Friday, June 1, 2012

Albert of Adelaide-Howard Anderson

Albert of Adelaide

Howard Anderson

Hachette/Twelve, Jul 10 2012, $24.99

ISBN 9781455509621

Bored of captivity, Albert the duck-billed platypus escapes from Adelaide Zoo. His objective is to find the Old Australia in the Outback. However, Albert begins to miss his ennui incarceration as he arrives severely sunburned in the place where he believes modernization has not occurred.

However, the human towns are no longer filled with people, but instead a crew of animals who behave differently from those he knew in Adelaide. He meets Jack the elderly arsonist wombat in the gates of Hell. Albert also encounters gay alcoholic bandicoots. To his surprise he adjusts to the nightmarish land that is nothing like his utopian fantasy by committing roadside robberies. When he is arrested and convicted to hang, Albert meets the legendary Tasmanian devil Muldoon.

This is a terrific parable in which the protagonist learns the Thomas Wolfe mantra You Can’t Go Home Again as it does not exist outside your memories or in Albert’s case his mythological dreams. The storyline starts leisurely introducing readers to Albert in Adelaide, but once the hero goes on the road and encounters life in the wild, the plot accelerates into a coming of age anthropomorphic action thriller.

Harriet Klausner

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