Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Parrot and Olivier in America | Peter Carey

It's been a while since I read Peter Carey, having enjoyed him in the past, I somehow forgot about him! I found this book when I was browsing in the library and started it right away.
Carey is one of those authors I shouldn't forget about. He is such a good story teller with a huge diversity in topics and settings. Carey is Australian and has written the well known Oscar and Lucinda and True History of the Kelly gang, both set in Australia.

In this, he fictionalizes the extraordinary life of Alexis de Tocqueville, a French aristocrat.
In this retelling, Olivier is the aristocrat who grows up at the time of the French Revolution with all it's uncertainties and catastrophes. To ensure his safety his mother packs him off to America, at that stage a bustling Colony struggling for identity.
Parrot on the other hand is a young man who is a printer's son, orphaned and toughened in rural England. He eventually ends up in France  and is charged with looking out for Olivier. They have a love-hate relationship but end up quite dependent on each other.
The novel follows their lives to the end, and has a lot to say about the issues of the time, without being preachy.
I really enjoyed reading this book and recommended it. Carey is worth the investment of time and I will search out his other novels I haven't read as they are a guaranteed good yarn.

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