Gerald is pigeon-toed, with an aquiline nose and crow’s feet around his hooded brown eyes- a caricature of an ornithologist. He even picks at his food.
Snapper by Brian Kimberling
As much as I love birds and wildlife spotting, I hadn’t expected to really enjoy a book about a professional twitcher, but Snapper by Brian Kimberling is so much more than that and I found myself really warming to the story of Nathan Lochmueller and his upbringing in Southern Indiana.
The beauty of Kimberling’s writing lies in his compelling characterisation; an uncle unwittingly wandering into a meeting of the Ku Klux Klan, a fundamentalist Christian who runs the sleaziest burger bar in the South, and truckers who write letters for Santa. The characters are weirdly recognisable, for all the improbable circumstance, and they are constructed with real warmth and affection.
If you’re looking for a fast paced, plot driven read, then this probably isn’t going to be your cup of tea, but if you’re on the lookout for new writing talent with dark humour and a gift for language then this is definitely worth a read. Oh and watch out for the vignette that gives the book its name… brilliant.