Friday 25 October 2013

Albert of Adelaide

Finished October 6
Albert of Adelaide by Howard L. Anderson

This quirky novel is set in the outback of Australia. Alberta is a platypus who has carefully planned and managed his escape from the Adelaide zoo, looking for a place he has heard where free animals like himself can live happily. He has managed to make his way north by hopping trains and is now well north of Alice Springs. As the book begins he is running low on supplies and is worried about survival, when he encounters a wombat named Jack who shares his supplies with Albert and the two begin to travel together. The first community they encounter is Ponsby Station, a mining town with a bar run by a kangaroo called O'Hanlin. They encounter other animals there, in particular a couple of bandicoots named Alvin and Roger, who reappear later in the story. Things get a little wild in Ponsby Station, and the two are forced to make a hasty run for it. They separate and Albert continues his adventures, first at an establishment called the Gates of Hell, run by a wallaby named Bertram and a possum named Theodore, an unpleasant couple of creatures. He befriends a stranded American, TJ, a raccoon from San Francisco who is attempting to find a way back home. As Albert makes friends, he also finds he has an undeserved reputation that both helps and hinders him. Throughout the book, there is reference to a creature named Muldoon, who we eventually encounter and learn his sad story.
This novel features numerous Australian animals, all looking for a better life than what was dealt to them, and all learning to deal with the reality of what they encounter. Interesting and thought-provoking.


  1. I've read the authors "bit" about this, and suddenly have had a hot flash, "his first novel at age 66". I hope it doesn't take that long for my son to publish. Not sure I can continue to look after him till then.

  2. There are an amazing number of writers who started later in life, for a variety of reasons. But I think most of them were doing other things for the earlier portion of their lives, so if your son is writing now when he is young he is more likely to find his potential earlier.