The Amazing Life of Augustus Marche | REVIEW

Actress Vivian Fair gave birth to Augustus Marche in the middle of a theater performance and immediately threw him into a trash can full of dirty blouses to continue the next act.

Soon, the orphan was taken in by Mrs. Butler, an old theater laundress, who hides him from the authorities and looks after him in a strange way.

The boy lived for years in the theater, soon he could quote long passages from Shakespeare and Ibsen, but he knew nothing about the real world. When the theater is canceled by an unsympathetic millionaire, the confused and strange August encounters the real world for the first time.

The boy had no background or family. His only friend seems to be the narcissistic actor Percyfoot, but he soon disappears behind his career and gives the boy more written advice.

Orphan August March enters a cruel world with the desire to find meaning in it and above all love.

It is not advisable to think too much about the possibilities of what happens in the novel and especially the reasons for it. The author probably didn’t expect anyone to take the plot of his novel seriously. It’s an absurd and crazy literary game that can be fun if the reader is interested and follows the rules of the game.

August runs into street and neighborhood hustlers, becomes a professional thief, and meets a girl who may be even more of an outcast and a cunning liar than he is.

The main character sometimes uses witty sentences and irony, but this novel is by no means as brilliant and interesting as the blurb suggests, nor does it have multi-layered language. There’s a little humor in it.

After a promising start, the average story loses its appeal and becomes boring. As Augustus’ character matured, he stopped being sweet. The reader loses any reason to sympathize with him or even care about him. The author’s over-the-top, nonsensical humor might be better implemented in a screwball or comic comedy film.

As a novel, it makes no sense. Reading it requires too much effort to get a little enjoyment.

Aaron Jackson: The Amazing Life of August March
Metaphor, translated by Daniela Čermáková, 251 pages, 330 CZK
Rating 50%

Camilla Salazar

"Unapologetic social media guru. General reader. Incurable pop culture specialist."

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