books   art   blog   bio   visits   calendar   media   freebies   etc.  

Thursday, December 07, 2006

"Octavian Nothing" - a review

     “The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation, Volume One: The Pox Party,” by M.T. Anderson is not a thoroughly modern book. In fact its voice, amazingly accurate to the dawn of the revolutionary war, is the most intriguing thing about it. This flawless voice, so different from Anderson's other books, deserves admiration and makes for a captivating read along the lines of “Wuthering Heights” or “Jane Eyre.” But unlike both, its romance is not one of love and relationships, but a longing for freedom. Extremes of social standing and racial division define that freedom in vastly different ways, but remains the collective goal.
     The story of the atypical protagonist is secondary and quietly reveals itself with his growth and developing awareness of his extraordinary situation. I won’t drop any spoilers other than to say, it’s worth the wait.
     Set against an epic and insecure time in our history, we have the luxury of knowing how events turn out. This does not prevent us, however, from thoroughly engaging ourselves in the moment, experiencing the anger, paranoia, and fear of the time, and cheering for the main character’s ultimate success.
     Did "Octavian Nothing" deserve the National Book Award this year? Oh yeah.



Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

All Artwork © Elizabeth O. Dulemba,  - Y'all play nice, okay?