A Short Story Collection
Literary fiction short story collection. The collection opens with a novella work, Slipstream, which sets the tone by exploring the powerful forces that derail us, how we are driven to search for answers and the harsh truth that redemption often comes at a price. The stories that follow elaborate on that theme. Hunter is haunted by the mistake that defined his life. A chance encounter sets Edward on a search for answers. An act of bullying committed decades ago brings a day of reckoning for Quentin. Will must pay the ransom of conscience. A shocking event causes Laurel to fall victim to a temptation she cannot rationalize. Huck shuts out the loss he cannot face until he can deny it no longer. Malcolm seeks atonement for a desperate act committed in the name of love.
“Kidney cancer. Renal Cell Carcinoma, if you want to know the official name for it.”
“My God, Dad.” Tom let his line go limp in the water. “When did you find out?”
“Does that really matter?”
“Well ... they can operate, right? You can live with one kidney. Lots of people do.”
“It’s already metastasized. It’s in both kidneys.”
“Damn. When do you start treatment? You’re going to need help. I could take a leave of absence.”
“Chemotherapy? I’ll tell you the same thing I told the Oncologist. I’ll be damned if I’m going to spend what time I have left feeling like hell warmed over.”
“But you can’t just give up. You’ve gotta fight it.”
Norman cast again.
“The sixth island from the head of the lake. An oval island, remarkable for its evergreens.”READ MORE
“Yeah, I know. Catherine Par Traill describing Black Island in one of her stories. I remember everything you taught us. Are we going to talk about this or not?”
“Then why even tell me?”
“Muskie take their prey head first. One gulp and that’s all she wrote.”
“So we’re talking about muskie behaviour now?”
“Thomas, cancer is like a muskie. Once it has got its teeth into you, you’re not getting away. Why would I even want to? Your mother is gone. Benjamin is gone. You live 2,000 thousand miles away. And I’m too old to keep coming up here. I may be stubborn. But I know when it’s time to bow out gracefully.”COLLAPSE
C.H. Doverdad, Amazon wrote:
"This book is an excellent collection of sixteen short stories, which, except for one, are set in contemporary Ontario Canada, but they are so true to life and human nature that they could have occurred anywhere. Also, as the author, Michael Dyet, aptly put it in the book’s description, the set 'reflects that deep urge to return to where we feel at peace.'
The title story, Hunting Muskie, exposes man’s endless quest to subdue conflicts, with enchanting passages, such as the following: 'Tom saw his father’s life, and his own, in a new light. Muskie were the stuff of legend—the fish of ten thousand casts. You could go your whole life without hooking one. But when you did, and the hook was set deep, a muskie would always claim the dignity of fighting to the end.' The story’s theme will remind readers of other great novel’s like The Old Man and the Sea, and Moby Dick.
The length of the stories would make an enjoyable read for short durations, say during a train or a subway commute. Highly recommended."
"In this anthology of short stories, Michael Dyet creates vivid characters with deep and complex relationships. Family secrets are systematically revealed in “Slipstream”, as one woman’s assumptions about her loved ones crash down around her. There are also threads of spiritual communications running through many of the stories, such as “Winter Solstice", as the characters battle demons in isolation.
The author’s excellent control of dialogue shines in the title story, “Hunting Muskie”, which has a quintessential Canadian ring to it. Although the story could have become weighed down by life’s emotional surprises, it doesn’t. “Hunting Muskie” and the other stories celebrate the love/hate relationships that define any family. Evocative and crisp, Dyet’s voice frames his stories with dry wit and simmering heartbreak."