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Goods & Effects

Goods & Effects by Al Schnupp is a heartwarming story about a Mennonite woman in the 60’s named Hannah Mercer who’s trying to find her way in the world after the passing of her family. To help her gain independence and explore the world around her, she opens up a little shop on wheels called Hannah’s Goods & Effects. Along the way, we watch her grow into herself and face backlash from the town deacon because she has decided to march to the beat of her own gigantic drum. This inspiring story left me craving more in the best way possible!

Schnupp is a master at conveying real human emotions. Hannah and the side characters in this story felt realistic and fully-fledged. That comment is typically hard to give for books of this length. We received enough backstory about our protagonist without drowning in useless information. In a matter of 174 pages, our author managed to bring his characters to life and execute it beautifully. Further speaking on the character development, I appreciated Schnupp’s ability to write a female main character without her seeming like a mystical fantasy. That is a rare accomplishment from modern male authors. I also wanted to share my appreciation for diverse representation, especially for the time period the story takes place. We read about characters from different races as well as different abilities. Darla was an absolute treat to read about! This review wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the stunning writing and language used throughout the novel. It is simple yet carefully crafted. I felt that Schnupp spent a great deal of time choosing how to depict the story through language alone. Despite the simplicity, there was never a dull moment in the story. I was always waiting to see what Hannah would do next! Although parts of the story were sad, it was predominantly heartwarming.

Goods & Effects is a fantastic fall read, and I can’t wait to read it again in the future. If you get the chance, I highly recommend picking this book up, curling up on the couch, and sipping a mug of your favorite warm drink. You will fly through it, and it’s the best way to consume this story.

Pages: 166 | ASIN: B08XW1S1N6

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Zero

Zero by [Al Schnupp]

Al Schnupp’s writing is witty, sharp, and distinct. The satire and humor organically embedded in this story makes it a stand out book of 2021 for me. You cannot go a page without finding the text to be entertaining or amusing.

We follow the story of Zero, a man who is not so wise but interesting to follow regardless. Zero has a wife, Maxine. His wife is sly, sometimes two-faced, and to some extent unethical. Maxine has a huge influence on Zero. She can convince her husband to partake in something that he was initially not confident about. Maxine may seem horrible to some, but there are parts of her character that I thought to be brave. She is unstoppable and a go-getter once she sets her mind to something. Horace is another major character that I found to be intriguing. Horace is a close associate of Zero and his wife, and they involve him in their ambitions. Zero is convinced by his wife to go for a political seat. Politics is not easy even for the wealthiest, most powerful, and experienced. Zero wants to vie for Icon of Groad, a top seat in his country. With the help of his wife, Zero strategizes and gets Horace, his campaign manager to help in his campaign spree. I enjoyed following this trio because of their diverse characters and how each complemented the other. Running a successful campaign is not a one-man show and Zero needed a support system to see his plan succeed.

The development of the plot and building of characters makes you appreciate how great of a writer Al Schnupp is. The author understands his readers and uses familiar examples when narrating the various occurrences and events. The style of narration is engaging and appealing to readers that enjoy satire. When reading this book, you realize how society is flawed to a certain degree as the author highlights issues that we face in contemporary society. The political theme in the book was significant and relevant especially for readers that are invested in policymaking and both local and international politics. Al Schnupp’s satire is top tier. I enjoyed how the author talks of the status quo. He is witty and uses distinct words and phrases when addressing societal issues through his characters and the storyline. I could not help but think of the many Zero’s we have in real life, as this character had a shady background, and yet he had ambitions to lead. Inspector Oodles was a favorite character. I liked the traits he was given and the process he took while investigating Zero’s father’s death. The detective work was another intriguing aspect of this story that I enjoyed following.

Zero is one of the funnest books I’ve read this year. I enjoyed the satirical storytelling, sharp by subtle wit, and the humorous detective work. If you’re looking for a light and fun story, look no further than Al Schnupp’s engaging political comedy.

Pages: 108 | ASIN: B093SXG461

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