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MAN V. NATURE: Stories ~Diane Cook

“What I like most about these stories is that many of them are dispatches from the end of the world, and it turns out to be a surprisingly familiar place.” (Ira Glass, Host, This American Life – cover quote)

TLC Book Tours  sent me an uncorrected proof copy of MAN V. NATURE for review and I want to recommend this book to my readers.

I read the first few pages of the first story and had to put the book down to answer the phone, I got really distracted with various activities and could not return to reading until the next day.  I could not stop thinking about the weird and wonderful first few pages of the book.  MAN V. NATURE caught my attention and held on tightly.  There was something different about the rhythm to the very tight writing style and yet it was fluid.  I read the above cover quote and this increased my interest, even though there were brutal forces (of Nature?) which were hard to wrap my imagination around.  An idea popped into my head, I put on the headphones and listened to a podcast of THIS AMERICAN LIFE.  Ah! The stories captured that timing and were not as scary and the emotions did not seep within me.  What remained were fascinating slices of a different reality.

“Diane Cook’s fiction has been published in HARPER’S Magazine, TIN HOUSE, ZOETROPE, and GUERNICA.  Her nonfiction has appeared in the NEW YORK TIMES magazine and on THIS AMERICAN LIFE, where she worked as a radio producer.  She earned an MFA from Columbia University, where she was a teaching fellow.  She lives in San Francisco, California” (cover)

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What happens to human lives when Nature gives us the Wild and Wooly to comprehend and cope with even knowing at any moment there could be death defying consciences?  What if one’s own Nature sets the stage for unimaginable consequences? What are the boundaries when Nature sends a tidal wave and one must find control and parameters?  Lots of tension included in each of these diverse stories.

Story Titles:

  • Moving On
  • The Way the End of Days Should Be
  • Somebody’s Baby
  • Girl on Girl
  • Marrying Up
  • It’s Coming
  • Meteorologist Dave Santana
  • Flotsam
  • A Wanted Man
  • The Mast Year
  • The Not-Needed Forest

In my busy life, I am truly enjoying the short story realm very much.  I like the diverse subject areas and how they are played out in new shorts to intrigue the mind in unexplored directions and stimulate creative thinking. An interesting collection – MAN V.NATURE

A Brief Moment of Weightlessness
Incendiary Girls
The Sense of Touch
Our Love Could Light the World

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8 Responses to “MAN V. NATURE: Stories ~Diane Cook”

  1. Laurie Buchanan Says:

    Patricia — This is your observation that piqued my curiosity:

    “There was something different about the rhythm to the very tight writing style and yet it was fluid.”

    Concision is the hallmark of my own writing. As such, I’ve added this book to my must-read list. Thank you!
    Laurie Buchanan recently posted..Got Moxie?My Profile

    Patricia Reply:

    Very interesting read and I liked her style….It is on my read it again shelf.
    Patricia recently posted..MAN V. NATURE: Stories ~Diane CookMy Profile

  2. Sara Says:

    I appreciated your review very much. I also like short stories and your review made me curious about these stories.

    The only thing I noticed is there’s no real sample at Amazon of one the stories…at least I didn’t get one. I like to read an excerpts, even with short stories, to get a feel for how the writer’s uses words. I was a bit disappointed with Amazon about this.

    However, this has nothing to do with your review, which was very helpful:~)
    Sara recently posted..And then she said…My Profile

    Patricia Reply:

    Do you ever listen to This American Life on NPR? This author’s style is very much like that story program each with a twist – they are also all fiction, where TAL is about real folks stories I listen to This American Life with Ira Glass on Podcasts while I am cooking and ON BEING with Krista Trippit too…

    I do not know why there was not a sample, but I think it has to do with Amazon.

    Thank you for your kind words
    Patricia recently posted..MAN V. NATURE: Stories ~Diane CookMy Profile

  3. Buried In Print Says:

    The tension in this collection really struck me too. I think it must be hard to sustain this throughout a dozen tales without their becoming same-y; I admire that!
    Buried In Print recently posted..In Cainsville: A GiveawayMy Profile

    patricia Reply:

    There was a great deal to admire in this collection of stories. I read it twice. Quirky diverse tension

  4. Heather J. @ TLC Book Tours Says:

    I enjoy short stories but often forget to seek them out. This sounds like a fascinating collection!

    Thanks for being a part of the tour.

    Patricia Reply:

    Heather J
    Good to be on the tour and grateful for such good short stories as these are.

    I have heard said that 20 minutes of reading reduces stress levels about 50% and exercises the brain when one thinks about what they have read. I try to think of what was a surprise reveal in a short story. I love stories for waiting at the doctor’s office or taking the bus – exercise and enjoyment all wrapped up together. !
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