Albert of Adelaide Hardcover – 26 Jul 2012
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A rollicking adventure story and ultimately an exploration of the nature of prejudice (Washington Post)
An absolutely splendid novel that works on multiple levels ... it's a parable about the fate of Australia's first people, and about the impact of humans on the environment, but it's also a bloody good yarn, told in beautifully crafted, dry and understated prose (Bookgeeks)
A tale for adults packed with entertainment, insight, pathos and a satirical punch. (The Bookbag) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
A story of the Australian Outback, a duck-billed platypus on a quest, and what it means to be a hero.See all Product Description
Top Customer Reviews
Just to make clear what it isn't, because it would be possible to be unintentionally misled by the blurb into thinking this was (a) a comedy romp or (b) aimed at children. It is neither; it's a quite serious adult fantasy novel whose main characters are Australian marsupials who wear clothes, carry guns and eat tinned sardines, among many other things. Now there's no reason this can't work, in theory; you suspend your disbelief and accept that fantasy universes have different rules. Talking, clothed mules work for Magnus Mills in "Explorers of the New Century"; a platypus on a quest, accompanied by an arsonist wombat and encountering a Tasmanian Devil who is clearly an avatar of Conrad's Kurtz from "Heart of Darkness" could work here. But it didn't, for me. This is partly because the writing style itself is rather flat and over-explanatory - at one point he spends a paragraph explaining that Albert can't go into town because his face is on a wanted poster, a fact so blindingly obvious that it had never even occurred to me to question why someone else goes instead.
The other reason is that, when writing a fantasy, it is necessary to be very well acquainted with the reality in which it is grounded, which I don't think he is. He's an American who has never set foot in Australia; this alone needn't prevent his depictions of it from convincing, but they don't really come alive for me. More seriously, he doesn't seem at all well informed about the nature of modern zoos in advanced countries, nor indeed about animal nature in some respects.Read more ›
Eventually Jack leaves Albert, who finds a sign 'Gates of Hell' which turns out to be a store run by a disreputable duo Bertram, a wallaby and Theodore, an evil possum. Albert is robbed by the pair but is saved again by TJ, a racoon. They travel together and TJ tries un unsuccessful attempt to be a robber. Albert is not much help as he cannot shoot very well. Albert is left alone again after TJ is taken away by some dingoes.
Albert decides to try and find Muldoon, an old champion wrestler. Jack had spoken of him, but would not answer questions about their relationship.
After finding Muldoon, camped by a waterhole, and again meeting up with Jack, now limping and TJ who was befriended by the dingoes the foursome rest in their camp. They hear a battle and soon shells are falling nearby.It is the posse of kangaroos and wallabies led by Theodore and Bertram against the dingoes.Read more ›
Albert is a Duck Billed Platypus and he has escaped from Adelaide Zoo to find the Old Australia where animals still rule their old kingdoms. Weighed down by the trauma of being captured when he was younger and the death of his mother he feels that anything is better than the zoo. He first runs into Jack, a Wombat with a penchant for starting fires, but handy with both sardines and tea. This leads him to his first adventure, but no sooner is he left to his own devices than he gets into trouble again. On the way we have bar tending kangaroos, an American racoon some barmy bandicoots and more than a fair share of dingoes. It is all set in the outback and has a feeling of the Wild West about the settings and story line, but with a great dollop of Aussie culture smack in the middle of it.
As I said I thought this was going to be funny, but it is freely a human story using the animals as the vehicles to take that forward. We still do have their characteristics being given to all the animals but underneath there are almost lessons for man and his self destructive nature.
Howard L. Anderson has an easy writing style that both flows and is accessible and I found this to be quite compelling once it got going. So if you are up for a story of gun totin marsupials with a few messages along the way, this could be the one for you.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very entertaining and amusing book I would recommend to men and women of all agesPublished 6 months ago by Richs
This is a glorious romp of a novel. It is a classic story of friendship loyalty and heroism. It is a full on blood and guts western set in the bad lands of Australia, a rip... Read morePublished on 19 Mar. 2014 by Kindle Customer
They say you should never judge a book by its cover but you should surely be able to judge one by its promotional blurb. Read morePublished on 1 Dec. 2013 by IWFIcon
The blurb for this book looked quite promising, if a little silly. A duck-billed platypus, on the run from the zoo where he has been housed for some years, has a number of (rather... Read morePublished on 19 Sept. 2013 by Glasgow Dreamer
The title is inviting - but it's a dull party. We have a routine story, often padded, which I managed to finish only by skipping passages too purple even for Precious Bane. Read morePublished on 14 July 2013 by T. Russell
I enjoyed this book. There is a rip-roaring heart to it that just gallops away. Part western, part gangster, part Redwall with a healthy dash of Ned Kelly- there is a poignancy... Read morePublished on 24 Jun. 2013 by Jack Chakotay
I really have no idea what to say about this crazy Western-style tale featuring a platypus.
One the one hand it was quite a fun adventure, but on the other it was filled... Read more
As other reviewers have pointed, Albert of Adelaide is not a kids book. What it is is a colourful tale about talking marsupials which caught me totally by surprise. Read morePublished on 23 Mar. 2013 by Mr. A. Mcgregor
I almost wish that I liked this much more than I did. It is a little different to the norm and it is a little quirky but I think that it would have worked far better if it was... Read morePublished on 2 Dec. 2012 by The Emperor