Carey once again displays his usual humour, wit and perfectly crafted writing with a take on the life of Alexander de Tocqueville. The French aristocrat collides with an English printer nicknamed Parrot on their travels in America, and the story is told from both of their perspectives. The dual storyline works perfectly under Carey’s adept control, pacing the novel so that the reader desperately wants to read on but is equally halted by a joy in simply absorbing the language. Metaphors and simile regarding birds are woven beautifully into the text, and this master of history evokes the slums of Paris, the dirt of early New York, and the green hills of unchartered America to perfection. A tale of love, politics and ultimately friendship, this is a funny and yet poignant look at what happens when different worlds collide.
Becky Milford (Tue 26th Jul 2011)