Octavian is that rare work of fiction in which the heat cannot be separated from the light. You don’t come across great new novels very often, books that–if they get lucky–could be read generations from now. Octavian is an accomplishment of that magnitude, although while reading the book, I was usually far too involved in it to contemplate its greatness. But now that I’m done, I can say: This is the best contemporary fiction I have read in a long time.
That sums it up. These two novels are unbearably brilliant, brutally significant work.