BookBrowse Reviews Parrot and Olivier in America by Peter Carey

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Parrot and Olivier in America

By Peter Carey

Parrot and Olivier in America
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  • Hardcover: Apr 2010,
    400 pages.
    Paperback: Jan 2011,
    400 pages.

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Book Reviewed by:
Kim Kovacs

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A novel loosely based on the life of Alexis de Tocqueville from two-time Booker Prize-winner Peter Carey

Parrot and Olivier in America is a rich, intricate historical novel which places two very different foreigners in the middle of a completely alien society: American democracy in its infancy. Olivier is a spoiled young French aristocrat, a foppish prig unwillingly sent overseas by his worried parents. John Larrit (aka "Parrot") is the talented son of an English engraver, hired ostensibly to be Olivier's servant but in fact sent to keep him out of trouble. These dissimilar characters allow readers to take a step back from what they know of this early period in United States history to experience it from two disparate, contrasting viewpoints, creating a sense of freshness and nostalgia for a more innocent America, the land of opportunity where anything is possible.

Parrot and Olivier in America is loosely based on the life of Alexis de Tocqueville and his seminal work, Democracy ...

A video interview with Peter Carey from Granta magazine on Vimeo:

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