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Extended Audio Sample The Golden Mean Audiobook, by Annabel Lyon Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,386 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Annabel Lyon Narrator: Nick Cordero Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: August 2009 ISBN: 9781449814397
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Annabel Lyon crafts prose that has been nominated for a slew of awards and earned her a reputation as a deft literary stylist. In Lyon’s novel The Golden Mean, a Scotia Giller Prize finalist, Aristotle narrates his time spent mentoring King Philip’s son, the boy who would become known for all of history as Alexander the Great. Fearful of the boy’s appetite for conquest, the great philosopher tries to impart in him the wisdom of choosing a middle path between extremes. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • A 2009 Scotiabank Giller Prize Finalist
  • A 2009 Governor General’s Literary Award Finalist for Fiction

Listener Opinions

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Jaimie | 2/7/2014

    " Didn't finish this book. I wasn't enjoying it, then a good friend said she'd finished it and it didn't get any better! Really disappointed as I bought it based on good reviews on CBC and in a newspaper (the Vancouver Sun, I think). "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tamari | 2/5/2014

    " I'm not totally convinced that the characterisation of Aristotle, who acts as the narrator, is accurate. The author does offer an interesting depiction of a genius whose mind is so active he has bipolar tendencies. I initially had some problems with the flow of the writing, the text seemed to jump from one topic to another and I'd often have to reread parts to get things in order. The book does improve as it goes on. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Blackley | 2/4/2014

    " I would really only give this book 3.5 stars. It was pretty good. The writing style was a bit clunky for my taste. With the exception of Aristotle, the characters were not very fleshed out- caricatures only. I adored the first half but realized that I was waiting for more depth and emotion that never came. I was rather disappointed overall. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Randy | 1/11/2014

    " After NPR gave it a raving review, I anticipated a historical novel on the same level as Irving Stone's The Agony and Ecstasy, a powerful and eloquent read about Michaelangelo; but The Golden Mean, a well researched story based on Aristotle, falls short - a tedious and confusing plot with hard to follow dialogue, and characterizations, while historical correct, weak and forgettable. A major disappointment, but credit to Annabel Lyon for her determined research to understand the dimensions and impact on Western knowledge from the great Greek philosopher. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Alyssa | 1/9/2014

    " I was hoping for so much more from this book. I enjoyed certain parts of it, but on the whole I felt is was a little dull and at times the writing was ambiguous. **Tons of language. I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jennifer | 1/3/2014

    " I really enjoyed this book, and felt transported back into time when life wasn't easy at all, and there were very different 'rules' that people lived by. Learning about Aristotle was very cool! I had been wanting to read this for a long time and wasn't disappointed at all. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rebecca | 1/3/2014

    " This was ok - neat to read about what life may have been like for famous historical figures, but not riveting. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Margarita | 12/21/2013

    " Strong, muscular prose that is fitting given the subject and time period - A well crafted story. One minor critique is Lyon's use of the word "fuck" in one of her character's speech. The earliest known origin of the word dates far after Aristotle's time. Its use in her story is noticeably jarring. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rozonda | 12/20/2013

    " This book gained my favour by depciting my least favourite philosopher, Aristotle, as a simple, pure and true-to himself man, and young Alexander as a boy with a bg family burden he's dealing with as he can. realism, simplicity and purity are the main traits of this book, and they make it lovable and worth reading. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Jaimie | 12/18/2013

    " Didn't finish this book. I wasn't enjoying it, then a good friend said she'd finished it and it didn't get any better! Really disappointed as I bought it based on good reviews on CBC and in a newspaper (the Vancouver Sun, I think). "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jan | 12/17/2013

    " A well-written book chronicling the time that Aristotle tutored Alexander the Great. Historically accurate as to the sequence of events, the author is able to weave a story about the people and their possible thoughts, feelings, etc. I enjoyed reading it immensely and will enjoy discussing this book at our book club tonight. It should be a great discussion! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 deanna | 12/14/2013

    " Truly interesting - i loved Aristotle's voice, his slight cluelessness, and deep wisdom. Wonderfully engrossing. I didn't want to put it down and read the entire thing in an afternoon. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Phemie London | 12/9/2013

    " This is an historical novel about the life of Aristotle who tutors a young Alexander the great. An interesting read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rosie Tighe | 11/28/2013

    " I really enjoyed this book, but found the constant psycho-analysis grating at times. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Stephanie | 11/27/2013

    " Gave up. If you know more about the period or are interested in it, this might hold your interest more. This is a fictional account of the time that Aristotle spent with the young Alexander (eventually to become The Great). It just didn't work for me. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Allison | 9/14/2013

    " Pseudo interesting...a "what could have been" kind of relationship between Aristotle and Alexander. Overall, I found myself wishing for it to be over, or at least do something. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 David | 8/25/2013

    " Another one of these parables of Alexander and his teacher Aristotle written with a modern sense. The one battle was made up and I decided no thanks. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kirstin Morris | 7/8/2013

    " I loved it. Annabel Lyon brings the ancient past to life in a vivid, easily accessible way. I thought all of her characters were human representations of the two dimensional historical characters that we all know. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Tamara | 5/24/2013

    " I really couldn't get into this book... perhaps I didn't give it much of a chance "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nick Hodge | 3/30/2013

    " Interesting, but not compelling. Aristotle led an interesting life, but this book isn't about his accomplishments. More about life as an established, reasonably well-off member of Alexander's court. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Brenda Dolha | 12/12/2012

    " Found it to be a difficult read- not that familiar with the historical context, and following the names! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Annette | 10/30/2012

    " I enjoyed reading the book, but I did not like the characters. Aristotle was described much too worldly and contemporary to be credible. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kirstin Morris | 8/11/2012

    " I loved it. Annabel Lyon brings the ancient past to life in a vivid, easily accessible way. I thought all of her characters were human representations of the two dimensional historical characters that we all know. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Shital | 7/26/2012

    " Didn't really enjoy the writing of this book. Hard to say why, since the subject matter was interesting: imagining the relationship that Aristotle had with a young Alexander the Great. I think it was the writing style that threw me off. That and the swearing! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kevin | 7/20/2012

    " I enjoyed this fictional writing of interaction between Aristotle and Alexander the Great. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Eileend | 2/19/2012

    " Aristotle as a depressive? Couldn't pick up this book again after getting mired down halfway through. The problem with writing fiction with Aristotle its that the author has to be nearly as sharp as he is. Lyon isn't up to the task. To be fair, very few people would be. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Shirley | 9/28/2011

    " Really disappointing, the writing was terrific but was graphic in a way that was really disturbing and I wished I had not read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lynn Kearney | 8/13/2011

    " Another finalist for the two major Canadian literary awards. I loved this book - Aristotle as the friend of Philip of Macedon and teacher of Alexander. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 David | 6/28/2011

    " Another one of these parables of Alexander and his teacher Aristotle written with a modern sense. The one battle was made up and I decided no thanks. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sharon | 6/19/2011

    " Interesting because it deals with Aristotle and the young Alexander the Great, but I prefer the Mary Stewart series about Alexander. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Charmaine | 6/17/2011

    " Only read 1/2 and was bored. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Angela | 6/6/2011

    " I found the relationship between Aristotle and Alexander beautiful. Not to mention the portrayal of education which has changed so much. There is a challenging depiction of Aristotle's view of Pythias and women. Gripping.
    "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Wendy | 5/18/2011

    " "Besides the fact that I can't figure out the plot, I'm enjoying this book. It's a fictional biography on the life of Aristotle and the writing style is phenomenal. She puts you in the point of view of him - a stubborn, early scientist who works with the King's son." "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kim | 5/17/2011

    " I liked this for the history. Not a memorable read for me though. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kirstin | 4/22/2011

    " I loved it. Annabel Lyon brings the ancient past to life in a vivid, easily accessible way. I thought all of her characters were human representations of the two dimensional historical characters that we all know. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Dale | 3/11/2011

    " This really ought to have been an interesting novel about Aristotle and Alexander. But it just never came to life for me, and seemed plodding and dull throughout. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Joel | 2/9/2011

    " This was a captivating if at times crude read. Lyon gracefully renders such mythical historical figures as Aristotle and Alexander the Great in a complex web of emotions and intellect. "

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About the Author
Author Annabel Lyon

Annabel Lyon’s story collection, Oxygen, and book of novellas, The Best Thing for You, were published in Canada to wide acclaim. The Golden Mean, her first novel, is a Canadian bestseller. It won the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize and was nominated for the Scotiabank Giller Prize and the Governor General’s Award for Fiction. Lyon lives in British Columbia with her husband and two children.

About the Narrator

Nick Cordero is a stage, television, and voice actor. He has starred in numerous regional and Broadway plays, most notably in the five-time Tony-nominated musical Rock of Ages. Also an accomplished narrator, he has read novels by Jodi Picoult, Walter Dean Myers, and Nick McDonell.