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.
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 Limited
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Critic reviews

"Great memoirs must balance the universal and the particular.... In his debut, Hickam...walks the line beautifully.... No matter how jaded readers have become by the onslaught of memoirs, none will want to miss the fantastic voyage of BCMA, Auk and Coalwood." (Publishers Weekly on Rocket Boys)
"Recalling a lost era, the transition between small-town life and the dawning of the new technological age, he brings his American hometown to life with vivid images, appealing characters and considerable literary magic." (Publishers Weekly on The Coalwood Way)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By sarahmoose2000 on 22-12-15

My Best of 2015

This was a great wee find. We travel back and forth through time as Homer tells his son the story of his parents' history.

I did find it hard to warm to the wife as she was basically with Homer as the man she really loved, didn't love her. She was very cold towards him and almost goaded him with the fact that another man in Florida was his superior.

However, the real star of the show was the alligator. I used to be terrified of them after my brother made me watch a horror film on them when I was 5, cheers bro! This one was adorable though. Brought up from a baby, loving long walks on his leash, belly rubs and the habit of crooning, "yeah, yeah, yeah" when we was content.

The alligator is being driven long distance back to Florida to live out its days in the everglades; along the way his keepers have many adventures and meet famous folk including John Steinback and E Hemmingway. I dare you not to find this an endearing wee heart warmer.

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