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MAN V. NATURE: Stories ~Diane Cook

Monday, November 3rd, 2014

“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
  • MAN V. NATURE
  • 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

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