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Albert of Adelaide

3.43 of 5 stars 3.43  ·  rating details  ·  578 ratings  ·  190 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 l...more
Hardcover, 228 pages
Published July 12th 2012 by Twelve (first published January 1st 2012)
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Community Reviews

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Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"
Just makes you want to break into song, don't it?

"Mind me platypus duck, Bill,
Mind me platypus duck.
Don't let him go running amuck, Bill,
Just mind me platypus duck."
Holy crap, this book was AWESOME. I never thought, at age 39, that I would utter the words " The duck-billed platypus is adorable." I now have..thanks to this book. It's hard to put it into a genre, because I truly haven't read anything like it. It reminded me- a lot- of Watership Down by Richard Adams. The dialogue and relationships forged by the animals- reminded me a lot of Animal Farm, minus the ominous underlying messages. This is just a book about a duck-billed platypus and his desire for...more
Mar 01, 2013 Michelle rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: no one
Recommended to Michelle by: Books on the nightstand, unofficial booktopia
Shelves: 2013-read
Maybe my expectations were too high for this one. It is a book about a duck billed platypus looking for old world Australia written by a lawyer from New Mexico. The only thing remotely Australian about the book is that most of the animals mentioned in the book are indigenous to Australia. It reads like an odd western - the first half of the book has glimpses of the television show Firefly, but that disappears in the second half of the book and we are left with a weak western.

I did learn that th...more
This is a western, set in the bush of Australia, featuring some very unusual characters, among them a Tasmanian devil, a platypus, a wombat, some wallabies, dingoes, bandicoots, and memorably, a raccoon from California. Strange though it may seem, this is not a book for children, nor is it a story written by an Australian. Together, all these facts weave a wonderfully strange allegory of life’s circuitous journey to happiness and fulfillment and some measure of wisdom.

When a book appears outside...more
I think this book comes across better if you know the poetry of Banjo Patterson.

In many ways the story in the second half is weak, though the first part of the book was enjoyable enough. It is part travel, part western, and part something else that I am sure I don't know what. Some type of reference to Aussie lit, maybe. Comment on immigration? I don't know.

Not upset that I read it, will keep my copy, but wanted more from it.
I don't think I'm giving too much away by telling you that Albert is a platypus, and one I predict you will come to care enormously about. The author Howard Anderson is not from Australia, but describes the desert wilderness of Northern Australia as if he were as familiar as a native with the desert, the cliffs, brush and grasses of that terrain.

Albert himself is not a native of Australia. He has in fact just recently escaped from a dreary existence in the Adelaide zoo. Other animals have told h...more
Clark  Isaacs
Clark’s Eye on Books
By Clark Isaacs
©CIsaacs 2012

Albert of Adelaide
By Howard L. Anderson

ISBN: 978-1-455-50962-0, Hardcover, Pages 240, $24.99, Publication Date: July 10, 2012, Fiction, Published by Twelve Books a division of HBGUSA.

“Albert of Adelaide” by Howard L. Anderson is very reminiscent of “Animal Farm” by George Orwell, which was published in 1945. The main characters are animals that live their parts on center stage though the travails of lives are vastly different.

Albert is a platypus...more
Melissa Sodano
A unique book, unexpectedly full of social commentary and observations on the volatile nature of the human condition. Yet, there are no humans in this book, which augments both its enjoyability as well as the statements Anderson attempts to make.

In a nutshell, Albert is a platypus seeking Old Australia—a romanticized place where the past still exists as a paradise for all individuals. On his own, he cannot seem to find this utopia, but by joining forces with other creatures he hopes to fight his...more
Vanessa Wolf
Albert of Adelaide is everything "Rango" could've been if Rango wasn't "Chinatown" for kids, or rather if the "Wind in the Willows" took place in Australia. Though the time frame is not entirely clear, which I interpreted as a tribute to the Aboriginal concept of Dream Time, there is an implication that it is within a twenty year time frame of modern times. Albert is a zoo escapee on a quest to find the real Old Australia, a paradise, but with no real idea of what paradise is, just what it is no...more
Steve Moseley
I've read books that have had talking animals that were for kids (i.e. the Redwall, & Narnia series, and books like "Watership Down"), but this is the first book that I have read where the story had talking animals while at the same time targeted to adults. At least, I don't recall animals drinking Gin and getting hung over in the Narnia books.

Albert of Adelaide is quite a likable platypus that has escaped from and an Australian zoo and is looking for a sort of a promised land where other pl...more
this is an interesting story told from albert's, a platypus, point of view. albert has fled the adelaide zoo where he has lived most of his life. he embarks on a journey in the outback of australia to find what is mythically known as "old australia." this is a utopia for animals where they are free to roam without fear of being hunted or caged.

as albert makes his journey across the land, he also makes a journey into his awareness of what it means to be a platypus. he encounters all sorts of frie...more
Brenton Gilmore
I was so excited to read this book. I was looking forward to the class/race differences between the different animals and the attributes (I was expecting a little humor) each of them possessed. Turned out to be a pretty simple story with little plot development and the animal characters might as well have been normal human characters. I thought there was a lot that could have been done with the novel, and am disappointed with it overall. I would give it a 2.5 if possible because it was still an...more
A nice read. And then, near the end, it sort of came out of nowhere and touched my heart. Highly recommend, whether you're 10 or 110.
3.5 stars.
A highly original story, and my favorite book with a talking duck-billed platypus as the main character.
Albert, the Platypus has escaped from an Adelaide zoo and travels by train to Tennant Creek. From there he starts on a quest to find the rumored Old Australia, where animals live in peace and he can swim all day.
Carrying only an empty soda bottle, Albert finds himself in the outback desert, a most inhospitable place for a platypus.He soon meets up with other animals,and becomes fri...more
Christie Goldenberg
Ok so this latest one was suggested to me recently over coffee. She said that her friend (a bookaholic and fellow reviewer) had begged her to read a book called Albert of Adelaide. When she asked her what it was about her friend said, "I don't want to tell you because then you won't read it" Well it turns out that it is about a platypus named Albert. Yes, it is fiction and No, it is not a childrens or young adult book. This unique premise was enough for me to contact the publisher as soon as I g...more
Ok, I'm giving this book 4 stars even though the writing's nothing special because it takes place in Australia and there are all kinds of cool animals. There are wombats, bandicoots, wallabies, kangaroos, a platypus,a possum, a raccoon, dingoes, and a tasmanian devil! The hero of the story is Albert, a duck-billed platypus. After escaping from the zoo, he goes in search of his idea of Shangri La; Old Australia.

I was kind of confused by the book, because when it starts out Albert's in a zoo. Pres...more
From an uncorrected proof:
Albert of Adelaide is the first novel by Howard L. Anderson. Albert is a platypus who, sick of his imprisonment there, has escaped from the zoo at Adelaide, and has taken the train to Tennant Creek in search of the “old Australia”, a land of liberty, promise and peace that the other animals in the zoo kept whispering about. Albert is hoping to find a world like that of his childhood in the muddy banks of the river Murray, or at least, something that’s better than Adelai...more
I will admit I picked up this book because I thought, "A talking platypus? That sounds hiLARious." Then a few pages into it I decided that maybe the story wasn't going to be for me after all. And now after finishing it I feel like I've learned something about the world, and not just the many types of marsupials in Australia.

On the animal front we've got wallabies and bandicoots and kangaroos. There's a wombat and a Tasmanian devil. Then there are the dingoes, which are not marsupials. Just like...more
James Wharton
Alright, I couldn't decide whether to give the book a 4 or 5 star rating because I still haven't completely figured it out and probably won't be any further along if I do six months from now. Yeah, that didn't really make sense, or did it. That's how the book is too. However, it was extremely interesting. You see, every character is some kind of Australian animal. Albert, the main character, is a platypus who escaped from a zoo. That naturally reminded me of myself. He went into Australia to fin...more
Alyn Rumbold
At least one reviewer described this entertaining little book as what "The Wind in the Willows" might have been like if it had been written by Larry McMurtry. I'd say it's more like what Brian Jacques' "Redwall" books might have looked like had they been transplanted to the 19th century Australian outback. In any event, a fine achievement for a first-time novelist -- Anderson does a nice job of developing his anthropomorphic characters' personalities and keeps the story moving along quite briskl...more
Erica B
An engaging adventure of a platypus looking for a place to call home. The story makes you band together with the platypus and cheer him on through his trials as he makes his way through the outback. Being the only platypus around, an obvious outsider, trouble arises wherever he goes. However he makes friends with a pyromaniac wombat and thieving racoon and you want to follow his every move, hoping he finds what he’s looking for. Reminds me of other great literary characters, such as Dorothy and...more
Book Review & Giveaway: Sometimes my attention is caught by a book cover out of sheer curiosity, and that was the case with Albert of Adelaide by Howard L. Anderson. I’d never seen a book cover featuring a platypus and wasn’t sure what to make of it, so I decided to check it out. After reading the publisher’s description, I still wasn’t sure but there was something about it that intrigued me. Read the rest of my review & enter to win a copy at
I loved it. This is an absolutely delightful book. The characters are wonderful. The story just picks you up and carries you along. Reminiscent of Wind in the Willows. But instead of Toad and friends, you get a platypus, a pyro wombat, a pair of drunken bandicoots, a tasmanian devil and a whole lot of dingoes, wallabies and some kangaroos thrown in for fun.

I'll be pushing this on all my family. What a wonderful way to spend my first free day in months.
Blaine DeSantis
A wonderful book. Simply written, and yet filled with great truths about life. The 2nd half of the book really picks up speed, and by the end you are left satisfied as a reader. Want more? Maybe, but no more is needed for this book to be a stand alone classic. Filled with characters/animals and obvious references to our own Wild West, Albert of Adelaide is a delight, and is a book that can easily be read in 1-2 days.
Albert and I couldn't find the love. Perhaps we expected something different of each other? Perhaps we thought warm & fuzzy instead of cold & prickly? These things happen. We're not bitter. There are other books in the sea for both of us.
This book is an old western set in the Australian outback with marsupials as all of the main characters. And it lives up to its task brilliantly.
Altivo Overo
I haven’t seen a furry story set in Australia for many years, so this one certainly piqued my interest as soon as I found it. Albert of Adelaide is a full scale adventure novel in the manner of the traditional American Western, only it is set in the Australian Outback. The characters are endearing and well-developed, the setting authentic, and speciesism (to borrow a furry term) is a major theme in addition to the usual good and evil, friendship and loyalty elements.

Author Howard L. Anderson, th...more
Lisa Book
Enjoyed very much kind of "Wind in the Willow " meets "The Good, Bad, and the Ugly".
Russ Marshalek
what a ridiculously charming, unexpectedly touching book.
Definitely odd but great fun. This is a book about a duck-billed platypus in an Australian Western and as long as you don't try to think about it too much it's fine. Actually, suspend thinking all together (where do all the sardines come from, how do they open the tins, how does a platypus get dressed etc etc) and just go with it. It is a quick read, no literary allusions or ambitions at all, no hidden meanings - unless you want to go looking for them - and all in all a book designed to put a sm...more
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Gwinnett County P...: Albert of Adelaide 1 6 Aug 23, 2012 11:10AM  
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"Albert of Adelaide" is my first novel and was written because of a little girl I knew a long time ago and finished years later because I promised myself I wouldn't move to South America without completing it.

It was never intended as book for children, but due to a lack of imagination by most of the publishers, it was sold as "cute" and "funny". People who bought the book hoping for fuzzy bunnies...more
More about Howard L. Anderson...
Amado Maurilio Peña, Jr

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“Albert had done all he could, and if it wasn't enough, he'd worry about it in another life.” 2 likes
“Albert knew that one could never be sure about magic, but a lack of certainty is not a good reason to do nothing.” 1 likes
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