Albert of Adelaide: A Novel

Albert of Adelaide: A Novel

4.2 9
by Howard Anderson
     
 

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At once an old-fashioned-buddy-novel-shoot-'em-up and a work of deliciously imagined fantasy, Howard L. Anderson's dazzling debut presents the haunting story of a world where something has gone horribly awry . . .

Having escaped from Australia's Adelaide Zoo, an orphaned platypus named Albert embarks on a journey through the outback in search of "Old Australia,"

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Overview

At once an old-fashioned-buddy-novel-shoot-'em-up and a work of deliciously imagined fantasy, Howard L. Anderson's dazzling debut presents the haunting story of a world where something has gone horribly awry . . .

Having escaped from Australia's Adelaide Zoo, an orphaned platypus named Albert embarks on a journey through the outback in search of "Old Australia," a rumored land of liberty, promise, and peace. What he will find there, however, away from the safe confinement of his enclosure for the first time since his earliest memories, proves to be a good deal more than he anticipated.

Alone in the outback, with an empty soft drink bottle as his sole possession, Albert stumbles upon pyromaniacal wombat Jack, and together they spend a night drinking and gambling in Ponsby Station, a rough-and-tumble mining town. Accused of burning down the local mercantile, the duo flees into menacing dingo territory and quickly go their separate ways-Albert to pursue his destiny in the wastelands, Jack to reconcile his past.
Encountering a motley assortment of characters along the way-a pair of invariably drunk bandicoots, a militia of kangaroos, hordes of the mercurial dingoes, and a former prize-fighting Tasmanian devil-our unlikely hero will discover a strength and skill for survival he never suspected he possessed.

Told with equal parts wit and compassion, ALBERT OF ADELAIDE shows how it is often the unexpected route, and the most improbable companions, that lead us on the path to who we really are. Who you journey with, after all, is far more important than wherever it is you are going.

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Editorial Reviews

Washington Post
"Will recall the unnerving allegories of Watership Down or Animal Farm. . . a rollicking adventure story and ultimately an exploration of the nature of prejudice."
San Francisco Chronicle
"One of the highest compliments a reviewer could inflict on a novel, for example, would be the sentence 'I have never read anything remotely like this, and I am older than dirt.' Which is a phrase I find that I have to use for Howard Anderson's ALBERT OF ADELAIDE... Unique... refreshing... unforgettable."
The New York Post
"Required reading....If you've been searching for an old-fashioned Western with a platypus protagonist, wait no more."
Hudson Valley News
"Trust me. You will love this book and will find yourself reading passages aloud to your loved ones, maybe even to the dog."
The Tennessean
"Remember the poignant beauty of The Wind in the Willows? Take those characters, switch them with wombats, wallabies, dingos, a Tasmanian devil and a platypus, and then give everyone a firearm."
Shelf Awareness
"Charming....Join Albert the platypus on a delightful, sometimes harrowing, road trip in Australia during which many things happen-not all of them good."
Fiction Writers Review
"Funny, touching, and entertaining. Most of all, though, it's unique. Howard L. Anderson's gun-slinging platypus is a whimsical addition to the tradition of beast epics, and, in an industry sometimes enamored of clichés, Albert of Adelaide is one of the most imaginative books published in years."
Timestage Embassy
"The novel really is at its heart a wonderfully uplifting tale of friendship, survival, and healing, against the most aggravating of obstacles. Once Albert has waddled onto store shelves in paperback, I fully expect book groups around the country to gleefully tear it apart, especially book groups with an emphasis on civic engagement."
NY Journal of Books
"The sort of book for which summers on the Vineyard were created...Enough hijinks ensue to insure a sunburn, as the reader tries to get in just one more chapter before having to move to the shade."
Bookpage
"A pleasing adventure through the outback that tackles big themes while celebrating both friendship and independence.... Anderson has built a desert world that could be scary for a lone zoo platypus-thankfully, he is never quite alone, and his story will leave readers smiling."

Kingman Daily Miner
"[Albert] is a delightful character who discovers he can be more than an object to be stared at in a cage."
Bookloons.com
"Totally original, genre-bending... [Howard L. Anderson has]hit a home run his first time up at the plate...one of those delightful and absorbing narratives that can be taken on a number of levels... You won't soon forget the time you spend with Albert of Adelaide."
Pub Writes
"This was one of the best books I have read all year. I enjoyed every moment and hope you will pick it up and join Albert on his journey for self and utopia. And you have to love that cover!"
New York Journal of Books
"The sort of book for which summers on the Vineyard were created . . . Enough hijinks ensue to insure a sunburn, as the reader tries to get in just one more chapter before having to move to the shade."
Mary Doria Russell
"If Larry McMurtry had written Wind in the Willows, he might have come up with something almost as wonderful and moving as Howard Anderson's Albert of Adelaide. This is a novel that defies analysis and summaries. Trust me. Just read it."
Time Magazinestage Embassy
"The novel really is at its heart a wonderfully uplifting tale of friendship, survival, and healing, against the most aggravating of obstacles. Once Albert has waddled onto store shelves in paperback, I fully expect book groups around the country to gleefully tear it apart, especially book groups with an emphasis on civic engagement."
Barnes and Noble
"Howard L. Anderson's novel is an uproarious introduction to the menagerie of characters living just outside our enclosures."
From the Publisher
"If Larry McMurtry had written Wind in the Willows, he might have come up with something almost as wonderful and moving as Howard Anderson's Albert of Adelaide. This is a novel that defies analysis and summaries. Trust me. Just read it."—Mary Doria Russell, New York Times bestselling author of The Sparrow and Doc"

Will recall the unnerving allegories of Watership Down or Animal Farm. . . a rollicking adventure story and ultimately an exploration of the nature of prejudice."—Washington Post"

One of the highest compliments a reviewer could inflict on a novel, for example, would be the sentence 'I have never read anything remotely like this, and I am older than dirt.' Which is a phrase I find that I have to use for Howard Anderson's ALBERT OF ADELAIDE... Unique... refreshing... unforgettable."—San Francisco Chronicle"

This debut novel from a 69-year-old New Mexico lawyer is rich in commentary on weighty themes: power, fear, prejudice, and the fluid nature of good and evil. Most of all, Albert is a charming and compelling hero with the strength to honor his convictions while inventing a new life for himself. Readers who enjoy contemporary fiction with shades of social/political commentary will appreciate this."—Library Journal"

Memorable . . . lively . . . quick to satisfy with old-fashioned pleasures: action, adventure, fast friends, and unlikely heroes."
Publishers Weekly, First Fiction Feature"

Required reading....If you've been searching for an old-fashioned Western with a platypus protagonist, wait no more."—The New York Post"

Trust me. You will love this book and will find yourself reading passages aloud to your loved ones, maybe even to the dog."—Hudson Valley News"

Remember the poignant beauty of The Wind in the Willows? Take those characters, switch them with wombats, wallabies, dingos, a Tasmanian devil and a platypus, and then give everyone a firearm."—The Tennessean"

Charming....Join Albert the platypus on a delightful, sometimes harrowing, road trip in Australia during which many things happen-not all of them good."—Shelf Awareness "

Funny, touching, and entertaining. Most of all, though, it's unique. Howard L. Anderson's gun-slinging platypus is a whimsical addition to the tradition of beast epics, and, in an industry sometimes enamored of clichés, Albert of Adelaide is one of the most imaginative books published in years."—Fiction Writers Review"

The novel really is at its heart a wonderfully uplifting tale of friendship, survival, and healing, against the most aggravating of obstacles. Once Albert has waddled onto store shelves in paperback, I fully expect book groups around the country to gleefully tear it apart, especially book groups with an emphasis on civic engagement."—Timestage Embassy"

The sort of book for which summers on the Vineyard were created...Enough hijinks ensue to insure a sunburn, as the reader tries to get in just one more chapter before having to move to the shade."—NY Journal of Books"

A pleasing adventure through the outback that tackles big themes while celebrating both friendship and independence.... Anderson has built a desert world that could be scary for a lone zoo platypus-thankfully, he is never quite alone, and his story will leave readers smiling."—Bookpage"

[Albert] is a delightful character who discovers he can be more than an object to be stared at in a cage."—Kingman Daily Miner"

Totally original, genre-bending... [Howard L. Anderson has]hit a home run his first time up at the plate...one of those delightful and absorbing narratives that can be taken on a number of levels... You won't soon forget the time you spend with Albert of Adelaide."—Bookloons.com"

Howard L. Anderson's novel is an uproarious introduction to the menagerie of characters living just outside our enclosures."—Barnes and Noble"

This was one of the best books I have read all year. I enjoyed every moment and hope you will pick it up and join Albert on his journey for self and utopia. And you have to love that cover!"—Pub Writes"

The sort of book for which summers on the Vineyard were created . . . Enough hijinks ensue to insure a sunburn, as the reader tries to get in just one more chapter before having to move to the shade."—New York Journal of Books

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781455509614
Publisher:
Grand Central Publishing
Publication date:
05/14/2013
Pages:
226
Sales rank:
823,980
Product dimensions:
5.25(w) x 8.25(h) x 0.75(d)

Meet the Author

Howard Anderson has had a varied life: He flew with a helicopter battalion in Vietnam, worked on fishing boats in Alaska, in the steel mills of Pittsburgh, as a truck driver in Houston, and a scriptwriter in Hollywood, and, after gaining a law degree, became legal counsel for the New Mexico Organized Crime Commission. He is currently a defense attorney in New Mexico, where he defends Mexican nationals charged with crimes north of the border.

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Albert of Adelaide: A Novel 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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TheReadingWriter More than 1 year ago
Buy this book. You can pass it on after you’ve had a chance to ramble the Outback. This is a western, set in the bush of Australia, featuring some very unusual characters, among them a Tasmanian devil, a platypus, a wombat, some wallabies, dingoes, bandicoots, and memorably, a raccoon from California. Strange though it may seem, this is not a book for children, nor is it a story written by an Australian. Together, all these facts weave a wonderfully strange allegory of life’s circuitous journey to happiness and fulfillment and some measure of wisdom. When a book appears outside of the usual genres, it must be difficult to market. But my favorite reader/writers have been raving about this book since its arrival on the scene in the summer of 2012. And so it goes by word of mouth, and I add my own to the paeans of praise. Albert is a platypus. Naked and alone in his cage in the Adelaide zoo, he dreams of escape—to a life without incessant examination by “faces smeared with cotton candy and jaws that dribbled popcorn.” He has heard tell of “old Australia” which he conflates with “the Promised Land.” He jumps a freight train, heading north carrying a soft drink bottle filled with water… Many bad things happen, but there are good things, too. “Old Australia” isn’t quite what Albert imagined, but he’s made some friends and sometimes he still dreams of finding a shady riverbank populated by friendly platypussies. Life is a journey, and in this, we travel along with a thoughtful, civilized life form, slow to anger but fierce in vengeance, who can tell a story that makes us see what we might have done better when we ourselves came upon a band of marauding wallaby, terrorizing dingoes, or facing down the brown snake in a cave or in our office. We come to admire Albert, and wish him well. We’d like to know him, and sit about the campfire trading stories. What more can we ask of fiction? A word about the author: he is American who has lived as a general roustabout, a perfect background for a writer. He is currently working in New Mexico as a public defender, where he represents people from Mexico charged with crimes north of the border. He is one of the living writers I’d most like to meet. When an author tries something completely unusual, and succeeds, we need to take notice and support them in their endeavor. Buy this book. You can pass it on after you’ve had a chance to ramble the Outback.
RonEmaus More than 1 year ago
Wallabies, Wombats, Bandicoots, Wallaroos, Kangaroos. As an American these all sound exotic to me but to a platypus ... well you'll see when you read it - which I recommend you do. I'm a slow reader but this is a good tale and I finished it in a couple days. Of course I ignored my chores and shaved a few hours off work; Yes, to read this story. It's a darn good story with wonderful characters and one creative episode after another all on a quest to find utopia in a dystopian landscape. The characters are all male and there's a lot of fighting and running from harm and into harm's way. I'm male and it appealed to me. I'm sending it to my daughter though. She's always wanted to go to Australia so she'll probably like it even if it's a bit masculine. This book is about friendship, loyalty, and betrayal which transcend gender.
JJSteven More than 1 year ago
A wonderful story that really keeps the reader interested from start to finish.
Scott_of_SC More than 1 year ago
Wow! This book was absolutely fantastic. The story of Albert the Platypus really engages the reader. You meet so many characters and explore a lot of territory. I was shocked nobody reviewed this book yet. Definitely my favorite book of 2012.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago