I checked off ‘a National Book Award winner’ and read what’s got to be the winner of ‘longest title ever’: “The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation, Volume 1: The Pox Party”!
I really enjoyed this book, and it surprised me on many levels. The first one was the language itself; the book takes place at the start of the Revolutionary War in 1774, and is written in a very old style reminiscent of the period. The language is florid and a bit obtuse, especially for the first half of the novel when the main character is growing up in a science commune learning from philosophers. I really enjoyed the narrative style, and the subtle communication of implied subtext that gives the reader the sense that something is off with this child’s upbringing.
And then halfway through, everything changes. I don’t want to spoil anything, but it got REALLY interesting for me midway through the novel, when not only does a major plot point affect the story, but it affects the writing itself. I won’t say more than that since I was blindsided by the change myself and I thought it was really effective that way. Just trust me; everything changes for the second half. I’m definitely looking forward to reading Volume 2 at some point this year.
Up Next: I read ‘a book with more than 600 pages’…