Saturday, March 01, 2008

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

M.T. Anderson, The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing: Traitor to the Nation. Excellent, even though it has the longest title ever (there's another subtitle- Volume I: The Pox Party - which would have been great alone). Octavian is a classic hero, as precocious as his namesake, and absolutely indomitable. The children's literature I've always loved best contains heartless adversaries, punishing circumstances, and plot and characters that completely suck you in. The angles of this story about science, oppression, freedom, hypocrisy, and greed were incredible - the complexity and honesty of the perspective made every fiction of the revolutionary war I read as a kid seem hagiographic and shallow.

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