Monday, June 01, 2009

RETURN POLICY a Michael Snyder Novel

Nick Hornby convinced me to get married.

Now, I’ve never met Nick Hornby. I probably never will. But High Fidelity was such a spot on exploration of the endless cycle of “get to know you,” “love you,” and then “hate you in explosive breakup” types of relationships that at the end of the book Rob (great name for a character) decides that he wants to experience something deeper. That there has to be something more to a relationship then what he’s experienced, and maybe, just maybe, it’s time to take the plunge.

I had always subscribed to Paul’s theory that it is best not to marry (assuming that I wouldn’t burn) until I read Hornby. He challenged me. Changed my views on marriage. And I also happened to meet the most incredible girl in the history of girls. But that’s another blog.

Hornby also changed my views on literature. Before Hornby, I either read classics like Twain, Dickens, and Hemmingway or I read contemporary greats like Kurt Vonnegut, Tim O’Brien, Stephen King, and Phillip Roth. It did not occur to me that simple stories of normal people had inherent value until I met Nick Hornby.

Well, there is now a novelist that reminds me of Hornby. He has his own voice to be sure, but for me pop culture discovery has always been one thing linked to another: Star Wars to Star Trek, Wes Anderson to The Coen Brothers, Nirvana to Pearl Jam, and so on…

Michael Snyder’s new novel hits the shelves today. You’ve got to read it. It’s the seemingly simple story of three characters whose lives intertwine in the most unique of ways, but it’s literate, funny, thoughtful, a great read and a redemptive story.

I won’t spoil the plot, or give you a synopsis, the promotional copy does a much better job of that then I ever could. But I will say, that like Hornby, Snyder is interested in coming of age stories. This story involves three characters who came of age, were struck by tragedy, and now seem lost and incapable of a second chance. Mike writes each character in the first person (and as I writer myself, I can say writing so confidently in the first person takes a lot of talent, yet Snyder seems to do it effortlessly) as they tell their stories, explain their pasts, and get involved in a Robert Altman like journey of intertwining paths.

Return Policy is fun ride, the dialogue snaps, and the characters jump off the page. Get a copy of this book, it’s great for the beach or a rainy summer afternoon with a hot cup of coffee. Just don’t drink the hot coffee to fast and remember to wear sunblock SPF 15 or higher before you get sucked into the story. 

Want to get the book. Get it here: