Albert of Adelaide: A Novel

Albert of Adelaide: A Novel - Howard Anderson

Platypus Albert escapes the Adelaide zoo in search of Old Australia. He's not sure what he finds, but it's not what he was looking for.

 

I admit I was skeptical about this book. I'd read several reviews that talked about how funny or clever it is, or how it is the next Watership Down. But I was reading these reviews everywhere, and a digital sample is free on amazon.com, so I gave it a shot.

 

I wouldn't call it hilariously funny, or even an heir to Watership Down. But I did enjoy it much more than I hoped. There are plenty of humorous moments, but the thing I wasn't expecting is that it's a Western. Like, Zane Grey, Louis L'Amour western, only with platypuses (platypi? platipodes?) and wallabies and dingoes. After reading Watership Down as a child, I'm always afraid that books starring anthropomorphic animals are going to devolve into allegory, but if it was there in this book it was thickly-veiled enough for me to cheerfully ignore it. This book does go to some dark places, which sometimes pulled me out of the happy fantasy.

 

I love that it was written by Howard L. Anderson, a 69 year old organized crime lawyer from New Mexico.

 

What Went Well:

  • Honestly a good Western
  • Totally original

 

Even Better If:

  • Tone stayed lighter