Parrot and Olivier in America

Front Cover
Penguin Group Australia, 2011 - Fiction - 464 pages
37 Reviews

Shortlisted for the 2010 National Book Award (USA) and the 2010 Commonwealth Writers' Prize

'It is like being alive at the time Dickens was writing, I think he's that good. This novel is right up there with his best. It is an amazingly ambitious, ingenious, clever, wonderful book.' Andrew Motion, Chair of the 2010 Man Booker Prize

When the young French aristocrat Olivier is sent to the New World, apparently to study its prisons but in reality to avoid another revolution, Parrot is sent with him. The son of an English printer, Parrot wanted to be an artist but has ended up as a servant. They make an unlikely pair – but as their adventures with love and money, goal and painting show them, there's nowhere better for unlikely things to flourish than in the glorious, brand-new democratic experiment, America.

Carey's most acclaimed novel since True History of the Kelly Gang, Parrot and Olivier in America is a virtuoso portrait of the Old World colliding chaotically with the New. Above all, it is the wildly funny and tender story of two men who come to form an almost impossible friendship, and a completely improbably work of art.

'Once this novel grabs you, it holds you. Heart as well as brain. A cracking adventure.' Jennifer Byrne, The Age

'Possibly the most charming and engaging novel this demon of a storyteller has yet written.' Paul Auster

'Gorgeously entertaining, and moving . . . A novel of fierce attachments, charting the proximity of beauty and terror in the human soul.' O, The Oprah Magazine

Selected for 'best books of the year' lists by The Australian, The Economist, The New Yorker, Financial Times, Publishers Weekly and The Week.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - hemlokgang - LibraryThing

This novel has it all! Travel from post French Revolution France to England to post Revolutionary War America to Australia and back again, with Parrot, an indentured servant, and Olivier, a French ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - lisapeet - LibraryThing

I liked this very much. It's a slow read, which suits me as a slow reader—but not a draggy or boring one at all. There are a lot of layers here underneath Carey's extravagant language: political ... Read full review

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About the author (2011)

Peter Carey is a zoologist who has made more than 80 trips to Antarctica, including research expeditions with the New Zealand Antarctic Programme and the Australian National Antarctic research expedition. He has also worked as a lecturer and expedition leader on many Antarctic cruise ships.

Peter has conducted research on penguin behaviour, sea-bird ecology, fish physiology and the social behaviour of seals. He visits Antarctica every summer and is working to ecologically restore a group of small islands in the Falklands Archipelago. As director of the conservation organisation SAFER (Subantarctic Foundation for Ecosystems Research), he is actively involved in improving the wildlife habitat of these islands.


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