-- TLS, December 13, 2010
`enchanting... absolutely engrossing' --Sunday Times: Culture, Lucy Scholes, January 7, 2011
From the Inside Flap
Mr 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 neighbours 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 reawoken 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, Caroline depicts a glorious Indian summer in one man's life. It is tender, very funny and endlessly enjoyable.
From the Back Cover
Praise for Mr Thundermug:
'I am telling you now that you will not read a small work of genius like this, not only this year but for a long time to come - probably until his next one comes out'
'What a colourful, glorious fantasy. I can't help believing that it's all true: Mr Thundermug is still out there somewhere'
Alexander Masters, author of Stuart: a Life Backwards
'A magic-realist confection with a sly, wry sense of humour and a deft ear for the surreal and the inconsequential ... the most quirky, entertaining debut of the year so far'
'A fabulously droll novella about a disgruntled baboon attempting to join the human race, an absolute treat'
'Introduces a young writer of subtle and surreal imagination'