Albert of Adelaide by Howard L. Anderson (Twelve, 2012, 240pp.)
Australia has produced some of the strangest-looking creatures on earth, not least among them being the PLATYPUS. Duck-billed, beaver-tailed, web-footed Albert of the Adelaide Zoo has escaped captivity in order to flee to Old Australia, a fabled place where life is pristine and wild, like the time before humans arrived. Entirely plot-driven, Anderson’s novel is a funky sort of Australian adventure/Western/road-trip novel where animals wear clothes and carry guns. Follow Albert as he gets in on the wrong side of the law with a well-meaning pyromaniac wallaby, buddies up with a pair of chummy, drunk bandicoots (apparently, that’s a kind of rodent), and faces down a lunatic possum named Theodore. An interesting idea, to say the least, the whole concept (with its underdeveloped, though colorful characters) wear a bit thin towards the end. The dust-jacket summary describes it as a “old-fashioned-buddy-novel-shoot-’em-up,” and that’s exactly what it is, no more, no less.
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