Caesar: The Life Story of a Panda-Leopard
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Caesar: The Life Story of a Panda-Leopard

3.37 of 5 stars 3.37  ·  rating details  ·  57 ratings  ·  6 reviews
A stark tale encompassing the cruelty and beauty of the natural world, and a clear demonstration of the storytelling gift that would later flower in the Aubrey/Maturin series. When he was fourteen years old and beset by chronic ill health, Patrick O'Brian began creating his first fictional character. "I did it in my bedroom, and a little when I should have been doing my ho...more
Hardcover, 104 pages
Published April 17th 2000 by W. W. Norton & Company (first published 1930)
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Barbara Martin
Patrick O'Brian, (12 December 1914 – 2 January 2000; born as Richard Patrick Russ) was an English novelist and translator, best known for his Aubrey–Maturin series of novels set in the Royal Navy during the Napoleonic Wars and centered on the friendship of English Naval Captain Jack Aubrey and the Irish–Catalan physician Stephen Maturin.

This is Patrick O’Brian’s first novel written at the age of 12 and with the help of his father published three years later in 1930. Then, after being long out of...more
Trin
I feel weird critiquing this, as it's something O'Brian wrote when he was 12 and which was first published, under his birth name (Richard Patrick Russ), when he was 15. Because, wow, for a 12-year-old it's remarkably good—already you can see the smooth beauty of his prose. It's also, for a story with an animal (specifically, a panda-leopard—more on that in a minute) as its protagonist and narrator, refreshingly unsentimental and even quite brutal—Caesar's mother and siblings are quickly dispatch...more
James
This was great for taking my mind off of the business-end of writing and honing back down on how it's supposed to be fun. An adventure story written by a fourteen-year-old starring a protag who is half-panda and half-leopard is perfect for that. I could object that Caesar's feeding habits are pretty much entirely leopard-influenced without much input from the panda side, but what would be the point?

Anyway, this is deeper than it has any right to be, and the ending is quite moving. In Caesar's la...more
Natalie
Martin did one of his first book reports on this book. It may have been the first works of fiction he ever read all the way through, Written by O'Brian when he was quite young 12 or 13? it is a good book of some length for boys who don't go for the typical fantasy adventure or sci fi story. The elements that make it readable are all employed in O'Brian's later books -conflict, adventure, sacrifice, relationships that change and grown and allow characters to influence one another. The imagined wo...more
Jane
This story is really engaging, with a good dose of realism thrown in.
Patrick O'Brian wrote this when he was 12, purposely to entertain himself. At that age, he's already a keen observer of the nature. The places seem real; every action comes naturally, never out of place. For example, since Caesar is a wild animal, of course he would be violent and savage, and O'Brian made sure of that.
Gilly McGillicuddy
Written by PO'B when he was fourteen. It's strangely pleasantly written for so young a boy. Boyish and juvenile and a bit flaunting with his knowledge but very nicely written. I'm not at all surprised he grew up to be the person he eventually became.
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Patrick O'Brian's acclaimed Aubrey/Maturin series of historical novels has been described as "a masterpiece" (David Mamet, New York Times), "addictively readable" (Patrick T. Reardon, Chicago Tribune), and "the best historical novels ever written" (Richard Snow, New York Times Book Review), which "should have been on those lists of the greatest novels of the 20th century" (George Will).

Set in the...more
More about Patrick O'Brian...
Master and Commander (Aubrey/Maturin, #1) H.M.S. Surprise (Aubrey/Maturin, #3) Post Captain (Aubrey/Maturin, #2) The Mauritius Command (Aubrey/Maturin, #4) Desolation Island (Aubrey/Maturin, #5)

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