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The Plato Papers:
A Prophecy

by  Peter Ackroyd

    t the turn of the thirty-eighth century, London's greatest orator, Plato, regularly delivers public lecture on the long, tumultuous history of what is now a tranquil city. Plato focuses particularly on the Age of Mouldwarp, which spanned from a.d. 1500 until 2300, when the sun disappeared and the planet was held in darkness. 

Plato presents what is known about that period from archaeological evidence. He lectures on the prolific author Charles D.'s greatest novel, The Origin of Species. And he explores the confusing rituals of Mouldwarp, including the cult of webs and nets that covered and enslaved the population. In the midst of these public performances, Plato begins a dialogue with his soul that leads him closer to the citizens of Mouldwarp than any strict historical inquiry might allow.

THE PLATO PAPERS, as with the best of Ackroyd's fiction, treads a thin line between fantasy and biography, the genre of which Ackroyd is a heralded master. It is at once remarkably funny and erudite, a wise and entertaining portrayal of the ways in which the past is misrepresented. Perfectly timed for the year 2000 as we imagine millennia beyond our own, "this masterpiece of contemporary writing will entertain readers for years to come" (Jay Parini, author of The Last Station).

 

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