A very well-written, cleverly structured, thoughtful historical novel. Lots of insight into character, but also into big issues like the meaning and values of democracy. It’s a sort of fictionalised account of De Tocqueville’s visit to America, but with more fun and adventures, and tension between the two very different narrators. I usually enjoy Peter Carey’s work, and this one makes up for the awful ‘True History of the Kelly Gang’.
I found the last few pages particularly poignant, especially since it’s the insights of the anti-democratic aristocrat that turn out to be the more astute and prophetic.