Coalwood

7 books in series
4.5 out of 5 stars 655 ratings

Carrying Albert Home 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
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  • Book 0.5

    • Carrying Albert Home

    • The Somewhat True Story of a Woman, a Husband, and Her Alligator
    • By: Homer Hickam
    • Narrated by: Adam Verner
    • Length: 10 hrs and 39 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 83
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 76
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 76

    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.

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • Absolutely Delightful!!

    • By Sharon on 03-01-16

    Regular price: $28.51

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

    • By: Homer Hickam
    • Narrated by: Adam Verner
    • Length: 10 hrs and 45 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      0 out of 5 stars 0
    • Performance
      0 out of 5 stars 0
    • Story
      0 out of 5 stars 0

    From the best-selling author of Rocket Boys - the basis of the movie October Sky - comes a long-awaited prequel. 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.

    Regular price: $16.77

  • Book 1

    • Rocket Boys

    • The Coalwood Series, Book 1
    • By: Homer Hickam
    • Narrated by: Tom Stechschulte
    • Length: 13 hrs and 38 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 441
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 399
    • Story
      5 out of 5 stars 404

    The New York Times best-selling memoir that inspired the film October Sky, Rocket Boys is a uniquely American memoir - a powerful, luminous story of coming of age at the dawn of the 1960s, of a mother's love and a father's fears, of a group of young men who dreamed of launching rockets into outer space... and who made those dreams come true. Nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award, Homer Hickam's lush, lyrical memoir is a marvelously entertaining chronicle of triumph.

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • Endearing Memoir of the Early Space Race

    • By Paula on 10-03-16

    Regular price: $22.67

  • Book 2

    • The Coalwood Way

    • By: Homer Hickam
    • Narrated by: Frank Muller
    • Length: 10 hrs and 57 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 24
    • Performance
      4 out of 5 stars 21
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 19

    about growing up in a town that’s slowly fading away.

    Homer and his close buddies, who call themselves the Rocket Boys, are high school seniors in 1959. Their rocket building experiments amaze the locals, thanks to top-quality moonshine for fuel, “liberated” materials, and Homer’s self-taught understanding of higher math. But no matter how brilliant their experiments are, they can do little to help preserve Coalwood’s way of life.

    • 4 out of 5 stars
    • great but narrator a bit weak

    • By Paul C. on 03-20-17

    Regular price: $27.99

  • Book 3

    • Sky of Stone

    • A Memoir
    • By: Homer Hickam
    • Narrated by: Dick Hill
    • Length: 12 hrs and 34 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 40
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 30
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 30

    In the summer of '61, Homer "Sonny" Hickam, a year of college behind him, is dreaming of sandy beaches and rocket ships. But before Sonny can reach the seaside fixer-upper where his mother is spending the summer, a telephone call sends him back to the place he thought he had escaped, the gritty coal-mining town of Coalwood, West Virginia. There, Sonny's father, the mine's superintendent, has been accused of negligence in a man's death.

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • Mr Hickam is a great story teller

    • By Paul C. on 12-12-16

    Regular price: $24.47

  • Book 4

    • Paco: The Cat Who Meowed in Space

    • By: Homer Hickam
    • Narrated by: Joe Barrett
    • Length: 2 hrs and 5 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4 out of 5 stars 25
    • Performance
      4 out of 5 stars 24
    • Story
      4 out of 5 stars 25

    Homer Hickam recalls his first years as a NASA engineer, while also telling the story of his fluffy black and white cat Paco, who had the magic ability to make people smile and give them hope. But when Paco was struck down by a disease that left him unable to walk, Hickam was faced with a terrible decision, let his beloved cat live in misery or put him to sleep. Before that decision could be made, the space mission Hickam was working on needed to be rescued and there was only one sure way to save it: Paco's magic meow!

    • 2 out of 5 stars
    • And I'm Being Generous

    • By Gillian on 02-05-14

    Regular price: $2.99

    • From Rocket Boys to October Sky

    • By: Homer Hickam
    • Narrated by: Joe Barrett
    • Length: 2 hrs and 34 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 42
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 40
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 39

    Since the publication of the #1 bestseller Rocket Boys: A Memoir in 1998 and the premiere of the movie October Sky in 1999, many Homer Hickam listeners and fans have wondered how and why he wrote the book, and how the movie was made. Incidental to that are such questions as "What is Jake Gyllenhaal, Chis Cooper, Laura Dern, etc. really like?" and "What's it like to have a movie made about your life?" and "Why are the book and movie different?" and "Why are both book and movie still so popular after all these years?" The answers to those questions and a lot more are in Homer Hickam's new audiobook From Rocket Boys to October Sky.

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • Enjoyable account of the story becoming a movie

    • By G. Eggleston on 01-02-18

    Regular price: $2.99