Modern Firsts O'Brian, Patrick Hussein

ISBN 13: 9780002259538

9780002259538: Hussein

A delightful tale of an elephant handler written by Patrick O’Brian when a very young man.

HUSSEIN tells the story of a young mahout – or elephant handler – his childhood and life in India and his relationship and adventures with elephants. Patrick was in his early twenties when he wrote it.

Caesar: The Life Story of a Panda Leopard, his first book, was written when he was 14, but the dry wit and unsentimental precision O’Brian’s readers savour is already in evidence. The book was feted on publication and O’Brian described as the ‘boy-Thoreau’. The book was published in England and the United States, and translations appeared in Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Japan.

In 1938 O’Brian published his next novel, called Hussein: An Entertainment, a marvellously readable adventure story set in India. Reviewers in the United States were particularly enthusiastic: the New York Times compared Hussein favourably to Kipling’s Kim, calling it ‘a gorgeous enterntainment’.

Thomas Sugrue wrote in the New York Herald Tribune: ‘The story of Hussein is a swift-moving, well-written account of events so fantastic that moonshine was certainly their mother….Hussein, in quest after his Sashiya, is a hero as alive and as human as Tom Jones seeking his Sophia.‘

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Review:

‘Both books are full of the fantasy that has made O’Brian’s seafaring yarns such a success. Like them, they are full of engaging adventures, curious lore, fond descriptions of food and scenes of battle… Caesar makes delightful, often hilarious reading… Hussein is more sophisticated. Here fully thirty years before Master and Commander was published is the unmistakable texture of O’Brian’s historical fiction. Hussein has it all: the immersion in another world, full of local colour, the delight in a specialised vocabulary, the relish of male camaraderie, travel, treasure and fighting.’
David Sexton, Evening Standard

About the Author:

Patrick O’Brian, until his death in 2000, was one of our greatest contemporary novelists. He is the author of the acclaimed Aubrey–Maturin tales and the biographer of Joseph Banks and Picasso. He is the author of many other books including Testimonies, and his Collected Short Stories. In 1995 he was the first recipient of the Heywood Hill Prize for a lifetime’s contribution to literature. In the same year he was awarded the CBE. In 1997 he received an honorary doctorate of letters from Trinity College, Dublin. He lived for many years in South West France and he died in Dublin in January 2000.

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Patrick O'Brian
Published by Harpercollins (2000)
ISBN 10: 0002259532 ISBN 13: 9780002259538
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O'Brian, Patrick
Published by Harpercollins (2000)
ISBN 10: 0002259532 ISBN 13: 9780002259538
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