Published April 23rd 2013 by Pantheon
(first published January 1st 2013)
Hardcover, 224 page
A great, hilarious new voice in fiction: the poignant, all-too-human recollections of an affable bird researcher in the Indiana backwater as he goes through a disastrous yet heartening love affair with the place and its people.
Nathan Lochmueller studies birds, earning just enough money to live on. He drives a glitter-festooned truck, the Gypsy Moth, and he is in love with Lola, a woman so free-spirited and mysterious she can break a man’s heart with a sigh or a shrug. Around them swirls a remarkable cast of characters: the proprietor of Fast Eddie’s Burgers & Beer, the genius behind “Thong Thursdays”; Uncle Dart, a Texan who brings his swagger to Indiana with profound and nearly devastating results; a snapping turtle with a taste for thumbs; a German shepherd who howls backup vocals; and the very charismatic state of Indiana itself. And at the center of it all is Nathan, creeping through the forest to observe the birds he loves and coming to terms with the accidental turns his life has taken.
Snapper features thirteen chapters that are loosely constructed Midwestern vignette's. They chronicle Nathan Lochmueller's life from high school thru college and ending in his thirties.
Nathan has a philosophy degree and works as a songbird field researcher. There is sly humor and word play used throughout this book...written in the first person.
You get to learn a little bit about Indiana. There are the things that irritate. But, there are also things that bring a smile. Like in Santa Claus Indiana. Where they do really answer letter's from Santa. (Santa’s Elves Inc. and the Santa Claus Museum, organize volunteers to answer all the children’s letters that flood the post office during the holidays.)
The characters you meet through Nathan are all memorable, and a little unconventional. And, if you ask any midwesterner about the mean streak of a snapping turtle, they'll tell why they are called a..SNAPPER.