Recently I started doing reviews for The Christian Manifesto. Every review I write for them, I also post here. But there are two other fiction reviewers, plus reviews of non-fiction and film so you may want to check it out.
My Name is Russell Fink by Michael Snyder was like no book I’ve ever read and I recommend everyone go out and buy it to experience a unique story told in a fresh voice.
I first heard Michael Snyder’s name when Brandilyn Collins posted about her
Therefore, I was thrilled when this book came my way for review. Plus Mike and I have the same agent, which made me more eager to read his book.
I’ll admit that I had a little trouble getting into it at first. It doesn’t release until March, so I received an advance reader copy. This ARC didn’t have any back cover copy, so I had no idea what the story was supposed to be about.
I kept trying to identify the plot, and where it was headed. Yet it’s told in such an enjoyable style that after a short time I just sat back and enjoyed the ride. And trust me, all the seemingly random events in the beginning of the book do gel into a cohesive plot—a twisty, and unpredictable one.
Russell Fink is a bundle of neuroses. He blames himself for everything, including the death of his twin sister from cancer when she was nine years old. His phobias and guilt are probably the reasons he’s stuck with a job he hates and isn’t very good at. He’d quit, but he can’t. He’s saving up so he can move out of his parent’s house.
Russell Fink is also a character I couldn’t help rooting for—even when he was doing or saying something stupid. And much of the time he doesn’t seem to have control over what comes out of his mouth.
Quirky doesn’t begin to describe the people he interacts with every day. But instead of expanding on that, I’ll let you make the bizarre and delightful journey of discovery for yourself. Likable and unforgettable, these characters nevertheless make Russell look like the sane one. The great thing about Mike’s writing style is that he doesn’t shout, “Hey, look at this weird character!” Over time, he reveals new traits and lets the reader draw their own conclusions.
In this razor-witted comedy, I didn’t expect to find myself in the middle of a minor mystery. The murder victim, however, is Russell’s clairvoyant basset hound. A surprising number of people have motive to kill this sweet old dog.
The spiritual thread is sort of subtle, for lack of a better word. Through most of the book I wondered where Russell Fink’s faith lies. But it was very fitting for the story and for what the character has been through. The conclusion of the spiritual thread matches the tone of the rest of the story.
I admired the craftsmanship of this work. If you take my advice and buy it when it releases, your intellect and your funny bone will thank you.