The Plot to Save Socrates

The Plot to Save Socrates

by Paul Levinson

In the year 2042, Sierra, a young graduate student in Classics is shown a new dialog of Socrates, recently discovered, in which a time traveler tries to argue that Socrates might escape death by travel to the future!

Complications, mysteries, travels, and time loops proliferate as Sierra tries to discern who is planning to save the greatest philosopher in human history.

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I think it is a great way to start the week personally, another reason to wake up, all that kinda stuff. 4 Guys, 3 words, two stories, read on one Blogtalk Radio Show. She embarks on an adventure across past, present, and future, trying to puzzle out Andros' identity and save Socrates. In the end, Socrates' fate and Andros' motivations and identity unexpectedly conclude a quick-to-read, entertaining treatment of the problems inherent in time travel with style and flair. Take equal parts time travel, history, philosophy, and mix it all together for some fun .Great recipe for a great read. Go to Goodreads and become our friend there and suggest books for us to read and post on.

THE PLOT TO SAVE SOCRATES Theres an old saying, If you love Greek history and youre fascinated by time travel, youll love Paul Levinsons The Plot To Save Socrates.

Paul Levinson's ambitious novel, "The Plot to Save Socrates," reminds me of how much I've forgotten. Levinson writes, "She had to find out the date.

The Plot to Save Socrates is a time-travel adventure with a generous mixture of philosophy. Making the technology not-too-precise is also effective for plotting; it makes a big difference when you can set a date and be sure of it, or if you might not end up at exactly the time you hoped for -- being off a few hours, days, weeks, months, or years. But then (2) the second problem is that the author isn't really comfortable with anything other than the culture typical of educated, liberal late 20th century Americans living on the coasts, and he shows an inability to empathize with any other standpoint. First, all "good" characters share the same values, no matter what time they come from: hedonism, democracy, secularism, education, these are accepted as basic values, values without any clear rationale, except of course that these are the values of a certain kind of American at a certain point in time. The author recognizes his intelligence and the few convincing displays of philosophical acumen belong to young Plato during his brief appearances, but he continually suggests that Plato is a bad character in some important ways (cowardice, plagiarism, pessimism, brooding) and that Plato doesn't well-represent Socrates. This antipathy is annoying and extends from beginning to end, due to the author's unwillingness to forgive or sympathize to any degree with Plato's distrust for democracy or more importantly his contempt for hedonism. The author, I think, simply cannot comprehend the appeal of an otherworldly ethic like Plato's, but frankly it provides some relief from the unending ogling that the male characters (including the 70 year old Socrates!) give to Sierra, the main (and only) female character, another annoying feature. It is instead a time rather like our own, that is, rather like post-1960's America, rather like the hedonistic, secular, educated America that the author is familiar with. Alcibiades comes off as basically no different from the typical contemporary educated American of the coasts, which is surely an absurd result. The ancient Greeks are apparently just like us.

The Plot To Save Socrates is more towards a complicated time travel caper than what I was expecting. I don't care much for books such as Crichton's Timeline which (to my way of thinking) are basically historical fiction with some characters who are "outsiders" to the historical culture being portrayed. It didn't really turn out to be "historical fiction" in that the characters didn't tend to spend most of the book immersed in one particular historical setting.

To start, this book doesn't have a linear plot line, which leaves you with a real lack of complete understanding of the characters until the very end. If there was any flaw to be found aside from the unique non-linear plot line, I'd say that falls to the characters.

I suspect however that the position may need to be in a high-backed wing chair while wearing a tweed jacket with elbow patches. I'll definitely be needing some Scotch.

Had I written this book I would of taken a whole lot more of creative license...The index was eye opening to the realities of many of the characters in history as far as we know. The book ended abruptly and in my opinion lacking a pay off.

I read a lot of books.

Paul Levinson, PhD, is an author, professor, and media commentator. Both novels were reissued as "author's cut" ebooks in 2012, and Unburning Alexandria, sequel to The Plot to Save Socrates, was published in 2013.