Friday, September 9, 2016

Carrying Albert Home: The Somewhat True Story of a Man, His Wife, and Her Alligator - A Review

Idgie Says: 
I will be honest and say that I was not planning on necessarily reading this book, but instead giving it a spotlight as this is a re-print and not a brand new novel.  But I picked it up, started flipping through the pages and the next thing I knew it was 2 hours later.  

This book is damn funny.  It's also quite poignant. Homer is madly in love with his wife, Elsie.  Elsie, unfortunately, married him as he was convenient and she was sure Buddy Ebsen wasn't coming back for her.  While she treats Homer with kindness, he's appears to be nothing more than a sidekick to her life.  Homer, meanwhile, spends most of his time desperately trying to make her love him.  While the pages are filled with weird and quirky events and humor, there's a deep sadness beneath.

Homer and Elsie go from one adventure to another with her pet alligator, who has a pet rooster.  They are attempting to get Albert the alligator home to Florida to set him free.  As the reptile acts like a pet dog more than a wild animal I don't really see this happening, but the story is in the trip, not the end result.

 This is a great novel to escape from real life with for a while.  I recommend it!

Big Fish meets The Notebook in this emotionally evocative story about a man, a woman, and an alligator that is a moving tribute to love, from the New York Times bestselling author of the award-winning memoir Rocket Boys—the basis of the movie October Sky.

Elsie Lavender and Homer Hickam (the father of the author) were high school classmates in the West Virginia coalfields, graduating just as the Great Depression began. When Homer asked for her hand, Elsie instead headed to Orlando where she sparked with a dancing actor named Buddy Ebsen (yes, that Buddy Ebsen). But when Buddy headed for New York, Elsie’s dreams of a life with him were crushed and eventually she found herself back in the coalfields, married to Homer.

Unfulfilled as a miner’s wife, Elsie was reminded of her carefree days with Buddy every day because of his unusual wedding gift: an alligator named Albert she raised in the only bathroom in the house. When Albert scared Homer by grabbing his pants, he gave Elsie an ultimatum: “Me or that alligator!” After giving it some thought, Elsie concluded there was only one thing to do: Carry Albert home.

Carrying Albert Home is the funny, sweet, and sometimes tragic tale of a young couple and a special alligator on a crazy 1,000-mile adventure. Told with the warmth and down-home charm that made Rocket Boys a beloved bestseller, Homer Hickam’s rollicking tale is ultimately a testament to that strange and marvelous emotion we inadequately call love.

Reprint Edition from William Morrow
July, 2016