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The Plot to Save Socrates | [Paul Levinson]

The Plot to Save Socrates

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. Thomas, the elderly scholar who has shown her the document, disappears, and Sierra immediately begins to track down the provenance of the manuscript, with the help of her classical scholar boyfriend, Max.
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Publisher's Summary

Paul Levinson's astonishing new science fiction novel is a surprise and a delight.

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. Thomas, the elderly scholar who has shown her the document, disappears, and Sierra immediately begins to track down the provenance of the manuscript, with the help of her classical scholar boyfriend, Max. The trail leads her to a time machine in a gentlemen's club in London and in New York, and into the past, and to a time traveler from her future, posing as Heron of Alexandria in 150 AD.

Complications, mysteries, travels, and time loops proliferate as Sierra tries to discern who is planning to save the greatest philosopher in human history, or to do so herself. And she finds that time travel raises more questions than it answers. Fascinating historical characters from Alcibiades (of the honeyed thighs) and Thomas Appleton, the great 19th century American publisher, to Socrates himself, appear. With surprises in every chapter, Paul Levinson has outdone himself in The Plot to Save Socrates.

© and (P)2006 Listen & Live Audio, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"Light, engaging." (Publishers Weekly)
"A quick-to-read, entertaining treatment of the problems inherent in time travel with style and flair." (Booklist)

“A lively cast of historical figures populates this epoch-bending adventure, highly recommended especially for fans of alternate history novels.” ( Library Bookwatch)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.2 (127 )
5 star
 (19)
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 (32)
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Overall
3.6 (29 )
5 star
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3.6 (28 )
5 star
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Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Sherry Oakland, CA USA 05-18-07
    Sherry Oakland, CA USA 05-18-07 Member Since 2006

    “I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living.” ― Dr. Seuss

    HELPFUL VOTES
    53
    ratings
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    449
    15
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    4
    14
    Overall
    "Not perfect, but enjoyable"

    I did really enjoy this book. It does jump around a lot, and I found myself confused from time to time. I could forgive that though; you just have to suspend disbelief and roll with it. I would also recommend reading Plato's Crito first if you can; I had read it for an Ethics class so the context gave the book extra interest for me. It's fairly short and can be found on the internet. I would recommend this book if you enjoy time travel science fiction, with an intelligent female lead character, and interesting and orginal historical connections.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Horace Prescott, AZ, USA 01-30-07
    Horace Prescott, AZ, USA 01-30-07 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
    ratings
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    319
    4
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    0
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    Overall
    "Time travel twister"

    I respectfully disagree with the other reviewers. I was thoroughly caught up in the time travel twists and turns. The characters WERE interesting and I did care what happened to them. It's also a chance to pick up a little Greek history along the way. All-in-all this is one of the most intriguing time travel novels I've read and kept me guessing till the end.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    marcotech Austin, TX United States 07-21-06
    marcotech Austin, TX United States 07-21-06 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
    50
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    152
    8
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    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Show promise -didn't deliver"

    The idea for this time travel story looked interesting, but the book rambled, poor characterization, as well as many sructural flow problems and logic did not abound. I was quite disappointed.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Colleen Fitzgerald GPW, MI 06-08-06
    Colleen Fitzgerald GPW, MI 06-08-06

    cmaryfitz

    HELPFUL VOTES
    17
    ratings
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    101
    6
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    Overall
    "Don't waste a credit."

    This story jumps around so much that it is difficult to follow. The characters are so one dimensional that you really don't care what happens to them, which is good because you are not going to know. Way too many loose ends. Don't bother.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andre El Paso, TX, United States 10-06-11
    Andre El Paso, TX, United States 10-06-11 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    29
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    38
    28
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    "Fun and Historic"

    This is a very good read, and very good look at history also. Not to mention fun at times. With some twists.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chris Chicago, IL, USA 08-19-09
    Chris Chicago, IL, USA 08-19-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    1
    1
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    "mediocre writing ruins it"

    Time travel as a plot device can be tired, but this idea has a bit of originality to it--tied with the history of Greek philosophy. But mediocre writing (not awful but not good) made me bored enough that I haven't even finished it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lilian New Hope, PA, USA 02-19-09
    Lilian New Hope, PA, USA 02-19-09 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    20
    1
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    "Historical SF, loved it!"

    If you're not good at keeping up with movies that twist and turn, this book is not for you. A great fun read that keeps you moving through time and history and makes you constantly connect the dots, even as they circle back on themselves. Loved it!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stephen phoenix, AZ, United States 10-09-08
    Stephen phoenix, AZ, United States 10-09-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    3
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    "twist and shout"

    WOW - that was fun trying to keep up with. The twists and turns gave a refreshing spin on my favorite topic - time travel.
    I can see this one being made for film.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Linda Ramona, Ca, United States 01-11-14
    Linda Ramona, Ca, United States 01-11-14 Member Since 2006
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    45
    4
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Unpredictable!"

    This book is one you want to listen to closely. Full of plot twists and creativity.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Neil Amsterdam, Netherlands 10-06-09
    Neil Amsterdam, Netherlands 10-06-09 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    161
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    Overall
    "Errr... yikes."

    Production is good on this audiobook, as is narration. Shanahan does an admirable job, and with a few exceptions the music and effects are very unobtrusive.
    However, the book itself is very deeply flawed. It's a shame, because I like the concepts on a high level. In the end, there are too many characters who are too poorly defined, and the structure is pretty awful. The end is, in particular, frustrating. It seems like Levinson knew how he wanted to tie his threads together but decided to do it in "exposition form" in a single chapter at the end with zero dramatic impact. The writing is, I suppose, attempting to seem a bit socratic with long interrogative and hypothetical conversations, but serves mainly to slow down and muddle the "plot" mentioned in the title. Having neither the "heroine" nor the "villian" appear in the final chapters further reduces any sense of climax.
    I want to encourage this author, narrator and producers to keep working together, but Paul Levinson needs to sort his structure and pacing out!


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 10 results
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  • Paul
    Walton-on-the-Naze, United Kingdom
    2/17/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A proper time travel romp!"
    Where does The Plot to Save Socrates rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Not exactly a top ten hit, but I'd say maybe 20th out of 100


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    This was a surprisingly easy listen, I think it only took me one long journey, and I was there. I must admit I do love those little time travel quirks.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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