Friday, February 15, 2008
My Name is Russell Fink
This week's CFBA selection is Michael Snyder's fab book, My Name is Russell Fink!
Can I just say I loved this book! Really, I thoroughly enjoyed its quirkiness. It was fresh and fun! Russell was a great character...bordering on Loser-Dom, without ever quite going all the way. He had believable earnestness...and I love earnestness...it's so endearing.
And I laughed, yes, out-loud! Fink was belly-busting funny... yeah! Christian Fiction has a hard time in the funny quirky category. Often humor is not so funny...it's either cheesy or overdone (to the point of loosing the humor--thus becoming annoying). In short I don't feel like I've read this book before...it's original, the characters authentic. Now that I've gushed, I'd have to say that my only critique is that the end of the book (the "reveal" in Geri's hospital room) doesn't really jive with the pacing and style of the rest of the book. It seemed more like an ending in a formula book, than the ending of this tale. Maybe it just seemed too rushed? I do, however, like how not every loose end is tidied up. I'd say more, but I don't want to have to put a "plot-spoiler" warning at the beginning of my post.
Snyder's supporting cast were equally addicting...I loved Gramps (and what his character represents) and the dog-poo-mailbox-stuffing neighbor.
Read an excerpt here and you'll see what I've been talking about!
About Michael: Michael Snyder has spent the bulk of his professional career in sales, has fallen in love, and continues to struggle with the balance between art and vocation. He's never investigated a murder, much less that of an allegedly clairvoyant dog.
About the book: Russell Fink is twenty-six years old and determined to salvage a job he hates so he can finally move out of his parents house for good. He's convinced he gave his twin sister cancer when they were nine years old. And his crazy fiancée refuses to accept the fact that their engagement really is over.
Then Sonny, his allegedly clairvoyant basset hound, is found murdered.The ensuing amateur investigation forces Russell to confront several things at once-the enormity of his family's dysfunction, the guy stalking his family, and his long-buried feelings for a most peculiar love interest.
At its heart, My Name is Russell Fink is a comedy, with sharp dialogue, characters steeped in authenticity, romance, suspense, and fresh humor. With a postmodern style similar to Nick Hornby and Douglas Coupland, the author explores reconciliation, forgiveness, and faith in the midst of tragedy. No amount of neurosis or dysfunction can derail God's redemptive purposes.
Fink hits the shelf in March, pre-order your copy here!