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Snapper by Brian Kimberling

imagesBrian Kimberling’s Snapper is so easy to identify with!  The main character, Nathan, is a Hoosier who has a love/hate relationship with Indiana and its rural areas and college towns.  After college, Nathan gets by doing wild bird research in the southern Indiana woods for various government agencies and professors.  He carries a torch for a girl named Lola who indulges him once in a while when she is between boyfriends (and sometimes when she has one) but only sees him as a friend.  Evansville and Bloomington figure heavily in this story and any Hoosier who has spent any of their college years in either city should read this book.  When Nathan suffers partial hearing loss due to misadventure he can no longer work in the field as he can no longer identify wild birds by their song.  Friends suggest pursuing a doctorate in ornithology but Nathan knows that afterwards that will mean sitting inside at a computer making sense of data others have gathered in the field and he doesn’t want to do that.  Instead he ends up in Vermont at a raptor rehabilitation center but secretly pines for his long isolated days in the Indiana woods.  Apart from all the familiar references (Lafayette is mentioned several times), this book had me frequently laughing out loud and saying “Right on!”.  Hilarious and a fast read.

Stacy W.

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