My Name is Russell Fink by Michael Snyder – My Review

Originally Posted at Bibliophile’s Retreat by Melissa Meeks

This was an “interesting” read in that it kept me guessing till the end about some things though others were a little too obvious. The writing itself is rather eclectic though and that may be due to the author’s “system” of compositing short-stories into a novel and as he admits doing very little plotting.

I found the plot to be rather haphazard and jumpy without solid ties from one event to another in some places or a connecting thread running through the whole other than Russell himself. This particular book more resembled individual vignettes of events in Russell’s life than a coherent novel in my opinion.

I felt the faith element and scriptural references were contrived and pasted in rather than woven into the story invisibly in some places. This and the lack of “coherence” bother me as I tend to like the stories I read to have a point and not feel like someone is trying to tangle unrelated threads into a semblance of a rope.

Russell was decently developed but many of the other characters especially the minor ones were simply shadows flitting through the pages. Towards the end Geri becomes a little more fleshed out but I still feel even in her character there was that elusive something missing that makes me want to pursue the story and really know this person.

If you enjoy oddball people and apparently insignificant glances into their lives interspersed with random spurts of a faith element then this would be right up your alley. The writing is clean in terms of mechanics and grammar but the book itself just didn’t work for me personally.

As an intellectual, organized thinker this book was definitely out of my normal realm despite the interest that the cover synopsis piqued when I read it. I was disappointed in the lack of characters that I could identify with and feel drawn to. I really, really wanted to like this book but my orderly, logical brain just couldn’t warp (this is not a typo!) itself into an appreciation for the eclectic randomness of style and events or the erratic plotlines that seemed in my mind to have no unifying goal.

Regardless of my opinion, be sure to check out some of the other CFBA member’s posts using the links in my sidebar blogroll under the CFBA medallion on the right sidebar (the rectangle is the reviewer’s blog links). Don’t merely take my word for it. You can also read an Author Bio and the Cover Synopsis in the CFBA Post.


  1. “Interesting” is a good word for this story. I enjoyed it, but it’s nothing like what I would normally read.

  2. Melissa,

    I wanted to thank you first for taking part in the tour…and then again for your refreshingly candid review! I fear too often in CBA circles we tend to shy away from honest critique. So bravo to you for calling it like you see it. I really do think that’s pretty darn cool.

    Blessings and Happy Valentine’s!


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