Friday, February 15, 2008

CFBA Tour - My Name Is Russell Fink

I'm excited this week to discuss the new book My Name Is Russell Fink by Michael Snyder for the CFBA book tour.

I spent time from 2005 - 2006 hanging out at faith*in*fiction, a blog and forum established by Bethany House editor Dave Long. There was great discussion on the issues affecting Christian fiction. One of the clever folks that were there was Mr. Mike Snyder. We heard a little of the development of his book at that time. I'm glad to say that the fruition of his initial effort is well-worth the read.

The book follows the titular Russell Fink through some mis adventures as we see life through his eyes. He is dealing with a job he detests, a severe bout of hypochondria (stemming from his twin dying of cancer as a child and his fear of sneaky cancer cells), a clingy fiancee, and his televangelist father trying to overcome past scandal. Along the way he finds a way to move out of his parents' house, investigates the apparent murder of his beloved dog Sonny, and meets an old flame who stirs some passion into this drifter.

The strength of this book is the writing. As I mentioned the clever folks from f*i*f before, Snyder was one of the tops in that category. His writing sparkles with wit and whimsy. You never know where he is going to turn next, from whiskey-soaked dog biscuits to microwaving oranges and breaking into zoos (see, you'll just have to read it to figure out what all that means). At first Russell is a hard character to like, since he is so passive and basically irresponsible in all of his conflicts. However, as he slowly grows into accepting some responsibility and starts to make a change in his life, you start pulling for him. All the time, the writing keeps you on your toes and with a grin on your face.

The plot suffers a little confusion at the end, and I couldn't always follow where certain threads came or went, or if all of the major plot points were resolved. There is one point I want to write the author to ask him about, it was such a dangling string. Still, I can recommend this book because, even if isn't fully sure of where it is going, the journey there is a lot of fun by the enjoyable writing. I look forward to seeing where Michael Snyder goes from here, having his first book under his collar...I mean belt.

1 comment:

  1. Jason,

    Howdy to a veteran f*i*f'er. I just wanted to drop in and say hey and thanks for not only reading my book, but for the thoughtful review and kind words. It really means more than you know!

    And I hope you will contact me about that dangling thread. I'm really curious (I just hope I can remember!!! Yes, my memory really is that bad!)

    Thanks again and have a great weekend!