This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life
I really enjoyed this book! This isn't the kind of book that I pick up often but when I do I almost always enjoy myself. The title and description sparked my interest. This book sounded like it would be a quirky yet interesting story. By the end of the story, I had fallen in love with Albert and kind of wanted a pet alligator of my own (not really....I'll just stick with my 2 dogs and my cat for now).
This story was filled with lots of exciting adventures. Elsie and Homer's journey to carry Albert home was anything but boring. They spent time with all kinds of interesting people including Buddy Ebsen, Ernest Hemingway, John Steinbeck, and a nameless rooster. This one trip would have given them more adventures than most people would have in a lifetime. As preposterous as most of the events may sound, each one seems completely reasonable within the confines of this story.
I liked Homer a lot from the very beginning of the story. He was just such a nice guy but I feared that he may be a little too nice for his own good. It took me some time to warm up to Elsie. She seemed a bit spoiled and seemed to be rather unkind to Homer. During the course of their journey things do change between the pair. They seem to really learn a lot about their own feelings and each other. Homer even learns that he does have a soft spot for Albert after all.
I loved the fact that this is a "somewhat true" story. Every family probably has their own compilation of stories that are told that may be based in truth but over time have developed into the somewhat true realm. I really enjoyed the parts of the story where we see Elsie and Homer telling their children about their journey to carry Albert home. I would hope that most people can relate to this kind of family history although I can't remember anything about alligators or movie stars in my own family's tales.
The writing in this book was well done. The pacing kept the story moving forward even though it seemed they could have driven to Florida several times by the middle of the book. Each event that occurred during their travels was exciting and really told a story within a story. I found myself grinning several time during the course of reading this novel.
I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a quirky story with a lot of excitement. I believe that this is the first book by Homer Hickman that I have read but I plan to check out some of his other works soon.I received an advance reader edition of this book from Harper Collins / William Morrow via Edelweiss for the purpose of providing an honest review.Initial Thoughts
I really enjoyed this one. I loved Albert and kind of wish that I had a pet alligator....not really. The rooster, Hemingway, John Steinbeck and all of their adventures were so much fun.