From Library Journal
Scruton has created a witty work that operates on several levels: as a gentle satire on the long-lost-manuscript genre, a parody of certain Platonic dialogs, and a tool for teaching some fairly difficult concepts. The preface, which outlines the discovery of the "manuscript," sounds like the plot of one too many novels (as it is intended to), but the "dialogs" have very definite links with ideas present in the "real" dialogs they parody. Those familiar with the Symposium, the Laws, the Parmenides, and the Republic will find Scruton's versions delightful and reasonably faithful to the ideas of the originals. Two of the dialogs presented here are ostensibly written by Socrates' wife Xanthippe?not the shrewish, nagging Xanthippe of the original but rather a bright, articulate, and creative woman. Scruton's characters have a three-dimensional quality that makes his intelligently written satire of the "lost" dialogs work. Recommended for all libraries.?Terry C. Skeats, Bishop's Univ. Lib., Lennoxville, Quebec
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"What is original is the working of it into a richly complex, compelling, fluent and natural-seeming fiction, in which each theme and topic seems spontaneously to arise out of its predecessor, and the whole to be woven together into a convincing vision, unified but not unitary, of the nature and ends of life. (If that sounds Wagnerian, it is because it is.) It is a celebration of the only meaningful freedom, a thing which we learn exclusively by immersion in a society which values it, and only by accepting and internalizing that society's constraints." -- Robert Grant, Philosophical Quarterly