Not Light Reading

The ever-wonderful Jenny D reviews M.T. Anderson’s truly amazing Octavian Nothing in the NYT:

In recent years young adult fiction has proved a haven for novelists of ideas who also love storytelling. M. T. Anderson is one of the most interesting. His first novel was the unsettling suburban teenage vampire fantasy “Thirsty” (1997), but he didn’t capture a wide audience until 2002, when his cult hit “Feed” appeared. A surprisingly affecting commodity-culture satire — partly set on the moon, where rich teenagers go for spring break — it earned Anderson a slew of fans and his first National Book Award nomination. His second nomination came last month for his new novel, “The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing.”

What a wise pairing on the NYT’s part!

I suspect anyone who’s going to read this book has already seen a couple of the big spoilers of major parts of the narrative, so it’s okay, if you’re on the fence or are already spoiled: Go read Jenny’s review. But if you’re going to read it and just haven’t and haven’t heard that much about the book, wait and read the review after.

I was very glad when I read it that I didn’t know that much about it going in. Due to the sins of flap copy & etc., it’s so rare to be truly surprised by a narrative (my favorite surprise of the last several years is in Kelley Eskridge’s Solitaire — you should read that one too, but do NOT look at the flap copy first!).

3 thoughts on “Not Light Reading”

  1. I actually broke down and went to buy this last night after having read Leila Roy’s praise for it. There was a Fox News luminary doing a book signing at Borders, his table was right in front of the YA section! So I had to get a staff member to get it off the shelf for me. SURREAL. I can’t wait to read it, though “Feed” broke my heart so bad I’m kind of wary…

  2. Is not “Feed” an outrageously heartbreaking book?!?
    Gwenda, glad you liked the piece, quite right to warn about spoilers too… I look forward to some future non-virtual in-person communal raving about the talents of M. T. Anderson!

  3. OK ladies, if both Gwenda and Jenny recommend a book this highly I’m going to cave and buy it, and Feed too. Will not look at flaps or reviews, and will read them both with an open mind.

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