Brian Kimberling combines humour and poetry in the engaging story of a lovelorn rural bird-watcherLyrical, comic and packed with piercing descriptions of the natural world, Snapper is a coming-of-age tale set in and around Evansville, Indiana, the backwater town the author and his drifting, lovelorn, bird-watching protagonist Nathan Lochmueller reluctantly claim as their home turf. “Everything’s flat, everyone’s fat, and you can’t buy beer on Sunday. That is all you need to know,” he says by way of introduction.The novel is a jumble of memories and anecdotes that chart the misadventures of philosophy graduate Nathan, who rather improbably makes his living as a glorified bird-watcher paid to do field research by Indiana University. He painstakingly notes the habits of songbirds and describes his patch of forest with astonishing clarity, yet he remains oblivious to his own chaotic existence.From Nathan’s perspective, Indiana is an enchanting mess of contradictions, “my own lifelong imbroglio”, a place where thumbs risk being nipped off by turtles, the Ku Klux Klan might invite you round for tea and where present requests to the town of Santa Claus always get an answer. Kimberling creates these unlikely anecdotes with a light touch, ensuring they are witty, observant and …read more

Via: The Guardian | Books