by Brian Kimberling
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A great, hilarious new voice in fiction: the poignant, all-too-human recollections of an affable bird researcher in backwater Indiana as he goes through a disastrous yet heartrening love affair with the place and its people. 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. And at the centre of it all: Nathan, creeping through the forest to observe the birds he loves, and coming to terms with the accidental turns his life has taken.