Read Caroline by Cornelius Medvei Online


The utterly beguiling and moving story of what happens when a man who is becoming tired of life meets a donkey called CarolineMr. Shaw works for an insurance company, at a desk, in an office, in a city. One year, during his family summer holiday, his world is turned upside down when he meets Caroline. Caroline, whose eyes a man could drown in. Caroline, who likes a springThe utterly beguiling and moving story of what happens when a man who is becoming tired of life meets a donkey called CarolineMr. Shaw works for an insurance company, at a desk, in an office, in a city. One year, during his family summer holiday, his world is turned upside down when he meets Caroline. Caroline, whose eyes a man could drown in. Caroline, who likes a spring onion or two. Caroline, who is in fact a donkey. To the outrage of his neighbors and the quiet bemusement of his wife, he walks her back to the city, builds her a stable, and spends the evenings encouraging her talent for playing chess. She accompanies him to his office, charms his colleagues, earns a very positive annual appraisal, and is missed more than her master when he retires. Most importantly, Caroline has reawakened something in Mr Shaw that had seemed lost, some appetite for life and its possibilities, and a sense of the extraordinary that lives within the everyday. But can this idyll last? Are chess, radish tops, and trips to the museum enough to nourish a relationship? Or, despite the love lavished on her, does Caroline secretly yearn for broader horizons? Unfolding with the beauty and power of fable, this tale depicts a glorious Indian summer in one man's life. It is tender, very funny, and endlessly enjoyable....

Title : Caroline
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781846553882
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 160 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Caroline Reviews

  • Lucy
    2019-05-05 16:20

    now i'll Preface this by sayin i Planned to read other reviews before i reviewed this because there's Clearly a deeper meaning that others have probs cottoned onto that i Do Not understand however,,,, I Forgot so:)anyways if i was the mum the dad would be Divorced in like 30 secs, as soon as he met that donkey he Ignored all of them i was aggressively offended at that dUMBASseS frkIN ruDENess to his son coNStantly he probs (he is as we Saw:)) Mess up as Heck but anyways the dad made me rly Mad OMfG aND the COWORKERS abSOlute bullshit, even when i hated the dad like wtf but there'sprobsdeepermeaningsoican'trlysayshitcanialso i thought in the police report the "PLATONIC" was Something Else like not Pet or Companion but,,,, Platonic

  • Marcus Speh
    2019-05-17 23:25

    I found this novel via the author's agency, Tavistock Wood. The writer in the photograph on their site has the air of a scientist about him...or of a chess player, actually. I read the book in one go on a flight — this is fine writing, considerate of its subject, or subjects, because hidden behind the tale of the man and his donkey, is a larger tale about fathers and sons, about family and even about the cities that surround us, through which we sleepwalk at times with surreal ideas on our minds not unlike the one that Medvei must've had before he penned this work, his second published novel. I was thoroughly charmed by this book and I'm not easily charmed by other people's writing. It's also been a while since I read a novel from start to finish in one go - I think the last one was a Stephen King, and this is as far from King as one can perhaps go, short of experimental fiction. Perhaps because of the special role that chess plays in this book, perhaps because of the calm, collected style of narration, I was reminded of Stefan Zweig's wonderful novella "The Royal Game". I also noticed some Russian sensibility between the pages and not only because Russia (via the subject of chess) makes a short appearance. Here is an excerpt almost from the end of the book, which shows the fine story telling & which made me think of the last time I saw my own father before his sudden death: «Even his dress, which to the insensitive observer might have suggested an old man letting himself go (sweater gone at the elbows, bedsocks stuffed into galoshes, haphazardly shaven chin), seemed to me like nothing so much as a demonstration of the sage's magnificent disregard for external appearances. And the last time I came home — the last time I saw him — he opened the door to me, gathering the flaps of his dressing gown round him like the robes of state, with an air that I can only describe as triumphant.»I'm curious what my recent reading experience will morph into as time passes, but I recommend this novel to anyone looking for well-told literary fiction with a surreal sense of humor and a big heart, not just for animals.

  • Maya Panika
    2019-04-23 16:29

    The gently surreal story of a man and his obsessive passion for his best friend and one true love, Caroline, a chess-playing donkey.Mr Shaw lives a dreary, tiresome existence of office, supper and bed that is familiar to most of us. He is approaching retirement; his wife is dreading having him at home all day. Then, on a family holiday, Mr Shaw meets Caroline, a donkey so apparently remarkable he decides to buy her, taking an extra week off work to walk her home, alone; growing a beard, living rough. He builds Caroline a stable in the back yard and spends every evening with her. One evening he takes his chessboard to the stable and discovers that Caroline is even more remarkable than he thought.Written throughout as a true account, with just a dash of doubt sprinkled over the end – was Caroline a true prodigy, a chess genius who, for a while, took over Mr Shaw’s office job and did it so well that everyone apparently forgot that Shaw was ever there at all? Or was Shaw’s father perhaps just having a breakdown? This is magical realism gently told, in a voice that’s not quite English. There’s the whiff of middle Europe about this story that adds strongly to the sense of reading a folktale. Where is it set? We are never told, certainly not in the UK. Some Persian Poetry from Shaw’s diary gives a possible clue to the inspiration for this quirky little novel, which seemed to me to be a fable about the oddness of love and the true value of friends and family.It’s very short and a quick read. The story unfolds quietly, there are no whistles or bells, none are needed. The story is quietly calming, soothing, like a warm bath or a cup of hot tea; like being home, on a weekday, reading a good book on a dark, rainy day. It’s not an exciting experience, there’s nothing here to upset or disturb, it’s just pleasantly calming, relaxing and deeply enjoyable.

  • Caroline
    2019-04-23 19:04

    Everyone loves donkeys, how could it be otherwise?This is an enchanting novella about a man burdened with the grind of his everyday routine, who then meets and adopts a rather wonderful donkey called Caroline. They have a happy and easy-going relationship, doing contented donkey-human things, but their lives are also touched with moments of the extra-ordinary, for Caroline is a donkey with special attributes. (view spoiler)[Amongst other things - to Mr. Shaw's amazement and delight - Caroline turns out to be darn good at playing chess. Their relationship deepens....and after a while he starts taking her along with him to the office."When he was immersed in some dull administrative task, he would relieve the tedium by screwing a piece of scrap paper into a ball and throwing it playfully at the donkey, who would pick it up in her teeth and either deposit it in the waste-paper basket or chew and swallow it thoughtfully....If he had clients to see, the donkey would be concealed behind a folding screen which he kept propped behind the door for this purpose....Of course, the screen did nothing to conceal the creaking of the floorboards as the donkey shifted her weight, or her characteristic smell - a hot, rich, musky odour with an ammoniac undertone, especially towards the end of a warm afternoon...(but) Caroline seemed to have a soothing effect on the whole office, like the tank of fish in a dentist's waiting room." (hide spoiler)]All in all a charming read .... perfect for a chilly afternoon in front of the fire.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>

  • Stephen
    2019-05-03 16:23

    An odd, but warm and charming story about a man who falls in love with a donkey and how it changes the lives of him and his family.

  • David Hebblethwaite
    2019-05-03 18:24

    A journalist is contacted by an old school friend named Shaw, who wants to tell the story of Caroline. This Caroline is the donkey Shaw’s father first encountered on a family holiday and who soon filled a void in his life that he didn’t know existed. The father became devoted to Caroline: took her home, looked after her, taught her to play chess (she turned out to be rather good at it). It was a wonderful period in his life; but, of course, there was always the danger that it wouldn’t last.Cornelius Medvei’s second novel has a folktale quality about its telling; the city in which it’s set is never named (neither, for that matter, are most of the characters), and there’s a timelessness to its depiction (it’s probably set in the 1980s or thereabouts, but there are few specific details). Nobody bats an eyelid at the outlandish events that take place, which is just as it should be; the novel depends on our ability to take its absurd premise seriously, and it is imagined so solidly that we do.But where Shaw’s narration pushes the tale one step out of reality, the journalist’s voice which frames the account brings it back in. There’s not much of that voice, but it is subtly different enough to provide a real jolt when we step from one to the other and begin to doubt what we have read. Caroline the donkey may fruitfully be interpreted as a metaphor for an all-consuming interest, under which light Medvei observantly illuminates his protagonist’s situation.Then again, Caroline may just be a donkey; as the journalist concedes, ‘in this city, private and public life, the ordinary and the fantastic, are mingled everywhere you look.’ Strange things happen, so why not this? In Caroline, Medvei leaves the question open in a small but finely wrought – and very enjoyable – read.This review first appeared on Fiction Uncovered.

  • Sid Nuncius
    2019-04-24 23:13

    I thought this was an excellent, hugely enjoyable book. It is beautifully written, thoroughly original, amusing, touching and rather wise. It also has the immense merit of being short; there is nothing superfluous and the author has crafted a little gem in 150 pages.The story is simple and unusual. It tells of what is effectively a love affair between a rather unfulfilled man on the verge of retirement and a donkey whom he finds while on holiday with his family and brings home to the city. The love is wholly spiritual and rather beautifully portrayed, as is the effect on him, his family and others. It sounds absurd (and in places probably is) but it works wonderfully. Medvei cleverly creates a very real-seeming city in which the story takes place but it is not clear where it is - it could be almost anywhere in the world - and this gives the story some of the atmosphere of a fable which allows the odder aspects of the story to seem really quite plausible. There are no sentimental set-pieces and no neat little Life Lessons are learned, but there seems to me to be great insight and compassion here, quietly and unshowily conveyed through a good, original, well-written story.Medvei's unaffected prose and his remarkable ability to create very human, recognisable characters for me make this an exceptionally good book. It probably won't be for everyone (I have tried to resist saying that it isn't 50 Shades Of Bray, but I have failed - sorry) but if you like a thoughtful, quirky, engrossing and beautifully written book I would recommend this very warmly.

  • Tim Roast
    2019-04-27 19:13

    This book is a work of fiction but is portrayed as a memoir about a man, just deceased, and his somewhat odd affections for a donkey called Caroline.He meets the donkey whilst on holiday, buys it and takes it home where he spends all his time with her, even taking her to his workplace and teaching her chess, which the donkey always seems to win.The text is interspersed with photos, article cut-outs and so on that the deceased man collated/wrote which supplement the story (or to get in the way of the story perhaps?).For me the writing style was very formal (e.g. the man is known only as Mr. Shaw or Shaw) as if the story is less a story and more an outlining of facts. So it was a little hard to read, plus there wasn't much of a story to tell either. So I can't really recommend it. Instead you could try Pyg by Russell Potter, which is another memoir about a remarkable animal, written in a sort-of old-fashioned style, not totally dissimilar to the style of this book but easier to read, and a better story.

  • Joanne
    2019-05-08 22:09

    This is a rather charming, if odd, little novella. It's a sweet and slightly bizarre fable of a man, approaching retirement, who falls in love with a donkey while on holiday. He brings the donkey home with him, and installs her in a home-made stable in his backyard. Nothing strange here. But Caroline turns out to be a master chess player, she goes to work with Mr Shaw and ends up replacing him at work until his retirement, she helps to mix cakes in the kitchen. The text is mixed with notes and pictures from Mr Shaw's own 'file' on Caroline and on donkeys in general, and is told through the eyes of Mr Shaw's son. It's never made clear which country and city the story is based in, intentionally I would imagine, though I don't ever see it as the UK. It's a very gentle little book, mixing the ordinary with the fantastic, and a sprinkling of surrealism, a sort of magical realism I suppose. I found it a very easy, calming book to read, and it didn't really seem odd that the donkey played chess or went to work in an insurance office, it was simply a sweet gentle read.

  • Liz Chapman
    2019-04-26 16:10

    This must be one of the weirdest books I've ever read. I liked the donkey the photos of the places in the story and the description of their walks to parks around London. I couldn't read the papers and press cuttings because they were too small and too faint in the book. Over all I'm not sure if I actually li,ed the book and I certainly felt that the garden of a London suburb is no place to keep a donkey . A donkey needs the company of other donkeys or another animal in the field that they get on with for company.

  • Matthew Snope
    2019-04-25 20:29

    Disappointing after the excellent Thundermug. And hardly a mystery. The additions of ephemeral pages and news clippings were too small to read in Kindle. I liked the gentle surrealism, but Caroline contains none of the humor, edge, and enjoyable, memorable prose of Thundermug. Caroline paled boringly in contrast to Mr Thundermug. A stinker of a second novel.

  • Yasemin Şahin
    2019-05-21 19:01

    Kitap bir çırpıda bitti. Bitti, ama absürdlüğü beni benden almadı değil. Bir eşeği çok seven, onu önce evine, sonra iş yerine götüren, onunla arkadaş olan ve tüm zamanını onunla geçiren bir adam. Öyle güzel bir başlangıç yapmışlardı ki, kitabı hemen almak istedim; fakat okuyunca dumur oldum :)

  • Andy Deemer
    2019-05-14 16:20

    What a gloriously pleasant fly-swatter of a tale! Along country paths and (quite beastiality-free) city streets, this romantic tome of burroamor was quick, tasty, and quite completely fantastic. An Invention of Curried Sausage for equinophiles.

  • Karen Elizabeth
    2019-05-07 21:08

    not a review as such but this book is a Corker. quirky, clever, refreshing. it got increasingly odd in the way magic realism does but remained delightful. I just sat reading more wide eyed. I really loved this little book & will read it again. absolutely delightful.

  • Jeni
    2019-04-25 20:25

    Charming & unusual but slightly disappointing ending. The newspaper clippings were too small to read so I feel like I may have missed out on an important part of the story

  • Elizabeth Eames
    2019-05-23 21:04

    Such a simple story,yet I could not stop reading it! Intriguing, Definitely a mystery, a fable and and a tall tale.

  • Annalissa
    2019-05-06 16:20

    A quirky but delightful story.

  • Julie Holmes
    2019-05-16 19:25

    A sweet little story about a man finding love and friendship with a donkey. Caroline's very good at Chess and she can even look your insurance policy over.

  • Jo Fraser
    2019-05-09 19:02

    I think I enjoyed this book but still not quite sure! Still only took a short time to read so what's to lose.

  • Abdul
    2019-04-26 15:31

    just weird but not entirely awful

  • Lala Məmmədova
    2019-04-29 20:23

    Bәzi tanışlarımın dili ilә desәk "çәtindir"Bәlkә dә tam ağırlığına enmәk lazım idi.