Snapper by Brian Kimberling – Audiobook Review

Snapper by Brian Kimberling, narrated by Macleod Andrews
Published in audio by Random House Audio, published in print by TK

Publisher’s Synopsis:

Nathan Lochmueller studies birds, earning just enough money to live 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 & Beer, 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. And at the center of it all is Nathan, creeping through the forest to observe the birds he loves and coming to terms with the accidental turns his life has taken.

Thoughts on the story:

Snapper is a lovely, contemplative little novel. It basically consists of Nathan musing about Indiana: his childhood, his job studying birds, and the people that surround him (good, bad, and ugly). I’m not sure how much Snapper would appeal to those who have not spent considerable time in Indiana (although anyone who has clocked significant time in small towns might understand pretty well), but I was born there and still have family in the Indianapolis area, so Nathan’s mixed feelings about the state rang very true to me. With anecdotes ranging from humorous to heartfelt, I fell a little bit in love with Nathan and his Indiana.

Thoughts on the audio production:

Macleod Andrew is a new-to-me narrator, but in my opinion he does a great job with Snapper. This is one of those lovely first person performances where the narrator becomes the main character and you sort of forget that this is fiction and a bunch of people had to work to make it happen. Very good.


One thing to note about Snapper is that it is the perfect length – just about 6 hours in audio. It cuts off exactly where it should

For more information, please see the publisher’s website.

Source: Publisher.

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So Cold The River by Michael Kortya – Audiobook Review

So Cold the River by Michael Kortya, narrated by Robert Petkoff

If you posted an audiobook review today, Tuesday June 22nd, please leave your link in the Mr. Linky before midnight Central time (US) and you will be eligible to win a prize.


After his attempt to be a famous Hollywood filmmaker fizzles out, Eric Shaw finds himself in Chicago, making films – essentially slide shows – for events like weddings and funerals. Based on his work for one funeral – in which he includes a seemingly-insignificant picture that turns out to have been extremely significant for the deceased – he is approached by a woman who wants him to do a documentary about the early life of her husband’s dying grandfather.

Eric travels to French Lick, Indiana, home of the newly restored resort hotel, carrying with him a bottle of the region’s famous Pluto water. Strange things begin happening, however, and what seemed to be a simple documentary is now a mystery that Eric must unravel for his own safety.

Thoughts on the story:

This was my first Michael Kortya, but I doubt it will be my last. Eric’s character was complex and relate-able and truly human. The story built slowly enough that events seemed to happen naturally, but not so slowly that I was every bored. I love the pitch that he built to, and I was rapt by the story that Kortya created; he balanced the supernatural aspects perfectly as well.

Thoughts on the audio production:

Let’s add Robert Petkoff to my list of narrators on whom I have an audio crush. He has an amazing voice that makes you just want to melt, for one thing. For another, he does a fabulous job differentiating between the voices of different characters without making it sound unnatural, as if he is trying to hard. I don’t always appreciate sound effects other than the narrator’s voice in my audiobooks, but there are a couple of scenes where Eric hears wind or a violin, and Hachette Audio did a fabulous job weaving those sounds into Petkoff’s narration so that as the listener I felt I was in Eric’s head, hearing the things that he was hearing.


“So Cold The River” was sort of a suspense-y, mystery, not-quite-thriller sort of book. Those don’t always make for my favorite reads, but this one was both beautifully and artfully written and expertly narrated, and I definitely recommend it.

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This review was done with a book received as an audio download from Hachette.
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