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Friday, August 14, 2009

The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing... by M.T. Anderson

Title: The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing: Traitor to the Nation, Volume 1: The Pox Party
Author: M.T. Anderson
ISBN: 0763624020
Publisher: Candlewick Press

"He is a boy dressed in silks and white wigs and given the finest classical education. Raised by a mysterious group of rational philosophers known only by numbers, the boy and his mother - a princess in exile from a faraway land - are the only people in their household assigned names. As the boy's regal mother, Cassiopeia, entertains the house scholars with her beauty and wit, young Octavian begins to question the purpose behind his guardians' fanatical studies. Only after he dares to open a forbidden door does he learn the hideous nature of their experiments - and his own chilling role in them.

I had been told many times that I should read this book - and I finally got around to it. It's a bit of a daunting book, but the story is a very interesting one. It seems at first that it's going to be very deep and philosophical... and it surely doesn't disappoint.

This is a part of history that I'm not sure I know very much about - and an area that I'm not so familiar with. So the ideas of the things taking place in the story are very foreign to me (which they're probably foreign to a lot of readers because it was so long ago). But the perspective of the boy is very intriguing and I kind of enjoyed concocting him in my head.

For as interesting as the story is, I really had a hard time getting through the book. The story is one that has tons of ups and downs and perspectives and thoughts... and so on. It's a little hard to keep up with in the beginning and it took me a little time to get my head around the concepts.

I would probably recommend this to only the best readers and to ones very interested in history. But it's definitely well written - just a little more intense than I'm used to. but I still liked it. :)
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