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Publisher's Summary

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 best-selling 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 best seller, Homer Hickam's rollicking tale is ultimately a testament to that strange and marvelous emotion we inadequately call love.

©2015 Homer Hickam (P)2015 HarperCollins Publishers

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Sharon
  • GLEN ELLEN, CA, United States
  • 03-01-16

Absolutely Delightful!!

When I saw that this book was about an alligator, I wanted to read it. I'm so glad that I was drawn in by both the cover and the title. This is a delightful story about the ups and downs of a young married couple, the wife's pet alligator (not a crocodile!!) named Albert, and the attempt to return him to the wild. Believe me when I say it is quite a journey.
If we are to believe this "Somewhat True Story", we meet many amazing characters along the way, including Buddy Ebsen, John Steinbeck, Ernest Hemingway and more. Such fun. I really enjoyed listening to this book. The narration perfectly captured the tone of the book.
I plan to read more by Homer Hickam soon.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • ruth
  • United States
  • 07-31-17

I loved this book

This was a fun book and I enjoyed it very much. I would recommend it to anyone interested in an escape. It was funny and entertaining. Narration was perfect.

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Loved it!

This book was a pleasure to read! I laughed a lot, and cried a little. Homer Hickam hit another "Homer!"

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  • Wendi
  • Oswego, IL, United States
  • 04-28-16

Beautiful story, especially for Rocket Boy fans!

Loved it! I started listening to it again as soon as I finished the story. Even better the second time. It was wonderful to get to see the parents as a couple instead of only as "the parents." I would love to know where the fact ends and the fiction begins.

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Love Homer Hickam's Coalwood Stories

I loved this story of Elsie and Homer Sr.! This story is billed as "mostly true" and I found myself wishing that every word were the absolute truth.

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Yeah, yeah, yeah!

Really enjoyed this as we took a long road trip. Glad Albert is finally home!

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  • CDRoyall
  • Orange County, CA United States
  • 10-30-15

loved the story

loved it from start to finish. laugh out loud funny and brings tears to my eyes poignant. knowing it was made up of stories of his parents young lives made it even better......

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A painful tale to endure

Has Carrying Albert Home turned you off from other books in this genre?

Absolutely

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

No

Any additional comments?

This was chosen by our bookclub. I can only describe it as painful to listen to.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful