Carrying Albert Home: The Somewhat True Story of a Man, his Wife and her Alligator

Carrying Albert Home: The Somewhat True Story of a Man, his Wife and her Alligator by Homer Hickam

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By Homer Hickam

avg rating

4 reviews

`Must-read… A funny yet tragic tale of a husband and wife’s car journey across the US with Albert the alligator in tow. Yes, really.’ Marie Claire

A journey of a thousand miles. With an alligator on the back seat. And John Steinbeck as a passenger. This is a tale where everything is true,except the bits that are made up.


16 Sep 2016


Most of our group finished and enjoyed this book. We used the questions at the end of the book for our discussion

Would Homer and Elsie’s marriage last today - probably not, it would be too easy for Elsie to get a divorce and marry someone she felt was of a better class. She always wanted to do something more and better.

Did you like and understand Elsie and Homer - Everyone liked Homer, he seemed loyal and easy to live with, Elsie on the other hand was rather a snob, always returning her thoughts to Buddy Ebsen.

Did you like Albert and why. Do you think a real alligator would act that way - We all liked Albert, but a real one probably would not have been so nice. We liked the way he laughed.

Did you have an opinion about the rooster - Everyone also liked the rooster. We felt he was a good character.

Why do you think Buddy Ebsen sent the alligator - We felt that he was trying to be different, as perhaps an actor would be. He was flamboyant.

Did this novel make you want to take a trip with an alligator and what would happen if you tried it today. No one wanted to take the trip and today the RSPCA would turn up.

Why do you think Huddie & Slick kept turning up - they provided continuity in the story.

Why do you think Homer loved Elsie so much - Elsie did seem to be of a higher class than Homer. According to the photos in the back of the book, she was a pretty girl and Homer may have felt that she was too good for him. She was certainly a ‘trophy’ wife and very bright and eager as she ‘always wanted to be …..’

We all agreed that this was a love story, but felt that the stories involved were probably invented or changed.

We felt that this was a good read for the summer holidays, amusing and easy. We were quite interested in the other books written by the author and wondered if they were similar.

Our score out of 10 was slightly under 7

30 Jul 2016


Quirky, entertaining and totally unique. A very unusual novel which may or may not be true! Elsie is sent an alligator through the post as a wedding present and Albert (the alligator) soon takes over their lives. By the time Albert is 2 years old he has reached 4 feet long and they realise that a small miner’s cottage with a purpose-built pond in the backyard is hardly a long-term solution. Elsie reluctantly agrees that Florida may be a more suitable environment and she, with her husband Homer, put Albert in their car and set off. This is the story of that road trip - it is a road trip like you have never seen before and that you will almost certainly never come across again. En route they are randomly adopted by a rooster who just comes along for the ride and they all participate in a series of entirely random and extremely bizarre adventures.

This book is amusing, interesting, easy to read and absolutely wonderful. There are certain books that I will never forget - Carrying Albert Home is one of them.

02 Jun 2016


Carrying Albert Home by Homer Hickam is a quirky, heartwarming road movie of a book full of endearing characters who charm their way through the pages and is perfect for fans of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry. Albert is an alligator who is being driven the 1,000miles home to Orlando by the married couple (Homer's parents) who own him and we witness a series of delightfully funny, sometimes laugh out loud so, vignettes as they make their way through the southern states of America. With a rooster. The telling is tongue in cheek and probably should not be read literally as even when guns are brandished and lives endangered Hickam persists with his light hearted delivery. On occassion this jarred a little but overall it was a thoroughly enjoyable story with some serious messages about life, love and what makes a relationship.

14 May 2016

St Regulus AJ

A delightful, quirky, 'almost true' story woven around the adventures of Homer Hickam's parents in the early years of their marriage. The unusual wedding gift of a baby alligator outgrows their home in the coalfields of West Virginia and Homer and Elsie decide Albert has to be returned to his native Orlando. The journey is long and eventful and joyous. A simple tale garnered from almost forgotten family memories. So perhaps it is not entirely true? No matter. I really enjoyed the book. Did I mention the rooster?

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