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Parrot And Olivier In America
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New or Used: 3 copies from $16.16
Olivier is a young aristocrat, one of an endangered species born in France just after the Revolution. Parrot, the son of an itinerant English printer, wanted to be an artist but has ended up in middle age as a servant. When Olivier sets sail for the New World - ostensibly to study its prisons, but in reality to avoid yet another revolution - Parrot is sent with him, as spy, protector, foe and foil. Through their adventures with women and money, incarceration and democracy, writing and painting, they make an unlikely pair. But where better for unlikely things to flourish than in the glorious, brand-new experiment, America? A dazzlingly inventive reimagining of Alexis de Tocqueville's famous journey, Parrot and Olivier in America brilliantly evokes the Old World colliding with the New. Above all, it is a wildly funny, tender portrait of two men who come to form an almost impossible friendship, and a completely improbable work of art.
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Carey's fictionalization of Alexis de Tocqueville's trip to America that inspired Tocqueville's study Democracy in America makes for lively listening. As the arrogant Olivier-Jean-Baptiste de Clarel de Barfleur de Garmont-a nobleman (and Tocqueville stand-in) sent abroad by his parents who are scandalized by his political involvement-and Parrot, his Australian manservant (and a secret spy), arrive in the New World, Humphrey Bower dexterously juggles American, British, and French accents and keeps each characters distinct and multidimensional. He glides Parrot and Olivier's wild mood and opinion swings and makes romantic passages light and moving. A Knopf hardcover (Reviews, Nov. 9). (Apr.) Copyright 2010 Reed Business Information.

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