Alexander's curiosity strength and loneliness She also shows us a little of what the other characters find frightening in AlexanderI found for all that we're in Aristotle's head for the entire book I didn't get a good feel for him He seemed proud arrogant and superior I found him to be a bit of a knob at timesWomen don't figure prominently in this book as this story is about masculine relationships We only get to spend a little time with Pythias Aristotle's wife and we see her through him them having sex her keeping a comfortable home for him him talking to and at her I wanted to see much of herI would not say this is a great book I'm still on the fence about whether this is a good book The writing was good and clever in parts but I didn't find myself racing through this book desperate to find out what happens next I'd say it was interesting and a little slow going


  8. ThereWillBeBooks ThereWillBeBooks says:

    Usually when an author writes about the legendary figures of history they tell the story from the perspective of a friend or companion of the legend as it is fairly daunting and dangerous to try and get inside the head of an icon without ruining the mystiueThis apparently doesn't concern Annabel Lyon as she tells this story from the perspective of Aristotle and just nails it It's always a pleasure when an ambitious book succeeds and you get to watch an author take a big swing and connect


  9. Rick Rick says:

    I accept that the greatest happiness comes to those capable of the highest things That's where you and I walk away from the rest of the world You and I can appreciate the glory of things We walk to the very edge of things as everyone else knows and understands and experiences them and then we walk the next step We go places no one has ever been That's who we are That's who you've taught me to be – Alexander to Aristotle pg 275The Golden Mean is a graceful re imagining of one of history’s most fascinating relationships—that between the legendary philosopher Aristotle and his most famous pupil Alexander the Great Lyon writes clearly sometimes beautifully and the book is an absolute pleasure to read It's a stunningly accomplished work from a first time novelistIn 343 BCE King Philip II of Macedon engaged the philosopher Aristotle as tutor for his 13 year old son Philip who was well on his way to taking control of the entire Greek peninsula and had his eyes on the Persian Empire had already taken care to have Alexander schooled in the arts of war But wishing to temper warrior passions with the influence of philosophy and the arts he turned to the celebrated philosopher a former playmate from his own boyhoodAristotle is initially reluctant to set aside his own ambitions in Athens in order to tutor the rebellious future king of the world But the philosopher soon realizes that teaching this charming yet mercurial teenager is a necessity amid the ever sinister intrigues of Philip’s court But as Alexander grows older and seems destined to transform the world for better or for worse Aristotle's lessons may be all that stands between a benevolent king and a hungry conuerorThe underlying theme of the novel as asserted in its title is Aristotle's uest to find the golden mean within Alexander The golden mean is that desirable middle between extremes the perfect euilibrium between excess and insufficiency In Alexander's case the stable center between war and academia the physical and the mental arrogance and humilityYou must look for the mean between extremes the point of balance The point will differ from man to man There is not a universal standard of virtue to cover all situations at all times Context must be taken into account specificity what is best at a particular place and time pg 188Aristotle's relationship with Alexander is a complex one They have great affection for one another yet they're often at great odds It's a classic tale of youthful exuberance chafing against the wisdom of age Their honest and direct conversations surrounding their differing viewpoints are some of the best exchanges in the book Truly there just weren't enough of themThe Golden Mean is that rare example of a book that is too laconic for its own good While it's a lesson in economy this story of Aristotle and Alexander had so much to give Every interaction between these two historical heavyweights bristles with vim and vigor; there is a potency and significance to the relationship that hasn't been seen very often in the history of the entire world I found myself lusting after each discussion lesson and argument The Golden Mean could have easily been twice as long easily without suffering from verbosity Aristotle spends seven years as Alexander's tutor a period that shapes the boy into the philosophic conueror who sought to unite the entire world To focus on the golden mean and this only is too limited a portrayal But it's clear that Lyon only sought to tell this part of the tale so it's perhaps unfair to want for things she had no intention of portrayingThrough Aristotle we modern readers are able to see the world through primitive eyes One in which house slaves are the norm death is swift and common and life is altogether dramatic and challenging And this is perhaps where the novel succeeds best I was fascinated by Aristotle's explanations for natural phenomena that are completely wrong as we understand them today but were the starting point for rational inuiry that would eventually lead to modern scienceThis is a testament to the honesty of Lyon's story her no holds barred portrayal of both Aristotle and Alexander; one a seemingly bi polar instructor perhaps too resolute and steadfast in his own proficiencies the other a brilliant but arrogant student prone to both fawning and petulance Neither of these men are perfect They are in truth far from it But their ability to recognize and control their own hubris is what allowed them to achieve greatnessDespite having no discernible thrust to the story The Golden Mean is a literary page turner At times meandering at others out of focus the novel overcomes these slight flaws to become an extremely entertaining and enlightening historical fiction The worst I can say about it is that it simply didn't have enough of what was there Lyon choosing the mean between the extremes of verbosity and economy may have done herself a disservice


  10. Lilian Nattel Lilian Nattel says:

    The Golden Mean by Annabel Lyon is terrific I'll start with that and recommend that you go out and buy it This is a novel about Aristotle before he became Aristotle He isn't a young man when the book begins He is 37 years old and is inspecting his wife's vulva and vagina out of intellectual curiosity His curiosity is great and he covets knowledge of all things The story follows his experiences for the next 7 years or so while he is the tutor of Alexander the Great before he became the Great still just the kid of King Philip of Macedon The capital city Pella is a rough and tumble backwater Aristotle longs for Athens where he will beginning in middle age found an academy and write the works that will influence science and thought for the next 1500 years or The story is told in the first person and it's very much an interior journey There is no overarching narrative no through line of plot but it held my interest throughout because it's so very well done The voice of Aristotle his thoughts his feelings his perspective and reminiscences are compelling I know that this is one of the buzz words of blurbs along with tour de force but in this case the word is the right one The historical period is brought vividly to life not in external details but through this perspective Aristotle is a nerd in a world of jocks an intellectual among uncultured warriors whose king wants to put some shine on his court Aristotle is both respected and mocked seen as effeminate and yet oddly valued A king's friend he is aware of his precarious position He is a man of great mental powers and at the same time a man of his period shocked when his wife experiences sexual pleasure not especially kind to women or slaves but considerate than some Of necessity since ancient Greece restricted women's movements especially upper class women the story is mostly about men but Lyon conveys the poignancy of this restriction effectively One moment stands out for me especially when Alexander's mother comes to visit him at school and pays dearly for it because she is not supposed to leave her uarters I also enjoyed the character and voice of the slavemidwife Athea As an aside I liked her so much I was thinking that if I was writing the book she would be my main character and then laughed at myself because of course I did that in The River Midnight albeit set in a later historical periodThis must have been a hard book to bring to a conclusion because there isn't a narrative arc There is no resolution just another stage in the journey I say this because my only uibble with this book and it's a small one is at the end The last few pages are like the rest terrific But just before that there is a conversation between Aristotle and Alexander that sums up their relationship and I just couldn't picture it as real But then it's over the author returns to Aristotle's voice which has been so yes I'll say it again compelling throughout Aristotle leaves for Athens He is about to become Aristotle Interior first person stories are not my favourite form It has to be well executed indeed to hold my interest to impress and stay with me The Golden Mean did


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The Golden Mean [Reading] ➿ The Golden Mean By Annabel Lyon – Buyprobolan50.co.uk 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 phi 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 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 The Golden PDF/EPUB ² a necessity amid the ever sinister intrigues of Philip’s courtTold 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 conueror whose views of the world still resonate today.