Liberty & Property

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

Part 3: Liberty & Property

This third part is different from parts one and two. I don’t know about you, but I’d grown used to Octavian speaking in his own (rather queer but eloquent) way revealing his story bit by bit by bit. But this third section uses letters (or epistles if you want to get fancy) to advance the plot. We learn from a variety of individuals about the whereabouts of this escaped slave. Most notably we learn from a man called Evidence Goring. A private in the Rebel army. In his letters home, we learn that a negro man calling himself Prince has joined up with the Rebel army. He is silent. He is withdrawn. He sometimes plays the violin. He’s not afraid to die. In fact, he’s eager to do so. He’s depressed.

This section was difficult in some ways. Not quite as compelling in some ways, yet not without merit. You have to do more work, invest more, to connect with the narrative. To stay connected with the plot and the characters. You do still feel for Octavian or “Prince.” You see how dramatically changed he is. How empty and confused this grief has left him. He’s a fragment of the man he once was.

I don’t know about you, but did you want to shout at Private Goring to keep his mouth shut? Of course, he had NO idea that he was selling out his friend. He didn’t know he was conversing with the enemy. That his words would mean the loss of Octavian’s liberty. That he would end up shackled because of his revelations. I saw it coming? Did you?

What do you think of the book so far? Are you finding it compelling? Is it worth the time and effort?


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