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April 19, 2013 / Leslie

Review: Snapper by Brian Kimberling

Snapper by Brian KimberlingSnapper
by Brian Kimberling

Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Publisher: Pantheon
Publish Date: April 23, 2013
Format: Hardcover | 224 pages
Rating: 4½ of 5

Nathan Lochmueller studies birds. He is in love with a free-spirited, mysterious woman named Lola, has some oddball friends, and has a love-hate relationship with his home state of Indiana. Those are the constants in this series of vignettes that are loosely woven into a novel.

Nathan is an underpaid field researcher studying songbirds in south central Indiana, a job he enjoys. In a first person narrative he relates a series of tales about his life: Growing up in Indiana, his friends, his adventures, his relationship with Lola, his job, and the birds. It is written in the form of a memoir. The author grew up in southern Indiana and worked as a professional birdwatcher for two years and I often got the feeling it may even be semi-autobiographical.

I enjoyed this book a lot. The stories were humorous and often quirky in an almost believable slice-of-life manner. Each of the chapters is a story, or vignette, that could be read separately. It’s the type of book at could easily be put down and picked up again days later with ease. I wouldn’t go so far as to say it is ‘hilarious’, as the publisher’s blurb describes, but definitely fun and filled with humor.

The cover with all the beautiful birds is a bit misleading as this is not a novel about birds. I was hoping it would be, but it’s not. Frequent visitors here know how much I love all things birds and it will be no surprise I choose to read this based on the cover. Non-bird lovers, don’t worry, you can read and enjoy this and not be overwhelmed with statistics and information about birds. What you will find are interesting, factual anecdotes about birds scattered throughout the stories. One of my favorites is Nathan’s comments about the scream of an Eagle, which I, too, often mention… they don’t scream. In movies, Hollywood dubs the sound of a Red-tail Hawk and most people have never ,heard an Eagle’s call. It’s rather squeaky.

Even the title of the book, Snapper, has nothing to do with birds. It’s the title of one of the stories and one of the funnier ones at that, and really sets the tone for the book and Nathan’s relationship with his friends in his younger days. Hint: think turtle.

Although I was hoping for more bird stories, I did enjoy the bird references and found the book a light fun read and a nice break from novels with a complex plot.

Source: Review copy.
© 2013 Under My Apple Tree. All rights reserved.



Leave a Comment
  1. BermudaOnion / Apr 19 2013 12:53 pm

    This seems like the perfect book for you! I’m really looking forward to it.


    • Leslie / Apr 19 2013 1:05 pm

      As a volunteer bird monitor I could relate to all the bird stuff. Now I need to figure out how to get a paying job watching birds!


  2. Diane@BibliophilebytheSea / Apr 19 2013 6:08 pm

    I hadn’t realized that this was a series of stories. I do plan to try it — more so now after your high rating. Glad u like it/


  3. harvee / Apr 19 2013 7:37 pm

    HAve had my eye on this book as An amateur bird watcher myself. Hope to get my hands on it this summer!


  4. therelentlessreader / Apr 19 2013 9:27 pm

    I’ve seen this around a bit recently and every time I see the cover I think of you 🙂


  5. Suko / Apr 19 2013 10:19 pm

    Leslie, I’m glad you enjoyed this book, even if it is not all about birds! 🙂


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