The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation

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The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation: Volume 1: The Pox Party

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780606205009
  • Publisher: Demco Media
  • Publication date: 1/25/2011
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Pages: 353
  • Product dimensions: 5.84 (w) x 8.07 (h) x 1.23 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 31 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(20)

4 Star

(5)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(2)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 32 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 9, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Not an easy read but a very worthwhile one

    Put it this way - no amount of praise, ever, in a million years, could come close to doing this book justice. I mean, holy crap. It might not be a page-turner, per se, and I certainly had to keep my dictionary handy - I mean, how often do you find dialogue like "I can see that if we allow the slightest divagation on the subject of your charms, we shall never have time to hear the tale of your escape" in YA lit? - but wow, was it worth it.

    I might have enjoyed this book even more than the first installment - everyone's characters seemed more fleshed out, Octavian came into his own, and it chilled me to the bone in a way that The Pox Party never did. But maybe I liked it better because I knew what to expect - I remember having to pick up The Pox Party several times before I made it all the way to the end, which for the record, never happens to me. Either way, in The Kingdom on the Waves, M.T. Anderson's narrative is at once terrifying and breathtakingly beautiful in its prose, casting a harsh eye on the hypocrisy of our Founding Fathers' ideas of liberty.

    I was also impressed with the extensive mythological and literary sources Anderson drew from. Octavian's voice was authentic and polished in a very Colonial American way that had me forgetting, at times, that I was reading fiction. (Yes, that's a cliche, but in this case it was true.) With his nickname of Buckra and his desperate attempts to find belonging, Octavian won me over 100%. Even though on the surface we're very different, I started compiling a mental list of the ways we were the same - overachievement, perfectionism, social awkwardness, etc., etc. The fact that I was able to do that is a testament to what an incredible writer M.T. Anderson is, for sure!

    Sad is not a strong enough word to describe how I feel after reading this, and knowing that there's not going to be another sequel. What makes it worse is knowing that the author has carved out a niche so deep and so unique that I will probably never find another book like this in my life. But that's what re-reading is for, right?

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 22, 2012

    Terrible!

    I ws forced to read this awful book! It was confusing and long! Everything was hard to understand! I almost cried when i read the first few pages and relized i had to right a report on it! Its soooooooooooo terrible! F*ck the author! >:(

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 7, 2012

    2 stars for trying

    It's a book with an interesting concept, but flops badly by not appealing to the target audience and suffering from bad pacing issues. The ending was so anticlimatic that it made me want to avoid the sequel, rather than excite me for it.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 4, 2012

    Gahhh!!!!!

    I'm going to ninth grade in september, and i'm required to read this book. I can honestly say its one of the most confusing things i've read recently. The words are unecessarily long. Th author's writing style is as if he just randomly throws in long words to make it seem less childish. Don't waste your time with this book.....

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 3, 2012

    To HELP!!!!!

    305

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 13, 2012

    HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    How many pages is this book????

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 15, 2012

    Great! An enjoyable challenged!

    Im usually into books that are easy to read and quick. But this book changed my while persepctive on reading. I admit it was quite a challenging read but i promise if you love to read you will love this book. I feel every thing octavian feels. This book is not for the simple minded or for those whose do not reading. By this book you will not regret it i promise. If the book seems a little strange at the beginning dont stop. The more you read it the easier it is to understand. It also should help you build your vocabulary. This book will definately be a book that through the years will be a classic and will be required read in highschool next to shakespeare.

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  • Posted August 18, 2011

    Horrible book dont read it itbis a wastebof money and time

    This is the most horrible book i have ever read in my life. Ive actually fell asleep a couple times reading this. I only finished this book because it was required for school. Dont buy it you will severly regret it.

    0 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 15, 2011

    ????

    Is there a difference between the 9.99 and the 8.99 one?

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 23, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    My, What Big Words You Have!

    have to admit that I was very reluctant to read this book. It's been on my to-read list since it came out, and I would repeatedly pass it by in the library. Eventually, it stared me down and I was forced to check it out. The reason I kept putting it off was because I didn't particularly enjoy the first one. Yes, I appreciated its artsiness, but it was very long and quite boring.

    In this installment, we follow Octavian as he runs away once again, but this time with his tutor Dr. Trefusis. Instead of joining up with the rebels, he becomes a soldier in Lord Dunmore's Ethiopian Regiment with the promise of his freedom.

    I can honestly say this novel surprised me. I was expecting this novel to be even more dull than the first one since it was even longer. Instead, I ate it up. I think its because I actually got it this time. Perhaps I didn't like the first one because I was distracted and couldn't get into it. This time I realized the humor and was genuinely invested in Octavian's journey. It was funny, tragic, and philosophical. Nothing was sugar-coated, and sometimes the writing was brutal. The writing, tedious in the first book, was fully appreciated here. The 18th century style fitted the story and time period perfectly. Octavian grew up in this book. He really loosened up in this one and was finally showing some emotions.

    Also, through out this whole book, it reminded me of something else I read. I couldn't put my finger on it until I saw the title in another person's review. Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. They were alike in the sense of style: both were written in 18th century style, and featured letters as a technique. And the plot was alike too when I think about it. Octavian and Frankenstein's monster are both elegant experiments searching for their place in the world. I have to say I did enjoy this book more though, so if you hated Frankenstein feel free to read this one.

    I whole-heartedly recommend this novel. It is a very unique young adult book and a must for historical fiction fans looking for a challenge. It is in no way an easy read, for both the prose and material is difficult. I felt like I needed a dictionary a majority of the time. Whether you liked or disliked the first one, give this second installment a shot.

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  • Posted May 6, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Cana Rensberger for TeensReadToo.com

    For those of you who immersed yourself in the world of THE POX PARTY, you must read M. T. Anderson's second volume, THE KINGDOM ON THE WAVES. I would highly recommend you read the two volumes in order.

    In volume two, Octavian escapes the cruelty of Mr. Gitney and, with his former tutor, Dr. Trefusis, on his back, flees across the mud-flats to Boston. Once there, they are able to find lodging, trading only upon the name and reputation of the deathly ill Dr. Trefusis. With war closing in on Boston and their hostess in dire need of payment, Octavian once again finds himself with violin in hand, earning a small amount to apply toward their room and board. At this point, I was still cheering for Octavian, the escaped slave, hoping that he finally would find joy, peace and, most of all, freedom; yet at the same time, knowing that there must be more challenges ahead.

    As the Revolutionary War advances, Octavian hears that the Royalists are promising freedom to all slaves who fight for the King of England. He joins and dons his uniform, a shirt inscribed with the words "Liberty to Slaves." We are immediately immersed in the struggle to prepare an ill-equipped regiment for war. He becomes a member of Lord Dunmore's Ethiopian Regiment. Here, for the first time, he is surrounded by other slaves who speak other languages. They tell glorious tales of their homes in Africa and sing rousing songs that make his heart pound. They see him as different, a white man in a black body, and brand him with the name Buckra.

    Octavian marches into his first battle behind other regiments, amazed that those first to confront the Rebels are little more than a sacrifice. He does not understand the logic behind this type of fighting. It's not long before they are in retreat, fellow soldiers dead and dying all around, and something inside Octavian changes. How can it not?

    With the Rebel force surging into Boston, the Royalists take to their ships. Octavian and the Ethiopian Regiment find a new level of darkness in the bowels of their ship. They spend weeks, nay, months, aboard their watery foundations. Rations are less than sparse and sickness begins to spread. It's a relief to row ashore, even if it is to burn Boston out from under the rebels who have claimed it. Men die. Men kill. Octavian knows not whether it be his bullet or another which steals life.

    Back aboard ship, the monotony begins anew, broken only by the occasional duties on deck, and the visits of women as they gather laundry, including Nsia, the woman of beautiful voice and dance who takes his tongue and ties it in knots. He is relieved when Dr. Trefusis visits his ship and bades him fill the empty void with studies while they listen to stories of bravery and ingenuity. Stories of slaves escaping their masters to join the promise of freedom offered by Lord Dunmore and his Royal Navy. Octavian learns much about his mother's tribe in Africa from another soldier from that nation. And as small pox devastates the Ethiopian Regiment, he learns more that he would have liked about the burial customs of his brothers-in-arms.

    **Read the full review at www.teensreadtoo.com

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  • Posted January 25, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    I love Octavian!

    I read the first Octavian Nothing book on a whim when I was working at Barnes & Noble. I loved it! I thought it was an original and compelling subject matter, beautifully written, and dripping with vivid characters. I was ready to die for the second one to come out. It was not a disapointment. The mystery was gone, but it was replaced by action. The basic subject matter was still there. I just can't explain the originally of the story line. Nothing short of brilliant! I didn't get the feeling that there would be a third one, which makes me sad. I wasn't ready to say goodbye, I want more and I would be first in line if there was!

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    Posted April 19, 2011

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    Posted November 16, 2011

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    Posted June 6, 2009

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    Posted August 9, 2011

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    Posted March 13, 2014

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    Posted November 24, 2010

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    Posted June 10, 2011

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