POB is one: . . I bought the first one years ago and couldn’t get into it. Then in 2012 when I retired from full-time employment, some friends and I rode motorbikes from the UK to Beijing. My companions had all read O’Brian and there was lots of talk in the evening over supper and drinks about the interplay between the two main characters . .
I couldn’t join the conversation because I hadn’t read the books and that stung me into starting again. I sailed through the first book and devoured the next 19 on the trot. I’ve since reread them and will probably reread them every three years for as long as I live. They are great yarns – plenty of insightful commentary about the UK as well as featuring fascinating characters and tremendous amounts of humour.
Find the others at: [www.scmp.com/culture/books/article/2133908/five-books-old-china-hand-couldnt-live-without-former-diplomat-richard]
I agree with him about the social comedy, which I feel doesn’t get the praise it deserves, perhaps because it is too British for many readers to enjoy fully.