Parrot and Olivier in America is a historical novel by Peter Carey that explores the lives of two very different characters, Parrot and Olivier, who are brought together when Olivier sets sail for the New World to escape the French Revolution.
Parrot, a motherless son of an English engraver, is sent with him as a spy, protector, foe, and foil. The novel is an improvisation on the life of Alexis de Tocqueville, and focuses on Tocqueville’s trips to the United States.
The book is set in the early 19th century and provides a vivid picture of post-revolutionary France and America through the eyes of the two protagonists. The novel explores themes such as class, democracy, freedom, and identity. It also delves into the complexities of human relationships and the challenges of adapting to new environments.
What I Liked
I liked the general idea and setting. I find early independent America very interesting. And the idea of retelling de Tocqueville’s wanderings was a good idea.
What I Did Not Like
I don’t think the book was all that great. I can’t put my finger on it, but it was a bit of a slog to read.