Michael Snyderís My Name Is Russell Fink draws back the curtain to let readers behold the not-so-ordinary, yet relatable, life that belongs to Russell Fink. The title character is an insecure, bordering-on-hypochondriacal young man dealing with a painful past, a family run-amuck, a controlling and fame-hungry ex-fiancť, and a job that he hates. Eventually, Russell becomes the unlikely hero of his own life story, and comes to grips with who he really is, what he believes, and how he fits in with the other people in his life.
Arranged in chapters by days of the week, the story is told from Russellís first-person, present perspective. Sentences and paragraphs have an easily readable rhythm that adds to the witty, whimsical texture of the novel. Russellís relationships with almost all the other characters are packed with baggage (and some blessings) from the past. Throughout the novel, some relationships are severed, others grow, and new ones are created. Russell learns a lot about people and how to interact with them.
Russell Finkís problems begin with a questionable mole that his doctor wants to remove. Soon, he is investigating his dogís murder and the threatening calls being made to his family. New twists and troublesome circumstances keep the mystery snowballing until it becomes a giant mess. With the help of his friends, Russell is eventually able to find the truth and sort out the chaos in his life. In the meantime, he gets kicked out of his parentsí house and starts to room with a heat-loving inventor, where he works diligently to keep from getting fired. He also deals with his past, faces his angry ex-fiancť, and realizes he is really in love with someone else.
Russell Fink has a quirky, witty sense of humor, and likes to make people laugh, which adds much to his storytelling ability. He is a likable, realistic character, but is often insecure, because he tends to blame and pity himself much more than necessary. Throughout the story, Russell becomes more insightful about himself and those around him, which causes a positive transformation. By the end of the novel, Russell is a much more confident man. The members of Russellís dysfunctional family add a lot of drama to his life, but they are a part of who he is, and their broken relationships are able to be restored. Apart from his family, Russell has other, unique acquaintances who add to the humor and disaster in his life. Russellís friend from college, Geri, and her cousin, Dan, are Russellís most reliable and helpful friends, but even they have quirks and secrets.
My Name Is Russell Fink is hilarious, entertaining, inspiring and even heart-warming. Snyder brings to the table a bold, intriguing, yet mostly light-hearted, page-turner that readers wonít be able to put down. Readers, young and old, male and female, will greatly enjoy this wacky tale. Once they get a taste, they wonít be able to get enough of Russell Fink. -- Laura A. Coulter, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com
Russell Fink is twenty-six years old and determined to salvage a job he hates so he can finally move out of his parents house for good. He's convinced he gave his twin sister cancer when they were nine years old. And his crazy fiance refuses to accept the fact that their engagement really is over.
Then Sonny, his allegedly clairvoyant basset hound, is found murdered.
The ensuing amateur investigation forces Russell to confront several things at once-the enormity of his family's dysfunction, the guy stalking his family, and his long-buried feelings for a most peculiar love interest.
At its heart, My Name Is Russell Fink is a comedy, with sharp dialogue, characters steeped in authenticity, romance, suspense, and fresh humor. With a postmodern style similar to Nick Hornby and Douglas Coupland, the author explores reconciliation, forgiveness, and faith in the midst of tragedy. No amount of neurosis or dysfunction can derail God's redemptive purposes.