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The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation, Volume…

by M. T. Anderson

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7913320,838 (4.07)25
After escaping a death sentence in the summer of 1775, Octavian and his tutor find shelter but no safe harbor in British-occupied Boston and, persuaded by Lord Dunmore's proclamation offering freedom to slaves who join his counterrevolutionary Royal Ethiopian Regiment, Octavian and his friends soon find themselves engaged in naval raids on the Virginia coastline as the Revolutionary War breaks out in full force.… (more)
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» See also 25 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 33 (next | show all)
Just finished this. I had enjoyed the first book, but I wasn't hugely impressed by it. This second book was better, possibly because by this point I had more familiarity with the characters and situation, and it was easier to get into. For most of the book, my rating held steady at 3.5 or 4 stars, but the ending brought it up to a solid 5. Honestly, the ending was what made this story. Together, these two novels are a wonderful piece of historical fiction. ( )
  -sunny- | Jul 15, 2014 |
Another masterpiece from Anderson. This is the second and final book about Octavian Nothing, and it tells the story of the American Revolution from a unique viewpoint. The meaning of liberty is slippery, indeed.

Octavian is a slave who does work for both sides of the conflict at different points. His companions are achingly real. My favorite character is perhaps Bono, who is by turns hilarious and profane. Here's my favorite bit of Bono dialogue, where he is talking to Octavian, who is ill.

"Sweet mercy in a firkin!" swore Bono. "Not another word of your damn metaphorizing! By God, don't you have vomiting to do?"

The story is impeccably researched and searingly hard to stomach, infused with sadness and intellect. Highly recommended, but do read the first one before you pick this up.

The only drawback, for me, is the lingering tendency to talk in a slightly stilted Octavian manner. ( )
  satyridae | Apr 5, 2013 |
I am in awe of Anderson's genius!!! ( )
  Sullywriter | Apr 3, 2013 |
I'm not rating this because I can't be fair to it. It's an amazingly detailed, rich creation, with language that sounds so pitch-perfect to things actually written in the 18th century. But that made it so very difficult to get through.

And while I recognize this book's literary greatness, the story just doesn't do it for me, and I had a hard time caring about any of them. If this hadn't been an audio I wouldn't have gotten through it. So, a fantastic book if you like revolutionary war history, but not a fantastic book for me. I'm disappointed in myself.
  librarybrandy | Mar 31, 2013 |
This second volume is less engaging than the first, though still ultimately enjoyable. Octavian is bored, and often, so is the reader. This is tale of a claustrophobic, uncertain time, which also affects the reader. I read the first book very quickly, but this volume took more work. I admire this diptych very much, but I'm not sure that this half would hold a young reader's attention wel. ( )
  OshoOsho | Mar 30, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 33 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
M. T. Andersonprimary authorall editionscalculated
James, Peter FrancisReadersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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The rain poured from the heavens as we fled across the mud-flats, that scene of desolation; it soaked through our clothes and bit at the skin with its chill.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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After escaping a death sentence in the summer of 1775, Octavian and his tutor find shelter but no safe harbor in British-occupied Boston and, persuaded by Lord Dunmore's proclamation offering freedom to slaves who join his counterrevolutionary Royal Ethiopian Regiment, Octavian and his friends soon find themselves engaged in naval raids on the Virginia coastline as the Revolutionary War breaks out in full force.

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Candlewick Press

2 editions of this book were published by Candlewick Press.

Editions: 0763629502, 0763646261

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