Synopses & Reviews
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.
"In his first novel, the 66-year-old Anderson creates the memorable Albert, a duck-billed platypus who flees the captive monotony of the Adelaide Zoo to search for Old Australia, 'the place where things haven't changed and Australia is like it used to be.' He arrives in the outback blistered, burned, and no closer to this mythic land. But a lively assortment of vagabonds (wombats, bandicoots, and a Tasmanian devil among them) populate the frontier towns the humans have abandoned. First with Jack, an aging wombat, and then on his own, in the Gates of Hell, Albert has adventures, finds trouble, and goes on the run again, robbing unsuspecting animals on the roadside (the old Australia of Albert's dreams is more criminal and less ideal than he'd imagined). Soon he's wanted, pursued, captured, and sentenced to hang for his crimes. Throughout his journey, Albert hears tales of Muldoon, the legendary Tasmanian devil of Old Australia, who, once discovered, helps Albert with all the skirmishes and scrapes he must endure in order to live out his dream of freedom. Anderson's tale is slow to start but quick to satisfy with old-fashioned pleasures: action, adventure, fast friends, and unlikely heroes. Agent: Nicole Aragi. (July)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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 ADELAIDE is a haunting story of a world where something has gone horribly awry.
About 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.