Albert of Adelaide by Howard Anderson
Posted by Caitie F on July 10, 2012
Summary from publisher
ALBERT OF ADELAIDE follows the story of a duck-billed platypus who escapes from Australia’s Adelaide Zoo and embarks on a journey through the outback in search of ‘Old Australia,’ a land of liberty, promise and peace. Encountering a motley assortment of characters–a pyromaniac wombat, a pair of invariably drunk (and vaguely gay) bandicoots, some dingoes, a group of kangaroos and a wrestling Tasmanian devil–this unlikely hero discovers a strength and skill for survival he could not have known he possessed. At once an old-fashioned-buddy-novel-shoot-em-up and a work of deliciously imagined fantasy, ALBERT OF ADELAIDEis a haunting story of a world where something has gone horribly awry.:
I am writing this review in February, right after I finished reading it for work (note, I do not work for the publisher that put this book out. I work for another company that just got the chance to read this early) . I didn’t want to forget about this wonderful book, so I made sure I wrote it right away.
I am not surprised that i thought it was a masterpiece. If you don’t know, the imprint Twelve only publishes twelve books a year, which is way less than any imprint at a major publisher. The thing is that those twelve books tend to be phenomenal. This was no different. I really should read every book they publish.
The premise of Albert sounds strange. It is about an Australian platypus trying to find a special place in the world where animals live in peace. But what results is a funny, exciting, and heart-warming adventure that you will not soon forget.
The writing is especially beautiful. I can get annoyed and distracted by too much imagery and scenery, but I felt like I could actually see the Australian Outback and all of the animal characters. I really felt like I was not sitting at my desk and was inside the story instead (so glad I got this on a slow day, I usually don’t get to read at work!).
And while this book was about animals, it also wasn’t. There was racial tension, dictatorship allegory, among other ideas and situations that paralleled our past and present. It could have easily been humans in the story, but I just think it would have been less effective, creative, and beautiful if it was a more “normal” novel.
More than all of that is that it was just a fun book to read. I was completely engaged and hated putting it down. It made me laugh, smile, and think, just like all the best books I have read. I immediately wanted to give it to friends and family, but had to live with just passing it around at work. It is a book that we are all buzzing about and I am excited to see the public’s opinion.
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!