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The Octave of Claudius

Barry Pain

Book Overview: 

One night, Dr. Gabriel Lamb saves the life of Claudius Sandell. He takes him home and treats him excellently, nursing him back to health. However, Dr. Lamb's motives were really not quite altruistic, and Claudius may have to pay an extraordinary price for this kindness at the hands of the strange doctor and his equally strange wife.

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Community Reviews

Interesting book, well written, for me the deus ex machina ending spoiled things - though it had to be so- in 1897 the plot could never have played out as planned

George Orwell in his Essay "Good Bad Books" praises certain books as "escape literature", describes Barry Pain as "a cut above" populist writers and adds: "...to anyone who comes across it I recommend what must now be a very rare book - The Octave of Claudius, a brilliant exercise in the macabre."

I read this 1897 book by Barry Pain because a lost Lon Chaney film, A Blind Bargain, is based on it, and I thought it might give me some insight into the film.

From what we know of the film, a scientist (Dr. Lamb) persuades a down-on-his-luck Mr. Sandell to sign his life over to him, in exchange for