From the two-time Booker Prize-winning author comes an irrepressibly funny new novel set in early nineteenth-century America.
Olivier--an improvisation on the life of Alexis de Tocqueville--is the traumatized child of aristocratic survivors of the French Revolution. Parrot is the motherless son of an itinerant English printer. They are born on different sides of history, but their lives will be connected by an enigmatic one-armed marquis.
When Olivier sets sail for the nascent United States--ostensibly to make a study of the penal system, but more precisely to save his neck from one more revolution--Parrot will be there, too: as spy for the marquis, and as protector, foe, and foil for Olivier.
As the narrative shifts between the perspectives of Parrot and Olivier, between their picaresque adventures apart and together--in love and politics, prisons and finance, homelands and brave new lands--a most unlikely friendship begins to take hold. And with their story, Peter Carey explores the experiment of American democracy with dazzling inventiveness and with all the richness and surprise of characterization, imagery, and language that we have come to expect from this superlative writer.
"Carey has twice won the Man Booker Prize and by all rights should be nominated for a third for "Parrot and Olivier in America," a novel as big and bold as the country itself. This work showcases Carey at his finest, bringing together all his considerable strengths and obsessions . . . Carey [is] a sheer magician with language . . . He delivers a riot of unexpected plot twists and pleasures . . . An utter tour de force . . . Columbus might have discovered America, but with this new novel, Carey gives us the thrill of discovering his adopted home--our adopted home--all over again."
"Another feat of acrobatic ventriloquism, joining Carey's masterpieces, "Jack Maggs "and "True History of the Kelly Gang ." . . Carey's most marvelous invention is Tocqueville's traveling companion, Parrot . . . It's a brilliant alteration of history and a source of rich comedy . . . Outrageous and witty."
--Ron Charles, "Washington Post"
""Parrot and Olivier "is amus
Number Of Pages: 400
Published: 20th April 2010
Dimensions (cm): 24.1 x 16.6 x 3.6
Weight (kg): 0.699