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Carry the One [Paperback]

Carol Anshaw
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
RRP: 7.99
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Book Description

22 Nov 2012

In Carry the One, Carol Anshaw explores the after effects of one night's terrible trauma on three siblings over 25 years.

In the early hours of the morning, following a wedding reception, a car filled with stoned, drunk and sleepy guests accidentally hits and kills a girl on a dark country road. For the next twenty-five years, the lives of those involved are subtly shaped by this tragic moment.

Through friendships and love affairs, marriage and divorce, parenthood, addiction, and the modest calamities and triumphs of ordinary days, Carry the One shows how one life affects another and how those who thrive and those who self-destruct are closer to each other than we'd expect.

'Here's passion and addiction, guilt and damage, all the beautiful mess of family life.Carry the Onewill lift readers off their feet and bear them along on its eloquent tide' Emma Donoghue

'Her deftly episodic novel of love, time and off-beat family life is warm, generous and wise. An enormously engaging novel' Daily Mail

'Carry The Oneis a finely crafted novel, full of phrases you want to cut out and keep, and characters you think you know. It is delicate in its touch, yet huge in its reach' Observer

'Superb . . . Anshaw sees her characters with startling clarity and no small helping of warmth and humour . . . Anshaw's writing [is] subtle, bemused, kind and smart, she nails moment after moment . . .Carry The Oneis a marvellous novel, grown-up, smart and emotionally intelligent about people who, like the rest of us, try but mostly fail to keep their ducks in a row' Patrick Ness, Guardian

'A tender tale of what happens to ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances' Marie Claire

'A funny, vivid and pingingly true story about longing and the pain of love. Anshaw conveys beefy emotions and life-changing events with the most gossamer of touches' Rachel Johnson, Vogue

'If you love Jonathan Franzen, you'll love this compelling book' Entertainment Weekly

Carol Anshaw is the author of Aquamarine, Seven Moves, and Lucky in the Corner. She lives in Chicago. www.carolanshaw.com


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Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (22 Nov 2012)
  • Language: Unknown
  • ISBN-10: 0241963966
  • ISBN-13: 978-0241963968
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 12.8 x 1.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 180,198 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

Her deftly episodic novel of love, time and off-beat family life is warm, generous and wise. An enormously engaging novel (Daily Mail)

Carry The One is a finely crafted novel, full of phrases you want to cut out and keep, and characters you think you know. It is delicate in its touch, yet huge in its reach (Observer)

Superb . . . Anshaw sees her characters with startling clarity, an acute alertness to nuance, and no small helping of warmth and humour . . . Anshaw's writing [is] subtle, bemused, kind and smart, she nails moment after moment . . . Carry The One is a marvellous novel, grown-up, smart and emotionally intelligent about people who, like the rest of us, try but mostly fail to keep their ducks in a row (Patrick Ness Guardian)

A tender tale of what happens to ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances (Marie Claire)

Here's passion and addiction, guilt and damage, all the beautiful mess of family life. Carry the One will lift readers off their feet and bear them along on its eloquent tide (Emma Donoghue)

Beautifully observed . . . [Anshaw] intimately dissects how one event or choice can alter the trajectory of a life, how a fork in the road can lead to wholly unexpected and divergent outcomes (Michiko Kakutani The New York Times)

A funny, vivid and pingingly true story about longing and the pain of love. Anshaw conveys beefy emotions and life-changing events with the most gossamer of touches (Rachel Johnson Vogue)

Anshaw's understated, casual tone is made delightful with small details.Vivid images hit home with finishing flourishes . . . Carry The One is an engaging narrative, eloquently told (FT)

Carol Anshaw is one of those authors who should be a household name . . . [a] fine, eloquent novel (USA Today)

Superb . . . [Anshaw] has a knack for capturing a personality in a single phrase (Financial Times)

Moving and engaging . . . Anshaw has written not only a funny, smart and closely observed story, but also one that explores the way tragedy can follow hard on celebration, binding people together even more lastingly than passion. (Sylvia Brownrigg The New York Times Book Review)

Words used to praise Anshaw's earlier novels - witty, warm, intimate, poignant - apply equally well to her most compelling book yet, a wholly seductive tale of siblings, addiction, conviction, and genius . . . Masterful in her authenticity, quicksilver dialogue, wise humour, and receptivity to mystery, Anshaw has created a deft and transfixing novel of fallibility and quiet glory (Booklist)

A brilliant feat of storytelling . . . one of the most intensely vibrant novels I've ever read (Boston Globe)

Funny, touching, knowing . . . a quiet, lovely, genuine accomplishment (Publishers Weekly)

Splendid . . . sits somewhere between a Jonathan Franzen novel and a collection of haiku (Entertainment Weekly)

Anshaw is that rare, brilliant, witty writer whose prose is rich and buttery, and whose plotting is as well-conceived and seamlessly executed as that of the most intricate thriller (Chicago Tribune)

If you love Jonathan Franzen, you'll love this compelling book (Entertainment Weekly)

Graceful and compassionate . . . Writing with rueful wit and a subtle understanding of the currents and passions that rule us, Anshaw demonstrates that struggling to do one's best, whatever the circumstances, makes for a life of consequence (People)

A fine novel . . . stunning . . . wise (TLS)

Anshaw submerges the reader in gorgeous detail (Independent)

Carol Anshaw's writing is cool and funny, outraged and sympathetic by turns. The book is full of sharp observations and memorable phrases (Literary Review)

Beautiful prose (Independent on Sunday)

A series of beautifully detailed snapshots . . . an arresting examination of three intersecting lives, forcefully told (Telegraph)

About the Author

Carol Anshaw is the author of Aquamarine, Seven Moves, and Lucky in the Corner. She lives in Chicago. www.carolanshaw.com

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
By Tommy Dooley TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is the one that has got all `the U.S. talking' about it and when I read that I was a bit dubious, but now I have read the book I am a convert. This tells the story of a group of friends and family who are all attending a wedding. It starts in 1983 and there is more than just alcohol at the reception, so when it comes to going home time, not too many are really up for being the designated driver, but Olivia is.

Her lights aren't working properly so just on fog lamps she takes off and on the way home in the middle of nowhere they hit and kill a young girl. In the aftermath the mettle of some of the friends is seen in its true light and lot of them are found wanting. The book then takes us through their lives and their pasts for the next twenty five years. We have drug use, prison, familial hostility, bullying, lesbian relationships alternative folk music and oodles of guilt as well as a healthy dose of astro physics and art. The common thread running through the whole thing is how they did or did not deal with their part in the death of a child.

A lot of what takes place is the mundane and ordinary, the kind of things that are the geography and tapestry of every bodies lives. What makes it so engaging is the writing, Carol Anshaw get inside the characters and has a real feel for all of their emotions, whether rightly placed or being used as a shield from what ever one of lives travail's they are unable to face. There are no heroes and all the bad people are just ordinarily bad in many cases and as such there is a resonance in the simple truth that fills every page. That said actually quite a bit happens but as with all of us the milestones that we choose to define who we are can happen with great distance between them, this is the case here.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thirty years of guilt 23 Dec 2012
By Eleanor TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
It is 1983 and the day of Carmen's wedding. As she waves goodbye to the last of her guests, her siblings, sister-in-law, and two friends, she notices that they are driving with only their fog lights. The car journey ends in tragedy and the events of that night resonate through the years. "Carry the One" follows Carmen and her family over three decades, each chapter advancing the narrative a few years.

Carmen, a righteous and loving woman, is vividly drawn as are the other characters who come to life in such a way that the reader is anxious to know what happens next, rejoicing in their successes or hoping that things will take a turn for the better. Although the death with which the book opens haunts the characters it is not always to the fore of the narrative. Rather this is a slow, often funny, depiction of a group of people groping their way through life.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting... 13 Jan 2013
By A. Douglas TOP 1000 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This book opens with Carmen's wedding. Set in the early eighties. You meet her sister and brother who both dabble in drugs. They leave the wedding with their friends to drive home and they hit a girl in the road. This isn't a hit and run. They do the right thing, call for help etc. Olivia was driving and she is the girlfriend of Nick (Carmen's brother), she was high on drugs and went to prison for the crime. She does her time and grows up whilst in prison. Nick on the other hand, doesn't quite let go of the drugs. You fast forward a bit, to see that Nick is waiting for Olivia, Carmen gets divorced and lives with her son.

One way or another, they each remember the little girl. Alice (the other sibling) paints the girl as she ages. This is her way of coping. The book has less to do with the death of the girl and more of a coming of age read. It's about how times change/ people change and life moves on whether you want it to or not. It's a good read, but nothing more than almost a fly on the wall account of early twenty somethings getting older and living.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A Truly Depressing Tale 24 Mar 2013
By Brett H TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The synopsis of this novel made me think that it would be an absorbing and an interesting study of the impact of one terrible event on the lives of those involved. The terrible event, which occurs right at the beginning of the book, is the death of a child of 10.

She is killed by a group of revellers leaving a wedding in the middle of nowhere, being mowed down at 3am by a car containing drunken, stoned and sex absorbed and self-obsessed young people . They certainly did not set out to kill her but rather failed to notice her in their path, swerving off the road too late to avoid her. However, they do report the accident. This is no hit and run.

Subsequently the driver is jailed and the rest of the group are remorseful. This novel charts - to a greater or lesser extent - the lives of those involved for the next twenty five years. The implication is that this event has had a huge impact and certainly the cover notes bill it as such. However, largely it did not seem to me to have had that effect on most of them except, perhaps, superficially. Some continued to be junkies, others despised their parents, got divorced, made out, were successful or not, but I was not at all convinced that the accident really had any huge impact on their lives as is implied.

This is really quite a depressing and miserable tale. Best taken with a lot of Leonard Cohen (music to jump out of the window by) in the background and some sour grapes to eat. Really hard to get through and it lacks the compulsion of the profound tale it is clearly intended to be. King Lear it is not.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Can you ever put the past behind you?
It's amazing to think the effect of something we did in our youth will have on the rest of our lives but that is exactly what Carol's book walks us through over a period of 25... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Leeanne Barlow
5.0 out of 5 stars great
Through friendships and marriages, divorce and affairs this story shows how one life and the events that happen can have a massive impact on the lives of others we know and love. Read more
Published 5 months ago by xenofan
3.0 out of 5 stars novel starts very strongly and then loses it
The first half of Carry the one is excellent. Then you get a sense that the author doesn't know how to end it and that many episodic parts keep dragging it on. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Amazon Customer
1.0 out of 5 stars Alice paints a dead girl.
The plot seems promising to begin with, as Carmen and Matt get married and attend their wedding reception in a hotel. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Eileen Shaw
3.0 out of 5 stars Things stay with you ...
The story revolves around the lives of a group of siblings and friends who were wedding guests and are involved in a tragic accident . Read more
Published 9 months ago by BusyReader
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting read
This is the story of 5 people are driving home from a wedding,whilst under the influence of drink and drugs. Read more
Published 13 months ago by M. A. Coyle
4.0 out of 5 stars Read with interest
Book arrived quickly and in excellent condition. Written by an American author so some of the vocbulary and phrases more guessed at. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Jenny Wren
5.0 out of 5 stars 'When you add us up, you always have to carry the one'
Carol Anshaw's fourth novel 'Carry the One' begins with the bohemian wedding of Carmen and Matt in rural Wisconsin. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Isola
3.0 out of 5 stars Good in parts
A lot of novels probably use a story line as a carrier for the author's wish to communicate wider, more abstract thoughts. Read more
Published 17 months ago by S. Thomas
3.0 out of 5 stars A good start
A good start .
There was not enough storyline to keep me interested during the whole book. It was on the whole a little bit dreary and negative
Published 18 months ago by christine k
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