This book, at least, is accurately named. There are two speakers engaged in a dialogue throughout the course of this book, and they spend every word of it agreeing with each other about how well each of them understands friendship, which is the subject of the book.
To be fair, most of what is said regarding friendship in the course of Concord is nothing much that one could disagree with – and other than the way it is phrased (we use commas and full stops for a reason, Grayling), there’s not much in it you wouldn’t find in a self help book on the topic.
What sets it aside is Grayling’s insistence on staging it as a faux-Socratic dialogue. To my mind, this actually works against the purpose of the book, as it is a remarkably dry prose style (we read the ancients for their wits, not their witticisms) which is further complicated by Grayling’s remarkably verbose and circuitous authorial voice. And because it is two friends discussing how awesome friendship is, it can’t help but sound a little self-congratulatory, although unlike the other books so far, it at least has an excuse to sound so.
Next up, Lamentations. So that should be fun.