- Publisher: Serpent's Tail
- Format: Hardback | 304 pages
- Dimensions: 144mm x 222mm x 25mm | 407g
- Publication date: 26 July 2012
- Publication City/Country: London
- ISBN 10: 184668840X
- ISBN 13: 9781846688409
- Edition statement: Trade Paperback.
- Sales rank: 17,301
Albert is a duck-billed platypus, who has escaped from a zoo in Adelaide to look for somewhere that may, or may not, exist: Old Australia, a place where humans never venture, and animals still rule. Albert knows it's somewhere in the middle of the Outback - not the ideal habitat for a water-loving animal - but now he's lost and close to death. He's saved, though, by Jack, a pyromaniac, sardine-loving wombat, who promptly gets him into even worse trouble taking him to a marsupial-only bar run by a kangaroo called O'Hanlin, getting him drunk and then burning the bar down. And this is just the beginning of Albert's adventure ...A glorious romp of a novel, Albert of Adelaide is a story of friendship, loyalty and heroism. And marsupials. Pacy and poignant, it's completely original -- a book for people (and animals) of all ages.
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Howard L. Anderson has lived 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. After earning a law degree, he became legal counsel for the New Mexico Organized Crime Commission. He is currently a district attorney in New Mexico, where he defends Mexican nationals charged with crimes north of the border. Albert of Adelaide is his first novel. He has never lived in Australia.
By Abbey Clark 12 Aug 2012
When I first heard about this book, I wasn't sure about it. It sounded great but you know those books that sound great in their description but the writing or plot actually lets it down? Not this one. The prose is fantastic, the characters are like old friends, the descriptions of the creatures and surroundings in the book are breathtaking. I wasn't sure how an American could successfully write about Australia in such a way, but honestly, I would make this book my Book of Year 2012.
By Marianne Vincent 06 Jun 2012
from an uncorrected proof copy:
Albert of Adelaide is the first novel by Howard L. Anderson. Albert is a platypus who, sick of his imprisonment there, has escaped from the zoo at Adelaide, and has taken the train to Tennant Creek in search of the "old Australia", a land of liberty, promise and peace that the other animals in the zoo kept whispering about. Albert is hoping to find a world like that of his childhood in the muddy banks of the river Murray, or at least, something that's better than Adelaide: what he finds is a very long way from those expectations. Albert seems innocent and a bit naïve, but he turns out to be not entirely helpless, especially when someone makes him angry. Whilst he chances upon some generous friends, Albert also encounters ignorance and prejudice (he's not a marsupial!), and soon finds he is a platypus with a price on his head, wanted for arson and cheating at two-up. Anderson gives the reader a rich cast of characters: an insane possum, a wallaby with megalomaniacal tendencies, a pair of alcoholic bandicoots, an ex-champion wrestling Tasmanian Devil, a singing pyromaniac wombat, marsupials playing two-up, one kangaroo working as a bartender and another as (fittingly) a bouncer, a surprising snake, several dingoes with deceptive qualities and a gun-happy foreigner in red long-johns with a black eye mask. And it seems they are all armed: pistols, rifles, an Enfield carbine, knives, rockets, a cannon, shotguns, muskets, and swords all feature. Anderson's very original plot includes fires, highway robbery, bribery, betrayal, ambush and more than one battle. He gives his characters some wise words that will have the reader thinking about loyalty, mateship, justifying one's actions and just how far one would go for a friend. I loved Albert's thoughts on being lost. I was interested to see how Anderson, a resident of New Mexico, USA, would acquit himself with a story filled with Australian native animals: I was very impressed with the result. I laughed a lot, I cried, and I heaved a sigh of satisfaction at the end of the book (although I would love to read more of Albert's adventures). A captivating tale.