Two For the Road
Parrot and Olivier in America
by Peter Carey
$26.95 List Price
In his introduction to Democracy in America, that epic tale of a young country told by an aristocrat from an old one, Frenchman Alexis de Tocqueville predicted that many of his readers would criticize his work. His account of the New World experiment was "not precisely suited to anybody's taste; in writing it I did not intend to serve or to combat any party; I have tried to see not differently but further than any party; while they are busy with tomorrow, I have wished to consider the whole future." He might as well have been describing the task of the novelist, crawling into the skin of one character after another, scanning the horizon for a glimpse of his creations' ultimate fate.
What would Tocqueville have thought of Parrot and Olivier in America, Peter Carey's latest marvel of a novel, which improvises on
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