Books with two narrators are hard to pull off. I almost always prefer one narrator to the other, which means I almost always have the following poor reading experience with two-narrative books, to wit (as they say in books written a while ago and in legal documents still):
So there I am, reading along, and then the great story I’ve been loving slams to a stop and some other story starts up, and it turns out to be one I don’t care about at all. It’s sort of like what happens at parties when some guy steps in between you and the person who’s telling a great story about, say, the time their mother tricked them into going to the United States so you wouldn’t get your aristocratic behind in trouble, and the boring guy starts to relate to you the tale of how he bought his Prius. Bad. I always wonder how the writer failed to see that the narrator I like is so much better than that other narrator to whom the writer handed over big swathes of the book. It is not a question you can ever get answered.
These problems are not present in Peter Carey’s new book, Parrot and Olivier (they go to America, and that’s part of the title too). It took me 24 hours to read it. Both Parrot and Olivier are equally wonderful. You might want to pick it up.