Parrot and Olivier in America

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Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, Apr 20, 2010 - Fiction - 400 pages
4 Reviews
Parrot and Olivier in America has been shortlisted for the 2010 Man Booker Prize.


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.


From the Hardcover edition.
 

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Not sure why i read this to the end other than because it was a birthday present from my mother. It may grow on me over time but for the moment I didn't enjoy the picaresque nature of the descriptions. I couldn't empathise with any of the characters and most of them annoyed me.

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Selected pages

Contents

Section 1
2
Section 2
3
Section 3
36
Section 4
69
Section 5
82
Section 6
105
Section 7
108
Section 8
112
Section 18
223
Section 19
232
Section 20
251
Section 21
259
Section 22
264
Section 23
294
Section 24
298
Section 25
302

Section 9
117
Section 10
122
Section 11
128
Section 12
142
Section 13
148
Section 14
158
Section 15
166
Section 16
186
Section 17
192
Section 26
306
Section 27
318
Section 28
341
Section 29
346
Section 30
365
Section 31
381
Section 32
382
Section 33
383
Copyright

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About the author (2010)

Peter Carey is the author of ten previous novels and has twice received the Booker Prize. His other honors include the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize and the Miles Franklin Literary Award. Born in Australia, he has lived in New York City for twenty years.

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