Brisbane author David Cohen has put together a much anticipated collection of short stories in the form of his new book The Hunter and Other Stories of Men. The collection contains eighteen stories, most around the ten page mark, whilst some of which were published in various publications between 2004 and 2017.
With some of the stories contained in the collection I came away with nothing in my head, whilst others were rather sweet and funny, and evoked a poignant response. I particularly enjoyed the story “Woodcutter”, which I thought was a really great story; perhaps due to the fact that it had a more traditional ending (alas, my mind isn’t that creative). I’ll admit I’m not a fan of stories where the ending is left up in the air – “Carlos and The Man” and “The Man who looked a bit like George Harrison”, being two examples from the collection. But, I do find most short stories alluring, and the beauty of these collections is that I know that if I’m not so keen on one chapter/story then the next will undoubtedly take my mind on a different adventure, which is something that Cohen definitely pulled off here.
Some of the collection’s stories could perhaps be fleshed out into a full novel one day. “Pioneer”, for example, is an amusing story of a man and his logs, which has potential for a longer treatment. “Lament of a Bus Stop outside the Benrath Senior Centre”, is such a sweet story, and I really do love the title of this one. “Washing Day” is probably the most hilarious and unexpected read, and then we have “Shrinking”, which makes you think about the preposterous idealisms that go through some mens minds. The stories are all, as the collection’s title would suggest, about men. Most seem to be divorced, bitter and lamenting. I found after reading this book I felt like there was a dark cloud over me, with the stories mainly gave me a sense of sadness.
The Hunter is an offbeat and creative look into the minds of men, so I’m sure this will tickle the minds of many readers. Even though it wasn’t all together my kettle of fish, I am in awe of anyone who can write stories, and there are a few in here that stayed with me long past my finishing the book.
THREE AND A HALF STARS (OUT OF FIVE)
The Hunter and Other Stories of Men by David Cohen is available now through Transit Lounge Publishing