Caesar is a tale of survival, love, and loyalty, by a young O'Brian who was rightly hailed, even at fifteen, as the `boy-Thoreau'. The fascinating career of the literary genius behind Aubrey-Maturin began here.
`I dimly felt sorry that I had needlessly killed these two useless things, for though I was hungry I could not bring myself to eat these smelly men.'
Written when Patrick O'Brian was just fourteen, this is the enchanting, bloodthirsty story of Caesar - whose father was a giant panda, but his mother a snow leopard. With the dry wit and unsentimental precision O'Brian would come to be loved for, we see the tragedies of Caesar's childhood, his capture and taming, and finally his rise to fatherhood under the iron rule of human masters.
`Full of the fantasy that has made O'Brian's seafaring yarns such a success. Caesar is full of engaging adventures, curious lore, fond descriptions of food and scenes of battle... and delightful, often hilarious reading.'
David Sexton, Evening Standard
`We can see here a true storyteller in the making.'
JULIET TOWNSEND, Literary Review
`A delightful story told in the first person by an unlikely hybrid panda-cum-leopard. Sustained and well-written... ['Ceasar'] highlights the foundations of O'Brian's mastery of writing, his value far beyond that of a historical novelist.'
MARTIN BOOTH, Daily Telegraph
`O'Brian admirers can now appreciate another dimension to his writing'
ALEX O'CONNELL, The Times
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.