Eva Hunter, Mexico—
“Christopher Cook’s e-book novella Storm! Wow, wow, wow, and wow! I started it today, and he’s knocked my socks off already. Cook’s writing is lush and deep and evocative and relentlessly forward-driving. Like all of his award-winning books, short stories, essays…”
A Professional Writing Coach—
“I’ve been a Christopher Cook fan for awhile, having immensely enjoyed Screen Door Jesus and Other Stories, Robbers, and the award-winning “The Pickpocket”…
“But with Storm, Cook—who was already a world-class literary writer—has outdone himself. This is a tender, yet hard-driving story about a family in America’s rural south, told through the eyes of a young boy.
“I could reel off a list of people Cook’s writing is reminiscent of: Cormac McCarthy, William Faulkner, F. Scott Fitzgerald… But essentially the comparison does not quite do Christopher Cook justice. Cook stands shoulder to shoulder with that group in the elegant realism of his story lines, and the breathtaking beauty of his prose.
“This novella stands among the top five of my past ten-years’ reading. Don’t miss it.”
Mary B. Ferguson, Texas, USA—
“This novella is both a powerful story and an exquisite piece of writing. While reading it, I couldn’t help but think that the writing has the purity and authenticity of Faulkner; the tightness, discipline and mastery of craft of Alice Munro; and the wisdom, spirituality, reverence for the natural world, and strong ending of Jim Harrison.
“Those are strong comparisons, but Storm possesses all of these attributes of these masters, making it even better than what they have given us. Every word rings perfectly! And every word and phrase of the writing flows like great poetry, or a Beethoven symphony in words instead of notes.
“It is rare for even the most outstanding literature to end on the same high level of the writing and without disappointing me, but this story ends with a dramatic scene you won’t easily forget, and maintains the highest standards of the writing established throughout the story.
“I wish Storm hadn’t ended, as I always wish with every great piece of writing. This is a book that will stay with you long after you’ve finished it, and in the very best way possible.”
James Sutphin, Texas—
“I loved this book. Reminded me of growing up in the East Texas piney woods. The charactors were so familiar… reminded me of family. I very much identified with the little boy watching the complex goings on of this adult drama from a quiet distance. I hope to see more from this author soon!!”
Lon Clark, China—
“Anyone who grew up in rural America, especially the rural south, and in a time much less complicated than today, will greatly appreciate the unfolding story in Christopher Cook’s Storm. For those readers who were raised in an urban city and are unaccustomed to countryside living, Storm offers a magnificent glimpse into the lives of people whose relationships are uncompounded and way of life is simple and natural.
“Storm is a story seen through the eyes of a young boy whose quest to become a man is strong. An immediate family includes a stern, yet adorning grandfather, a loving grandmother, an inquisitive and energetic mother, a somewhat passive father, and two uncles whose lives are chaotic and unsettled. The boy lives a carefree and curious existence. He is a keen observer of family interactions, and struggles to make sense of their communications. He finds that women speak one language, while men speak another. Although tempted to remain in safe territory with his mother and grandmother, he is emotionally drawn to venture out to where the men are gathered in his quest to search for the holy grail of manhood.
“Cook writes the narrative with a keen eye toward detail. He paints a descriptive picture for the reader that allows him or her to be engaged with the characters, as well as their environment. Written in a smooth, flowing style, Storm is a masterful piece of literature graced with a plethora of metaphor, simile, and powerful adjectives that gives accent to the subtleties of the mini stories powerfully and timely placed within the main story. It is almost poetic at times. One does not have to strain or labor to read this story.
“Storm is short enough to be read in one sitting. Once I began, I could not put it down. The characters are so interesting, and the story so compelling, that it was a pleasure to continue reading.
“The ending of Storm might be a surprise to some. I once heard an author state that writing should express just enough to spark the imagination of the reader, and no more. Cook does not give us a nice, packaged ending. That would be too easy and would relegate the book as being too simple. Rather, as the reader has already been drawn into the story, he or she is left to imagine an outcome. In other words, the reader has some work to do beyond what Cook has offered. I found myself thinking about the story days after I completed reading it, similar to a powerful movie that lingers within the soul long after leaving the theater.
“For those not willing to imagine their own outcome, perhaps I would suggest to Cook a sequel to Storm. In fact, I can envision a number of sequels as the boy continues to age and grow into his manhood. I found myself wanting to write my own sequel to the brief story Cook shares.
“All in all, this is a very delightful story full of tenderness, but just enough tension that it captures the interest and imagination of the reader. I highly recommend it.”
W.M. “Bill” Howe, Leeds, England—
“Christopher Cook can light up the page with a firework of words and write dialogue like he’s just transposed it straight from a Dictaphone. There are times when you’d be forgiven for thinking that you were reading a lost story by William Faulkner—if Faulkner had set any of his stories in the thickets and back woods of East Texas.
“This novella is a richly descriptive and powerful story of family relationships, the conquering of fears, the long journey from boyhood to manhood, and the universal, mythic significance of the mundane moments in everyday lives, from a writer that always leaves me open mouthed and wanting more.”
Jim Knoch, Mexico—
“Now that I call myself a writer I read everything I can get my eyes on. As I form my own voice I seek writing that presents in a manner I admire and within a style I desire to someday function.
“I count it as one of my luckiest days when I found “STORM” and discovered Christopher Cook. This novella is a dynamo of words from the first to the last and I so recommend it to all.
“Mr. Cook is a master writer and should be enjoyed by a large audience. Read this story, written from the eyes of a ten year old boy from east Texas, spread the word and hope for a sequel.”
Jim Freeman, Czech Republic—
“The first rule of authentic writing (we are told) is to know what and where you’re writing about. Cook was born and raised in east Texas and the language and feel of that wonderful but little-known country is in his blood.
“Add the fact that he’s both an intelligent and captivating story-teller. What’s not to like? You’ll love reading Storm, and if you’re not already a Christopher Cook fan, prepare to become one.”