The Plato Papers Paperback
On ritual occasions Plato, the orator, summons the citizens of London to impart the ancient history of their city, dwelling particularly on the unhappy era of Mouldwarp (AD 1500-2300).
He lectures on The Origin of Species by the nineteenth-century novelist Charles Dickens and on Sigmund Freud; whilst providing a glossary of twentieth century terms, and explaining such early myths of creation as 'super-string theory' and 'relativity'.
But then he has a dream, or vision, or he goes on a real journey - opinions are divided - and enters a vast underground cavern, where citizens of Mouldwarp London still live.
On his return, Plato shares his stories of this lost world, but his words spread consternation among his fellow citizens and they quickly put him on trial for corrupting the youth with his lies and fables.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 160 pages
- Publisher: Vintage Publishing
- Publication Date: 02/03/2000
- Category: Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)
- ISBN: 9780099289951
Showing 1 - 4 of 4 reviews.
Review by wyvernfriend
Interesting if very weird book about a historian/orator called Plato, who dwells on the ancient history of the era referred to as Mouldwarp (AD 1500 to 2300), interesting looks at how ideas and concepts can be warped by perception. It does follow Plato's Trial quite closely and sometimes is too clever but things like that happens.
Review by MiserableLibrarian
A very brief novel (138 p., with a number of blank and partially filled pages), the premise seems to be that an orator in 3700 AD named Plato speaks his mind in London, and is eventually charged with “corrupting the young by spinning lies and fables.” Part philosophy, part science fiction, Ackroyd makes a number of clever observations on our own age, while putting forth the notion that everyone in every age must be willing to question assumptions and “cherished” beliefs.
Review by isabelx
I found this quite heavy going and it took me ages to read the 137 pages.
Review by DinadansFriend
Not one of the Ackroyd must-reads, in my opinion. It is stylistically interesting, but seems obscure about the theme of the tale. It uses a good deal of imagery arising from Plato's cave. Perhaps we are dealing with a story about the amount of direct and brutal experience is compatible with normal levels of human comfort.