Study Guide

The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing: Traitor to the Nation, Volume I: The Pox Party Part 2, Chapter 8

By M.T. Anderson

Part 2, Chapter 8

  • Octavian really misses his studies with Dr. Trefusis.
  • He misses books more than anything else, and it feels like he's been exiled from his home and country now that he's not allowed to read any narrative.
  • One night, Bono asks what's up with the depressed Octavian, and Cassiopeia tells him that Octavian just misses his books.
  • Bono doesn't get it, though. Apparently Mr. Gitney told him to read some books in the library once, but Bono thought the books were total nonsense, full of stuff that's just not real.
  • Bono tells Octavian to forget books and leave it to the rich.
  • That's not what Octavian wants to hear though, so the next day, Bono slips him a book: Tacitus's Annals of Rome.
  • Octavian can't speak, out of wonder.
  • But there's a catch: Bono wants Octavian to read to him a book that's partly in Latin (the Latin is supposed to keep women from reading the book too).
  • Octavian looks at the book and immediately isn't down with the deal.
  • Why? The book is basically pornographic literature.
  • But Bono won't give Tacitus to Octavian unless Octavian reads the smutty book to Bono.
  • So Octavian folds, and once a week, in exchange for books from the library, he reads porn to Bono.

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