Nathan Lochmueller studies birds for just enough money to live and learn on. He drives a glitter-festooned truck, the Gypsy Moth, and he is in love with Lola, a woman so free-spirited and mysterious she can break a man's heart with a sigh or a shrug. Around them swirls a remarkable cast of characters: the proprietor of Fast Eddie's Burgers, the genius behind "Thong Thursdays"; Uncle Dart, a Texan who brings his swagger to Indiana with profound and nearly devastating results; a snapping turtle with a taste for thumbs; a German Shepherd who howls backup vocals; and the very charismatic state of Indiana itself.
Brian Kinchen was a 38-year-old husband, father of four, and seventh-grade Bible teacher whose professional football career had been over for three years when the New England Patriots called on December 15, 2003. With the Patriots riding a 10-game winning streak and the playoffs only a few weeks away, they needed a fill-in for the obscure but vital job of snapping the ball for their punter and kicker - a long snapper.
"One long Christian commercial"
Meet the Rabbitte family, a motley bunch of loveable ne'er-do-wells whose everyday purgatory is rich with hangovers, dogshit, and dirty dishes. When the older sister announces her pregnancy, the family are forced to rally together and discover the strangeness of intimacy. But the question remains: which friend of the family is the father of Sharon's child?
With his detective agency facing hard times, Charlie Bradshaw moonlights as night manager at a Saratoga Springs hotel. Victor, his partner, snaps pictures of the happy tourists. But not all the tourists are happy with this self-styled Saratoga Snapper. When one "candid" subject runs Victor down and steals his camera, Charlie gets caught up in a dangerous scheme worthy of Saratoga's colorful past. It proves that passions still roil in this quiet resort town.
Set in a brilliantly observed rural Indiana, 'the bastard son of the Midwest', Snapper is a book about birdwatching, a woman who won't stay true, and a pickup truck that won't start. Here turtles eat alligators for breakfast, Klansmen skulk in the undergrowth, and truckers drop into the diner of a town named Santa Claus to ensure that no child's Christmas letter goes unanswered, while Nathan grapples with the eternal question: Should I stay, or should I go? Kimberling's vision of small-town life is as characterful as Garrison Keillor's Lake Wobegon, but bristling with the tensions of race, class, poverty, and prejudice.