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.
What members say
Peter Carey is known as one of the best current literary authors. In this book he applies himself to the tumultuous events which took place in France after the first revolution and echoes it with the post revolutionary events in America. An interesting contract, so too the characters: a nobleman (who is rather blunt) and his servant (who is rather sharp). Through various trials and tribulations the pair of them reveal their true worth, character and opinions. There are many twists in this tale and I think it is perfectly summarised in the final chapter where the nobleman declares his doubt that anything truly artistic could flourish in a democracy.
It is interesting and well written, but not profound; which is what I would have expected from Carey. The narrators are brilliant (there is one each for the servant and the nobleman). It is a lengthy listen and worth it if you have exhausted all Carey's other treasures.
Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?
Yes I would, it is just so good. A brilliant storyteller, it has wit, and a great pace. One you should at least try.
Who was your favorite character and why?
I liked both Parrot and Olivier, all the characters are so well written,
Which scene did you most enjoy?
I liked the fire in england best, great imagination and I felt I was there
Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?
I have loved Peter Carey books for a long time, but this is my favorite , it made me feel apart of the story.
Any additional comments?
I f you have liked any of Peter Carey's others books this one is well worth listening to.
3 people found this helpful
Exceptional, need to be fascinated by art France &
The French revolution.How America & New York started, cleverly using the old world to see the development of the new world.
1 person found this helpful