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May 02, 1993|CHARLES SOLOMON

CLOVIS by Michael Fessier (Turtle Point Press: $8.95; 149 pp., paperback original). Fessier, who wrote "You Were Never Lovelier," published this picaresque novel about an overly intelligent parrot in 1948. Although the brilliant Clovis knows he represents the culmination of generations of breeding experiments, he soon discovers his ability to reason only impedes his chances of survival in the world of humans. Fessier uses his feathered Candide to lampoon the excesses of 20th Century America, including a mordant caricature of Hollywood. When Clovis asks his former owner, Grover Grobney, "When I last saw you, you threatened to go out into the world to blacken the Grobney family name. . . . How are you doing?" Grover replies, "Well, I'm a Hollywood agent. . . . What do you think?"

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