The chapters alternate between the very different viewpoints of the two men, beginning with their childhoods. Olivier is a snob, yet well-intentioned. Parrot is as cheeky as his namesake and chafes at the yoke of servitude. From the start, they cannot stand each other, but a sort of understanding grows between them over time. Their larger-than-life adventures are recounted with verve and style.
Peter Carey is an Australian author who has twice won the Booker prize (Oscar and Lucinda; and The True History of the Kelly Gang). I listened to an audiobook read expertly by Humphrey Bower (Blackstone: 17.5 hours). Bower moves easily between the accents of the various characters, bringing their personalities to life. Carey's witty prose translates very well to audio.