I finally finished Patrick O’Brian’s Hussein. I liked it. It was no Master and Commander, but the book was still good.
O’Brian wrote this story, which takes place in India during the English occupation, when he was my age–about twenty.
It follows the life of Hussein, a young mahout (elephant trainer), and his many, many misadventures. He gets cholera (and survives!), encounters into bad luck, comes into good fortune, falls in love, and stumbles out of luck once more.
The book, which O’Brian termed An Entertainment, is just that. It’s light and entertaining. The characters aren’t too deep, but you still care about them. Reading this book, you can easily see the seeds of brilliance beginning to sprout.
Now I need to reread the epic Aubrey/Maturin series. I’ve only managed to get through the entire thing once…but at 20.5 volumes (he died while writing the 21st), it’s entirely understandable.