November 20, 2006

An Astonishing Life

This book is a 2006 Cybil Award Nominee for YA Fiction.

Octavian is a prince, and he lives the life of a prince, in a large home, dressed in silks and satins, taught his Latin and Greek by a host of scholars who flock around him. Octavian is so importan that even his poop is weighed, as the scholars keep track of what he takes in, and what he puts out. The only thing Octavian has to worry about is learning his lessons, adding his sums, and staying out of the one locked room in the house. It's just life as Octavian understands it... but it's not the life of everyone in the 18th century, as Octavian finds out. One day he opens the door to a room he is forbidden to enter, and he finds out that the life he has knowns is frankly, not at all what he thought. Now the future yawns as a terrifying void, and he's not sure just what will happen. The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation, Vol I, The Pox Party is sometimes a difficult book to read, sometimes gross, sometimes gorgeous, and sometimes really scary. Readers who like dark, gothic work will enjoy this, as will people who like to read another viewpoint of American history. It's a bit challenging, but at the end, as the pace quickens, you will be anxious to know what happens in Volume II.

1 comment:

blackinc said...

Octavian Nothing is one of the best pieces of historical fiction to cross my path in an eon. I've actually already blogged it. See

M.T. Anderson is a master.