Is it possible to write a novel about nothing? Well, not exactly nothing, but little more than the life experiences we normally go through? You know, having and losing your first job; finding and losing your first love; getting into trouble with your childhood friends. That sort of thing. Snapper, by Brian Kimberling, seems to be out to prove that you can do just this.
I admit it, I randomly picked Snapper because of the birds on the cover. And while I enjoyed the book, it took me nearly all of it to realize there this isn't going to be a normal, plot driven, book. It's more a collection of life's little adventures, told with wit and humor.
I further admit that if there's one that kept me reading, it was the main character, Nathan Lochmueller. Man, I'd love to sit down with him and hear more stories. I love that he chooses a life path which makes sense to him, yet is baffling to most others ("wait, you're a professional bird watcher?"). I like that his stories are equal parts victories and missteps, with the arc bending towards a life of happiness and fulfillment. He doesn't always say or do the right thing, yet is self aware enough to know when he's made those missteps.
In the end Snapper was a pleasant book. If you enjoy the first couple of chapters (really, short stories in their own right), you'll enjoy the whole book. If you find yourself asking "what's the point," then do yourself a favor and put the book down.