The Elephant on Karlův Bridge reviewed

Quill and Quire

“In his latest novel, The Elephant on Karlův Bridge, Thomas Trofimuk imagines the escape of an elephant named Sal from the Prague zoo on an early July morning. The novel follows the elephant through the streets of Prague to the famous Charles Bridge, where Sal causes a reasonable amount of havoc after being provoked by a swarm of bees. The elephant’s journey is a narrative thread from which Trofimuk spins a web of interconnected stories that involve a cast of characters who are related to one another in ways that are both arbitrary and deeply significant.”

Pickle Me This

“Thoughtful, artful, playful . . . Thomas Trofimuk’s latest novel, The Elephant on Karluv Bridge, is an absorbing literary puzzle and truly a delight to encounter.”
—Kerry Clare, Pickle Me This. Read the full review here.

The Edmonton Journal

“The novel weaves together five tales of romance and heartbreak, of love and loss, of life and death of just a few people who call the Czech Republic capital home, with flourishes from a 664-year-old bridge.”

Alberta Views

“The wandering narrative buoyed by humour while it tackles human peccadilloes and societal caprices has been with us since Cervantes and Laurence Sterne. Trofimuk brings his own skill and unique voice to this strand. Funny, candid, improvisational, historically anecdotal, sexy… it’s a heady mix.” 

All Lit Up

“Set in Prague and narrated by the 600-year-old Charles Bridge, this novel begins with an lephant named Sál escaping the Prague Zoo. As the elephant moves through the beautiful Czech city, the lives of the men and women she meets are altered by the encounter. Each character is at a crossroads, and desperately seeking the wisdom they need to wrestle with profound questions—how to live, how to love, who to love, how to heal. And the elephant herself is haunted, as memories of her long-ago capture in Africa resurface. Sál carries the narrative from one point of view to another: Vasha, a writer and night watchman at the zoo, and his wife Marta, a psychotherapist, confront the question of whether to have a child; Šárka, Marta’s patientand a dancer at the end of her career, is visited by a charming and often abrasive manifestation of the long-dead ballerina Anna Pavlova; Joseph, a clown and bouffon, performs on the Karlův Bridge itself, and he is about to be struck down (literally and figuratively) by a new love…Through it all, Sál steals the show, wandering the streets in search of water and food, bearing her own share of sadness and painful memories as she struggles to find her way out of her bewildering predicament. Though she, like the humans she encounters, is free now to make her own choices, she is also displaced and lost. Thomas Trofimuk’s novel masterfully convinces us to accept all the wonders contained in it: that a bridge can tell a story, that art is integral to our survival, that an elephant can scatter sudden flashes of insight in her wake, that there is no separation between the grief of elephants and the grief of humans.”


“Compelling! Captivating! Riveting! I don’t have enough words to describe the incredible new book The Elephant on Karluv Bridge by Thomas Trofimuk. I was hooked from page one and couldn’t put the book down. Mr. Trofmuk is a masterful storyteller who weaved a stunning arary characters with artful writing and poignant stories of love and loss. A must read!”