Parrot and Olivier in America
Olivier is a French aristocrat, the traumatized child of survivors of the Revolution. Parrot is 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 the New World, 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.
`[An] exhilarating tour de force ... Fizzing with the fictional panache that has twice won him the Booker prize.' --Peter Kemp, Sunday Times
`One hell of a ride ... there are scenes here as dramatic and as poignant as any Carey has ever written ... At the same time, Parrot and Olivier contains some wonderfully funny moments.' --John Preston, Sunday Telegraph
`Carey is a wily and supremely confident storyteller on a grand scale ... Within the covers is a complex discussion of the philosophy of democracy, and yet Parrot and Olivier is most strikingly beautiful at its most elemental.' --Russell Celyn Jones, The Times
`A brilliantly written ripsnorter of a yarn ... Carey doesn't so much reanimate history by back-projecting modern-day concerns on to the past as make it come alive in lurid living colour.'
--Peter Murphy, Irish Times