Olivier is an aristocrat, the traumatized child of survivors of the French Revolution.
Parrot the son of an itinerant printer who always wanted to be an artist but has ended up a servant.
Born on different sides of history, their lives will be brought together by their travels in America.
When Olivier sets sail for America, ostensibly to study its prisons but in reality to save his neck from one more revolution - Parrot is sent with him, as spy, protector, foe and foil.
As the narrative shifts between the perspectives of Parrot and Olivier, and their picaresque travels together and apart - in love and politics, prisons and the world of art - Peter Carey explores the adventure of American democracy, in theory and in practice, with dazzling wit and inventiveness.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 592 pages
- Publisher: Faber & Faber
- Publication Date: 01/02/2011
- Category: Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)
- ISBN: 9780571253326
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Showing 1 - 3 of 3 reviews.
Review by EpicTale
I really enjoyed "Parrot and Olivier in America", the first book by Peter Carey that I've read (and, I hope, it won't be the last!). Carey did his homework to create a realistic historical framework in which to launch his characters and story. The book is well written and flows smoothly, quickly, engagingly, and interestingly. I liked the stories of the book's two main protagonists, their personal transformations, and the relationship that evolved between the once-unrepentant aristocrat and his idealistic everyman helpmate. Carey gives the reader lots to think about, and does so with classy writing and vivid imagery.
Review by fist
Verbose, pretentious, shallow and contrived. Hated it from the start, and it went downhill from there.
Review by polarbear123
An astoundingly good book that manages to not only examine complex issues like the transition of constitutions from aristocracies to democracies but also packsa a good story in with a whole lot of humour. Great characters with other-wordly storylines are woven in throughout the narrative and the sense of a changing world as Olivier and Parrot travel around is immense. How will this changing world effect our heroes? For beter or worse? I for one felt the characters were immensely likeable with a lot of depth to them aswell. This is the second Carey book that I have read and I am looking forward to reading more of an author who is rapidly creeping into my top ten list!