Sch-Vermilion Parrot

David Rains Wallace, Author Random House (NY) $18 (217p) ISBN 978-0-87156-630-0
Brace yourself for more ``green'' novels like this one during the ecologically aware '90s. When George Kilgore stumbles across a five-foot-tall vermilion parrot being kept secret by the U.S. government, he embarks on an adventure that takes him from a California old-growth forest to ancient Mexican ruins. As Kilgore, the parrot (no garden-variety psittacinespok but a talking, prehistoric space-traveler) and a Czechoslovakian spy named Jill flee the feds, they get caught up in a quest for endangered California condors. The novel scores points for imagination but the plot is as tangled as a piece of environmental legislation. The characters' cynicism is matched only by their lack of personal appeal; these are people who say things like ``You sound so bourgeois alienatedsic I almost believe you.'' Wallace, whose ``eco-thriller'' The Turquoise Dragon also features Kilgore, skewers environmentalists who go to McDonald's and fret over the impact their orders might have on the rain forest, and lampoons part-time nature lovers hastening out of the woods to catch the next episode of Masterpiece Theatre. But wry observations won't save the planet and, unfortunately, can't save this book. (June)
Reviewed on: 06/03/1991
Release date: 06/01/1991
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