Book review: Carrying Albert Home

CARRYING ALBERT HOME, the title says it all — a devoted husband and his discontented wife set off from West Virginia to Florida to take her pet alligator Albert home.

It is absolutely barmy.

No one seems even the slightest bit perturbed about the reptile in the back of the Buick.

A lifetime of adventures — meeting John Steinbeck, industrial rebellions, joining the coastguard and a hurricane, among others — are condensed into one epic journey.

It’s utterly charming, exploring the ups and downs of love and marriage, and celebrating eccentricity.

Homer Hickam is an awardwinning author, his own memoir Rocket Boys was a New York Times No 1 bestseller.

Hickam’s own life has been as eventful (Vietnam veteran, coalminer, palaeontologist and Nasa engineer) as that of his parents, whose, at times, bitter-sweet story is told so warmly here.

Carrying Albert Home

Homer Hickam

HarperCollins, €17.50; ebook, €8.75


Lifestyle

SECOND Captains is one of the long-running success stories in Irish podcasting. Ostensibly a sports show led by Eoin McDevitt, Ken Early, and Ciarán Murphy, the former Off The Ball team from Newstalk launched the podcast in mid-2013. two Monday shows are offered for free, with Tuesday-Friday behind a Patreon subscriber model and dubbed ‘The World Service’. It has more than 11,500 subscribers.Podcast Corner: First-class podcasts from Second Captains

The incredible life of Ireland’s first celebrity chef has been turned into a play, writes Colette SheridanHow Maura Laverty cooked up a storm

Their paths first crossed on the top floor of the library at University College Cork in October 2010 when both were students there so Amy Coleman and Steven Robinson were delighted to retrace their footsteps on their big day.Wedding of the Week: College sweethearts open new chapter

Peter Dowdall reveals why all roads will lead to Tullow in County Carlow on February 1Snowdrop patrol: Why all roads will lead to County Carlow

More From The Irish Examiner