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Book Review :: The Parrot and the Igloo by David Lipsky

Guest Post by Nick Agelis

David Lipsky’s 2023 summer release, The Parrot and the Igloo, is a non-fiction work that focuses on climate change, but even more provocatively, the growing denial of its existence and the mammoth topic of potential human extinction.

Lipsky explains why climate change is so contentious using trendy narrative non-fiction techniques (think Capote or Mailer) to give insight into not only Thomas Edison, George Westinghouse, and Nikola Tesla’s scientific minds, but their personal idiosyncrasies as well. These insights allow casual readers to digest a convoluted and complicated topic: climate change and the subsequent denial of it.

Lipsky’s portrayal of a doom and gloom scenario reads like a comic entertainment of a who’s who in the field of science. Rife with current pop culture references from Disney’s Frozen to equating the severity of an ozone hole to a Christopher Nolan special effect, Lipsky makes reading about a potentially pending apocalypse fun. Wait… Is that possible? Unequivocally, yes.

Lipsky garnered much of his fame writing about the much more famous David Foster Wallace in his quasi memoir, Although of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself. But with the emergence of this Pynchonesque tragicomedy of world population proportions, Lipsky firmly stands on his own.

The Parrot and the Igloo by David Lipsky. W.W. Norton & Co., July 2023.

Reviewer Bio: Nicholas Agelis is an unpublished high school English teacher and basketball coach in North Jersey, and is currently an MFA student at William Paterson University.

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