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Homer Hickam is the bestselling and award-winning author of many books, including the #1 New York Times memoir Rocket Boys, which was adapted into the film October Sky. He is a Vietnam combat veteran and has also been a coal miner, scuba instructor, palaeontologist and NASA engineer.
Author photo © Linda Hickham
One of our Books of the Year 2016. A beautifully quirky, yet at the same time completely logical love story (well it is logical once you've realised that you too, have fallen in love with an alligator). ‘Carrying Albert Home’ is a nine part tale, detailing an odyssey that took place during the 1930’s, interspersed with snappy little introductions to each part of the story by the author. As Homer (the elder) and Elsie his wife, adventure their way down the east coast from West Virgina to Florida, with Albert the alligator and the Rooster, it’s sometimes easy to forget that Homer Hickam (the younger and author) is telling the ‘somewhat true’ story of the early years of his parents marriage, surely this is the most fantastical tale ever told! I believe that John Steinbeck and Ernest Hemingway would remember their parts in this tale with glee, who wouldn't want to have been introduced to the charming and rather glorious Albert? I quite simply devoured this enchanting book in one sitting, and I will want to read it again and again. One of our Books of the Year 2015. Explore our '80+ Books That Deliver a Hug' listicle for more feel-good or uplifting books.
One of our Books of the Year 2015. December 2015 Book of the Month. A beautifully quirky, yet at the same time completely logical love story (well it is logical once you've realised that you too, have fallen in love with an alligator). ‘Carrying Albert Home’ is a nine part tale, detailing an odyssey that took place during the 1930’s, interspersed with snappy little introductions to each part of the story by the author. As Homer (the elder) and Elsie his wife, adventure their way down the east coast from West Virgina to Florida, with Albert the alligator and the Rooster, it’s sometimes easy to forget that Homer Hickam (the younger and author) is telling the ‘somewhat true’ story of the early years of his parents marriage, surely this is the most fantastical tale ever told! I believe that John Steinbeck and Ernest Hemingway would remember their parts in this tale with glee, who wouldn't want to have been introduced to the charming and rather glorious Albert? I quite simply devoured this enchanting book in one sitting, and I will want to read it again and again. ~ Liz Robinson
A grande depressao converteu o sonho americano numa tragedia amarga e e aqui que comeca a epica aventura de Elsie e Homer... Uma viagem de quase dois mil quilometros com um caimao no banco de tras e com John Steinbeck como passageiro.Nos Estados Unidos de 1930, a Grande Depressao encurtou os horizontes e Elsie Lavender encontra-se, mais uma vez, onde comecou: numa povoacao mineira da Virginia Ocidental. Resta-lhe apenas uma recordacao dos dias felizes passados em Orlando: um caimao bebe chamado Albert.Mas tudo muda no dia em que acaba a proverbial paciencia do seu marido e Elsie tem de escolher entre Homer e Albert. Depois de pensar no assunto durante algum tempo, Elsie decide que so ha uma coisa a fazer: levar Albert de volta para a Florida, o seu verdadeiro lar.Do autor de best-sellers Homer Hickmam chega-nos este maravilhoso romance sobre um homem, uma mulher e o seu caimao.
Big Fish y El diario de Noa se dan cita en esta evocadora historia acerca de un hombre, una mujer y su caiman. Un conmovedor tributo al amor, de la mano del autor de Rocket Boys, la aclamada novela autobiografica que inspiro la pelicula Cielo de octubre.Elsie Lavender y Homer Hickam (padre del autor) fueron juntos al instituto en la region minera de Virginia Occidental, donde se graduaron al iniciarse la Gran Depresion. Despues de que Homer la pidiera sin exito en matrimonio, Elsie decidio marcharse a Orlando, donde se enamoro de un actor y bailarin llamado Buddy Ebsen (el autentico Buddy Ebsen). Pero tras la marcha de Buddy a Nueva York, las ilusiones de Elsie de compartir su vida con el se vinieron abajo y, sin saber muy bien como, se encontro de nuevo en los asentamientos mineros, casada con Homer.Insatisfecha con su vida de casada, Elsie recordaba cada dia sus tiempos de felicidad en Orlando gracias al peculiar regalo de bodas que le envio Buddy: un caiman llamado Albert al que crio en la unica banera de su casa. Despues de que Albert le mordiera los pantalones, Homer le dio un ultimatum: !O el caiman o yo!. Tras pensarselo un tiempo, Elsie resolvio que solo podia hacer una cosa: llevar a Albert a Florida, su verdadero hogar.Carrying Albert Home es el relato divertido, dulce y a veces tragico de una joven pareja y un extraordinario caiman embarcados en un alocado viaje de casi dos mil kilometros. Esta divertidisima novela de Homer Hickam es, en definitiva, un testimonio de esa emocion extrana y maravillosa que, a falta de otra palabra, llamamos amor.Homer Hickam es escritor desde sus tiempos escolares, ha sido tambien minero, militar destinado en Vietnam, instructor de submarinismo, paleontologo e ingeniero de la NASA. Actualmente, reparte su tiempo entre Alabama y las Islas Virgenes.____________Se tiene que leer Una aventura divertida y a la vez trgica sobre el viaje en coche de un marido y su mujer a travs de Estados Unidos con el caimn Albert detrs.Marie Claire, UKDe forma intencionada, esta novela es un improbable viaje bizarro a travs del sur de Estados Unidos que a su vez es una amalgama de Walter Mitty, por la imaginacin que evoca, de La vida de Pi, a causa del mortal pero indispensable animal, y de Huckleberry Finn, por la imagen del viaje como la vida misma.BookPageHomer Hickam entrelaza tradicin familiar, datos histricos, comedia y un toque de tristeza Son esas lneas borrosas que existen entre la verdad, la poca fiabilidad de los recuerdos y la forma en la que las historias se estiran y se exageran con el tiempo que le dan a esta novela su encanto.Associated PressAlbert vuelve a casa es en una palabra fantstico, por todo su romance, su humor, su accin de capa y espada, su conmovedor afecto y su tristeza lacrimgena.Florida Book ReviewNos ha encantado de arriba abajo y nos hemos enamorado de sus protagonistas, especialmente de Homer y Albert. Mezcla de drama, humor y romanticismo, esta gran novela nos hace darnos cuenta, de hasta donde es capaz de llegar y todo lo que es capaz de hacer y de aguantar, una persona realmente enamorada. Un libro diferente que nos ha dejado con muy buen sabor de boca.Entrate de lo ltimo
'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 ClaireA 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. In 1930s America, the Great Depression made everyone's horizons smaller, and Elsie Lavender found herself back where she began, in the coalfields of West Virginia.She had just one memento of her halcyon days - a baby alligator named Albert. Then one day, her husband's stoical patience snapped and Elsie had to choose between Homer and Albert.She decided that there was only one thing to do: they would carry Albert home to Florida. And so began their odyssey - a journey like no other, where Elsie, Homer and Albert encountered everything from movie stars and revolutionaries to Ernest Hemingway and hurricanes in their struggle to find love, redemption,and From the bestselling author of Rocket Boys-the basis of the movie October Sky-comes a long-awaited prequel. Big Fish meets The Notebook in this novel about a man, a woman, and their alligator.
Previously published in paperback as October Sky. Three years in the life of Homer 'Sonny' Hickam, from the moment he sees the Sputnik satellite overhead in West Virginia to his successful launch of a prizewinning rocket. In 1957, Coalwood, West Virginia, was a town the post-war boom never quite reached, and dominated by the black steel towers of the mine. For fourteen-year-old Homer 'Sonny' Hickam there are only two routes in life: a college football scholarship, or a life underground. But from the moment the town turns out to watch the world's first space satellite, Sputnik, as it passes overhead, Sonny and his friends embark on a mission of their own - to form the Big Creek Missile Agency, and build a rocket. Looking back after a distinguished career as a NASA engineer, Homer Hickam tells the warm, vivid story of youth and ambition that inspired the 1999 film October Sky. It is the tale of a group of teenage boys who dared to imagine a life beyond the confines of the coal pit, and went on to design, build and launch the rockets that would change their lives, and their town, forever.
Hickam has a wild imagination and a keen eye for the science behind the fiction. -JAVIER GRILLO-MARXUACH, writer & producer on Lost and Helix, creator of The Middleman Crater Trueblood has to rescue his ex-girlfriend . . . and the entire human race. Maria Medaris is the 21-year-old matriarch of the most powerful family on the moon-gorgeous, powerful, and high-maintenance. When she is kidnapped by green-lipped, gene-splicing scientists, Maria's only hope turns out to be the very man she once spurned: Crater Trueblood. Crater and the Lunar Rescue Company must rescue Maria before she joins forces with the lunatics who have taken her hostage and aim to make her queen. Turns out more than Maria is at stake: the planet Earth, majestically rising over the lunar horizon, is in the crosshairs of an asteroid engineered by Maria's abductors. If Crater can't stop it, humanity on Earth will be destroyed. The fate of two worlds hangs in the balance . . . and the clock is ticking. Hickam again displays a knack for suspenseful scenes out in the 'big suck' of space . . . -KIRKUS Reviews An exciting romp through a surprisingly realistic future. -JASPER T. SCOTT, author of the Dark Space series
She was born to kill, born to die. Crescent is a crowhopper-a genetically modified mercenary programmed for ruthless warfare. When she's taken prisoner by Crater Trueblood instead of being killed in battle, she thinks it's a disaster. Crater is weary of war. He's a miner, not a soldier. He'd rather be mining Helium-3 than battling the infernal crowhoppers. But after he captures Crescent and brings her to Moontown, he's surprised how much he enjoys her company. When she's falsely accused of murder, he becomes an outlaw to help her escape. The unlikely pair escapes into the big suck and wind up trekking with a caravan of mining pioneers toward a lunar ghost town called Endless Dust. To survive, they must do more than navigate the beautiful, desolate moonscape and battle a persistent band of crowhoppers sent to capture or kill them. They must decide what-and who-is truly worth fighting for. Expertly blending space opera and hard sci-fi, romance, and even mystery . . . this is fast-paced, packed with intriguing ideas . . . -Peter Gutierrez, Booklist Review Classic Golden Age science fiction high-adventure. It brought back memories of reading Asimov . . . that same sense of wonder. I absolutely loved it. -Michael Scott, New York Times Best-selling Author, The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel series
One sixteen-year-old must battle his way across a thousand miles of deadly lunar terrain and face genetically altered super warriors in his quest to recover an astonishing object that will alter the lives of everyone on the moon . . . and beyond. It's the 22nd Century. A tough, pioneering people mine the moon produce energy for a desperate, war-torn Earth. Sixteen-year-old Crater Trueblood loves his job as a Helium-3 miner. But when he saves a fellow miner, his life changes forever. Impressed by his heroism, the owner of the mine orders Crater to undertake a dangerous mission. Crater doesn't think he can do it, but he has no choice. He must go. With the help of Maria, the mine owner's frustrating but gorgeous granddaughter, and his gillie-a sometimes insubordinate clump of slime mold cells-Crater must fight both human and subhuman enemies to complete his mission. New York Times bestselling author of Rocket Boys, Homer Hickam, will take you on a hold-your-breath adventure across the moon, and you'll never look at the night sky the same way again. Readers will be caught up in Homer Hickam's thrilling novel of life on the moon! -Donna VanLiere, New York Times & USA Today bestselling author of The Good Dream and The Christmas Shoes The first in the Helium-3 series (Book #2: Crescent; Book #3: Crater Trueblood and the Lunar Rescue Company) Book length: 75,000 words Includes discussion questions for book clubs
Can their love survive the difference in their circumstances? Song Hawkins is a beautiful, tough, but lonely New York City businesswoman who thinks she's met the man of her dreams in Cable Jordan, the superintendent of a West Virginia coal mine. But soon after they impulsively marry, Song realizes they're in big trouble. She can't imagine life outside of New York, and Cable has no intention of leaving his beloved town of Highcoal. Song's visit to the little mining community only makes things worse. It looks like the marriage is over. But in a shocking turn of events, Song realizes it's up to her to put on the red helmet of the new coal miner and descend into the deep darkness. There she faces her greatest challenge with choices and courage that will forever impact the life of Cable and the entire town. Sweet and thoughtful contemporary read Stand-alone novel Book length: 86,000 words Includes discussion questions for book clubs
On the outer banks of the Carolinas in 1941, fishermen and a few lonely sailors constitute the human population. Dominating the rough yet beautiful landscape is the majestic Killakeet Lighthouse, run for generations by the Thurlow family. But Josh Thurlow, the lighthouse keeper's son, has forsworn his heritage to become the commander of a small Coast Guard patrol boat. Tortured by twenty years of guilt for losing his brother at sea, Josh still searches for him, even while a looming wolf pack of German U-boats threatens to decimate the shipping lanes off the coast. One of the U-boats is captained by a hardened Nazi, Otto Krebs. But Captain Krebs may bring ashore more than the war - he may also have the answer to Josh Thurlow's quest.
The year is 1943 and World War II in the Pacific rages on, with Americans engaged in desperate battles against a cunning enemy. Coast Guard Captain Josh Thurlow is on hand at the invasion of Tarawa, as the U.S. Navy begins the grand strategy of throwing her marines at island after bloody island across the Pacific. As blood colors the waters around Tarawa, Josh flounders ashore through a floating graveyard of dead men and joins the survivors, determined to somehow wrest victory from disaster. Critically wounded, Josh expects to die. Instead, Sister Mary Kathleen, a young Irish nun, nurses him back to health, and then shanghais Josh, sidekick Bosun Ready ONeal, and three American marines to a group of beautiful tropical islands invaded by a brutal Japanese warlord. Josh and his little band must decide whether to help the Sister fight the battle she demands, return to Tarawa and the real war, or settle down in the romantic splendor of the South Seas.Hickam expertly weaves the adventures of these hot-blooded characters tighter and tighter until the Sisters secrets and sins are finally revealed during a horrific battle in the lair of the warlord. With an incredible eye for historical detail and the talent of a master storyteller, Homer Hickam delivers another tour de force.
Three years in the life of Homer 'Sonny' Hickam, from the moment he sees the Sputnik satellite overhead in West Virginia to his successful launch of a prizewinning rocket. A nostalgic and lyrical memoir of growing up in rural West Virginia in the 1950s and one boy's dream to rival the Russians in the race for space. In 1957 in Coalwood, West Virginia, a town dominated by the black steel towers of the mine and the coal waggons, for a fourteen year old boy there are two routes in life: a football scholarship to college or a life underground. Sonny Hickam, the mine superintendent's younger son, is too small for the football team. But his destiny is altered when the town turns out to watch the Soviet Sputnik satellite pass overhead. From that moment, Homer Hickam and his friends determine that they will form the Big Creek Missle Agency and build an American rocket. This is the true story of the boys' adventures from the moment their first rocket, Auk 1, destroys the garden fence and the lovingly tended roses. Supported only by a tolerant mother and a father who turns a literally blind eye, Sonny gradually entrances the entire town to support his enterprise, which eventually is entered for the National Science Fair. He is the first boy from Coalwood ever to enter and among the judges is Werner von Braun. October Sky is the story of a a group of young enthusiasts whose ambition revives an industrial town in decline. They are emblems of a better future, of a life outside the vicious confines of the pit, of a world beyond the imagination. This is a sensitive, funny, brilliant tale of boys besotted by a dream: they want to build a rocket.
Until I began to build and launch rockets, I didn't know my hometown was at war with itself over its children, and that my parents were locked in a kind of bloodless combat over how my brother and I would live our lives....And I didn't know that the enthalpy decrease in a converging passage could be transformed into jet kinetic energy if a divergent passage was added. The other boys discovered their own truths when we built our rockets, but those were mine.So begins Homer "e;Sonny"e; Hickam, Jr.'s extraordinary memoir of life in Coalwood, West Virginia -- a hardscrabble little company town where the only things that mattered were coal mining and high-school football. The son of the mine's superintendent and a mother determined to push her son to a better life, Sonny fell in with a group of misfits for whom the future looked uncertain. But in 1957, after watching the Soviet Satellite Sputnik streak across the sky, Sonny and his teenage friends took their future into their own hands, changing their lives and their town forever.Looking back after a distinguished NASA career that fulfilled his boyhood ambition, Hickam shares the story of his youth, taking listeners into the life of the little mining town and the boys who came to embody both its tensions and its dreams. With the help -- and sometimes hindrance -- of the people of Coalwood, the Rocket Boys learn not only how to turn mine scraps into rockets that soar miles into the heavens, but how to find hope in a town that progress is passing by.In this uniquely American memoir, Homer Hickam beautifully captures a moment when a dying town, a divided family, and a band of teenage dreamers dared to set their sights on the stars -- and saw a future that the nation was just beginning to imagine.