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The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation, Volume 2: The Kingdom on the Waves

by

The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation, Volume 2: The Kingdom on the Waves Cover

ISBN13: 9780763629502
ISBN10: 0763629502
All Product Details

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Volume II of the National Book Award Winner and New York Times bestseller — a stunning resolution to the epic tale that fascinates, appalls, condemns, and enthralls.

Fearing a death sentence, Octavian and his tutor, Dr. Trefusis, escape through rising tides and pouring rain to find shelter in British-occupied Boston. Sundered from all he knows — the College of Lucidity, the rebel cause — Octavian hopes to find safe harbor. Instead, he is soon to learn of Lord Dunmore's proclamation offering freedom to slaves who join the counterrevolutionary forces.

In Volume II of his unparalleled masterwork, M. T. Anderson recounts Octavian's experiences as the Revolutionary War explodes around him, thrusting him into intense battles and tantalizing him with elusive visions of liberty. Ultimately, this astonishing narrative escalates to a startling, deeply satisfying climax, while reexamining our national origins in a singularly provocative light.

Review:

"With an eye trained to the hypocrisies and conflicted loyalties of the American Revolution, Anderson resoundingly concludes the finely nuanced bildungsroman begun in his National Book Award-winning novel. Again comprised of Octavian's journals and a scattering of other documents, the book finds Octavian heading to Virginia in response to a proclamation made by Lord Dunmore, the colony's governor, who emancipates slaves in exchange for military service. Octavian's initial pride is short-lived, as he realizes that their liberation owes less to moral conviction than to political expediency. Disillusioned, facing other crises of conscience, Octavian's growth is apparent, if not always to himself: when he expresses doubt about having become any more a man, his mentor, Dr. Trefusis, assures him, 'That is the great secret of men. We aim for manhood always and always fall short. But my boy, I have seen you at least reach half way.' Made aware of freedom-fighters on both sides of the conflict (as well as heart-stopping acts of atrocity), readers who work through and embrace Anderson's use of historical parlance will be rewarded with a challenging perspective onAmerican history. Ages 14 — up." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"[M]ore awe-inspiring reinterpretations of America's birth....Even more present in this volume are passionate questions, directly relevant to teens' lives, about basic human struggles for independence, identity, freedom, love, and the need to reconcile the past." Booklist (Starred Review)

Review:

"I believe Octavian Nothing will someday be recognized as a novel of the first rank, the kind of monumental work Italo Calvino called 'encyclopedic' in the way it sweeps up history into a comprehensive and deeply textured pattern." Jerry Griswold, The New York Times Book Review

Review:

"Elegantly crafted writing in an 18th-century voice, sensitive portrayals of primary and secondary characters and a fascinating author's note make this one of the few volumes to fully comprehend the paradoxes of the struggle for liberty in America." Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)

Review:

"[A] brilliant, affecting, and philosophical sequel....Anderson's masterful pacing, surprising use of imagery and symbolism, and adeptness at crafting structure make this a powerful reimagining of slavery and the American Revolution dazzle." School Library Journal (Starred Review)

Review:

"More cohesive than the first book, it is a wonderfully written story with immersive descriptions of life during the Revolution, but it is still a challenging read that touches on some truly difficult topics." VOYA

Review:

"[T]his great, tragic, sometimes even darkly humorous tale of an extraordinary young man's experience of slavery in America is related in the language of the 18th century, making it a demanding but rewarding read." KLIATT

Synopsis:

Depicting intense scenes of war and elusive visions of liberty, this astonishing sequel to the National Book Award-winning Vol. 1: The Pox Party relays Octavian's experiences with the Royal Ethiopian Regiment off the coast of Virginia.

Synopsis:

The stunning conclusion to the National Book Award winner and New York Times bestseller recounts Octavian's experiences as the Revolutionary War explodes around him. Ultimately, this astonishing narrative escalates to a startling, deeply satisfying climax, while reexamining our national origins in a singularly provocative light.

About the Author

M. T. Anderson is the author of several novels for young adults, including the much-lauded The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation, Volume I: The Pox Party, winner of the National Book Award, and Feed, which won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and was a finalist for the National Book Award. M. T. Anderson lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 3 comments:

Erica Horne, April 22, 2009 (view all comments by Erica Horne)
I have just finished listening to the audible version of Octavian Nothing, and it seems fitting that we have just elected an African American to be our President. I think Octavian would have been so happy to know this. Octavian is one the most complete, complicated, heartfelt characters a reader will come upon. Learning the plight of the African American soldiers who fought on either side of the revolution, was an education, and because of the wonderful story telling, and authentic period dialogue as well as narration, an adventure I was sorry to have end.

Octavian is real to me and has touched my heart in the deepest of ways.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(2 of 2 readers found this comment helpful)
crowyhead, March 17, 2009 (view all comments by crowyhead)
I found this, the sequel to Anderson's award-winning "The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation, Volume I: The Pox Party" to be a little bit of a let-down. It's still an excellent book, but it's twice as long as the first volume and yet does not seem as eventful. Perhaps the issue is that it lacks much of the eerie confusion of the first novel; unlike in the beginning of "The Pox Party," where one isn't even quite certain whether the book is historical or speculative fiction, the reader is pretty much aware of the historical context. This makes it slightly less intriguing. We still want to follow Octavian on his voyage of discovery, but we already know the score in a way we didn't in the first novel.

Probably if I hadn't been so blown away by the first volume, I would be more enthusiastic about this one. But while I feel it was well-written and interesting, it didn't leave me excited or singing Anderson's praises quite so enthusiastically.
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(1 of 2 readers found this comment helpful)
Shoshana, March 14, 2009 (view all comments by Shoshana)
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 well.
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(2 of 3 readers found this comment helpful)
View all 3 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9780763629502
Author:
Anderson, M. T.
Publisher:
Candlewick Press (MA)
Subject:
Historical - Military & Wars
Subject:
History
Subject:
Slavery
Subject:
Social Issues - General
Subject:
People & Places - United States - African-American
Subject:
Historical - United States - Colonial
Subject:
African Americans
Subject:
Historical - United States - Colonial & Revolutionary
Subject:
Children s Young Adult-Social Issue Fiction-General
Subject:
Children s Young Adult-Social Issue Fiction
Publication Date:
20081031
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
from 9
Language:
English
Illustrations:
1-COLOR
Pages:
592
Dimensions:
9.20x6.86x1.76 in. 2.23 lbs.
Age Level:
14-17

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Related Subjects

» Children's » Awards » Michael L. Printz Award Winners
» Children's » General
» Children's » Historical Fiction » Military and War
» Children's » Historical Fiction » United States » Colonial and Revolutionary Periods
» Children's » Sale Books
» Children's » Situations » General
» Young Adult » General

The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation, Volume 2: The Kingdom on the Waves New Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$22.99 In Stock
Product details 592 pages Candlewick Press (MA) - English 9780763629502 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "With an eye trained to the hypocrisies and conflicted loyalties of the American Revolution, Anderson resoundingly concludes the finely nuanced bildungsroman begun in his National Book Award-winning novel. Again comprised of Octavian's journals and a scattering of other documents, the book finds Octavian heading to Virginia in response to a proclamation made by Lord Dunmore, the colony's governor, who emancipates slaves in exchange for military service. Octavian's initial pride is short-lived, as he realizes that their liberation owes less to moral conviction than to political expediency. Disillusioned, facing other crises of conscience, Octavian's growth is apparent, if not always to himself: when he expresses doubt about having become any more a man, his mentor, Dr. Trefusis, assures him, 'That is the great secret of men. We aim for manhood always and always fall short. But my boy, I have seen you at least reach half way.' Made aware of freedom-fighters on both sides of the conflict (as well as heart-stopping acts of atrocity), readers who work through and embrace Anderson's use of historical parlance will be rewarded with a challenging perspective onAmerican history. Ages 14 — up." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "[M]ore awe-inspiring reinterpretations of America's birth....Even more present in this volume are passionate questions, directly relevant to teens' lives, about basic human struggles for independence, identity, freedom, love, and the need to reconcile the past."
"Review" by , "I believe Octavian Nothing will someday be recognized as a novel of the first rank, the kind of monumental work Italo Calvino called 'encyclopedic' in the way it sweeps up history into a comprehensive and deeply textured pattern."
"Review" by , "Elegantly crafted writing in an 18th-century voice, sensitive portrayals of primary and secondary characters and a fascinating author's note make this one of the few volumes to fully comprehend the paradoxes of the struggle for liberty in America."
"Review" by , "[A] brilliant, affecting, and philosophical sequel....Anderson's masterful pacing, surprising use of imagery and symbolism, and adeptness at crafting structure make this a powerful reimagining of slavery and the American Revolution dazzle."
"Review" by , "More cohesive than the first book, it is a wonderfully written story with immersive descriptions of life during the Revolution, but it is still a challenging read that touches on some truly difficult topics."
"Review" by , "[T]his great, tragic, sometimes even darkly humorous tale of an extraordinary young man's experience of slavery in America is related in the language of the 18th century, making it a demanding but rewarding read."
"Synopsis" by , Depicting intense scenes of war and elusive visions of liberty, this astonishing sequel to the National Book Award-winning Vol. 1: The Pox Party relays Octavian's experiences with the Royal Ethiopian Regiment off the coast of Virginia.
"Synopsis" by , The stunning conclusion to the National Book Award winner and New York Times bestseller recounts Octavian's experiences as the Revolutionary War explodes around him. Ultimately, this astonishing narrative escalates to a startling, deeply satisfying climax, while reexamining our national origins in a singularly provocative light.
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