The eminence and status of the author are not in doubt. The name, for example, was not difficult to interpret. Poe is an abbreviation of Poet, and by common consent the rest was deciphered: E. A. Poe = Eminent American Poet. It seems clear enough that the writers of America enjoyed a blessed anonymity, even in the Age of Mouldwarp. The word 'poet' is known to all of us, but as there are no chants or hymns in 'Tales and Histories' we believe the term was applied indiscriminately to all writers of that civilisation.Plato also elaborates on the era's strange rites and rituals, including "the cult of webs and nets" that apparently covered and enslaved the population. But then in the midst of these brilliant, precise public performances, he begins a dialogue with his soul. Doubt begins to creep in (Is the past really past? And are the rituals of the present so superior?), leading him on a fateful journey.
The Plato Papers is an extraordinary novel. As with the best of Peter Ackroyd's fiction, it treads a thin line between fantasy and biography, the genre he so elegantly mastered in his now classic studies Dickens, T.S. Eliot, and The Life of Thomas More. Wise and salutary, it is a wonderfully observed satire of misprision and the arrogance of philosophical certainty. --Jerry Brotton --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
In London of the distant future (3700 A. D., give or take), hardly anything is known of the past and what has somehow survived, it seems, just happens to be stuff that, in today's... Read morePublished on December 13, 2010 by D. Cloyce Smith
The book is witty, funny, entertaining (for the most part) a bit thought provoking, philosophical, and overall pretty fun to read. Read morePublished on January 14, 2010 by Brendon
This short book (took me less than two hours to read) is a riot! I am partial to Ackroyd's work, and this one is a keeper. Read morePublished on September 18, 2009 by Dick Johnson
Imagine this: In 1956 you fall into a coma, but you miraculously come out of it in 1999 (the year The Plato Papers was published). Read morePublished on March 3, 2007 by Elisabeth Harvor
Why is this a one sitting read? Because if you set the book down you're apt to not pick it up again. Translation: it took me more than one start to finish the book. Read morePublished on May 28, 2006 by M. J. Smith
This not a story of something happening, or of people (or Spirits) doing something, but of characters standing around postulating. (Very British, I guess. Read morePublished on April 25, 2006 by Barton J. Chandler
I can think of no real words to describe this novel, but I was drawn to the depth of the writing. Even the shortest sentence would provoke a kind of moral battle of the mind. Read morePublished on October 17, 2001
Peter Ackroyd's novel "The Plato Papers:A Prophesy" is a quick and enjoyable read that fires on some cylinders but not others. Read morePublished on June 10, 2001 by royaa
What appears ostensibly as a thinking man's satire of civilisation in the distamt future (in which humanity has evolved to the level of being able to occupy two planes in space at... Read morePublished on May 24, 2001 by TheIrrationalMan