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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.
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Promotional Information

Shortlisted for the Booker Prize, this is the story of an extraordinary friendship across two continents from the author of Amnesia, Oscar and Lucinda and True History of the Kelly Gang.

About the Author

Peter Carey received the Booker Prize for Oscar and Lucinda and again for True History of the Kelly Gang. His novel, Parrot and Olivier in America, was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and was a finalist for the National Book Award in 2010. His other honours include the Commonwealth Prize and the Miles Franklin Award. Born in Australia, he has lived in New York for twenty years.www.petercareybooks.com

Reviews

Carey's fictionalization of Alexis de Tocqueville's trip to America that inspired Tocqueville's study Democracy in America makes for lively listening. As the arrogant Olivier-Jean-Baptiste de Clarel de Barfleur de Garmont-a nobleman (and Tocqueville stand-in) sent abroad by his parents who are scandalized by his political involvement-and Parrot, his Australian manservant (and a secret spy), arrive in the New World, Humphrey Bower dexterously juggles American, British, and French accents and keeps each characters distinct and multidimensional. He glides Parrot and Olivier's wild mood and opinion swings and makes romantic passages light and moving. A Knopf hardcover (Reviews, Nov. 9). (Apr.) Copyright 2010 Reed Business Information.

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