Flash Fiction Stories of the Sea

Fiction - Anthology
142 Pages
Reviewed on 06/30/2021
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Author Biography

Theodore Jerome (Ted) Cohen is an award-winning author who has published more than ten novels--all but one of them mystery/thrillers--two books of short stories, and eight flash-fiction anthologies. He also writes illustrated storybooks for children (K-3) in the series Stories for the Early Years as well as Young Adult (YA) novels under the pen name "Alyssa Devine." During the course of his 45-year career he worked as an engineer, scientist, CBS Radio Station News Service (RSNS) commentator, private investigator, and Antarctic explorer. What he's been able to do with his background is mix fiction with reality in ways that even his family and friends have been unable to unravel!

Dr. Cohen's writings (he holds three degrees in the physical sciences) have received the highest reviews from Feathered Quill, Hollywood Book Reviews, Kirkus Discoveries, Pacific Book Review, Reader Views, and Readers' Favorite, among others, with many of his books recognized for their excellence through medals awarded by several of these same organizations following their annual book competitions. In 2017, for example, Readers' Favorite awarded Dr. Cohen's first short story anthology, The Road Less Taken: A Collection of Unusual Short Stories - Book 1, a Silver Medal while the National Association of Book Entrepreneurs (NABE) awarded the same book its Pinnacle Book Achievement Award for Best in Category: Short Stories. The NABE also awarded Dr. Cohen's collection, Creative Ink, Flashy Fiction: Flash Fiction Anthology - Book 3, its Pinnacle Book Achievement Award for Best in Category: Anthology - Winter, 2018.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Stefan Vucak for Readers' Favorite

Without any fuss, Flash Fiction Stories of the Sea drops readers into murky waters. Sometimes serene, often turbulent. Three Chilean servicemen were in a boat hunting seals. The real reason they were out there was to discuss how to divide the millions they stole from a bank. A convoluted plan that goes fatally awry for one of them. A rendezvous at the Antarctic Peninsula where a British expedition found personal effects of a Chilean officer lost in the ice. In 1865, a Union ship loaded with 2,400 released prisoners of war burst into flames and more than 1,800 died. The incident was overshadowed by an even greater national tragedy. A stranger seeing a man manhandling a turtle on the dock thinks he wants to kill it, but there is a twist. Without the Chilean supply vessel, the University of Wisconsin could not have maintained its Antarctic base. It should have been a routine retrieval, but bad things happen.

With Flash Fiction Stories of the Sea, Theodore Jerome Cohen and Alyssa Devine give readers tantalizing glimpses of life on the sea, ships, and the men who sail the deeps. Apart from two lengthy stories, this collection is pure flash fiction; mostly one-page flashes to tickle the imagination. Some raise a chuckle, while others will make readers knit their brows in revelation. Beautifully written with crisp dialogue and flowing prose, the only regret readers will have is that there isn’t more, or that the authors have not sprinkled several full-blown stories into the mix. Nevertheless, what is given will entertain.

Foluso Falaye

Flash Fiction Stories of the Sea contains 27 stories about the sea and the humans and animals that engage with it. These stories include narratives about dead and living sea travelers, treasures, sea creatures, and different sea-related activities. One of the stories depicts a character who used to help the Russians launder money while another is about a protagonist who escapes getting on the Titanic. Some turtles also escape death with the help of a concerned human in "Turtle Soup." "Green House" portrays the reason for the existence of greenhouses on an island. The stories in Flash Fiction Stories of the Sea, like the other flash fiction books by Theodore Jerome Cohen, are inspired by photographic prompts, humans, and living organisms but these are connected to the sea.

Prepare to get lost at sea as Theodore Jerome Cohen spins some sentimental, serene, and amusing sea-related tales. I was transported fully to a busy sea voyage as the stories are vividly depicted with different terms related to the sea and traveling through it and much more. It felt like a beautiful place in my mind that I was directed to by the book; one I could go to experience peace and quiet, albeit mixed with some bittersweet narratives—like the story about the seaman and his wife who are said to be reunited in heaven. The book covers a wide range of themes: loss, bullying, traveling, international crime, robbery, politics, war, research, and more. Flash Fiction Stories of the Sea is perfect for readers searching for a sweet escape through short, straight-to-the-point narratives based on the sea.

Jessica Barbosa

Flash Fiction Stories of the Sea by Theodore Jerome Cohen is a collection of short stories best savored in small helpings and inspired by photos related to the sea. It features various short tales with differing plots that center around the sea, creatures from the sea, or the people that sail the sea. If you’re looking for a book with fascinating flash fiction stories, then look no further!

Theodore Jerome Cohen has created an interesting anthology of short stories, each with its unique premise. The picture prompts are thought-provoking and I found it entertaining to guess what sort of story Cohen has thought of for each one. The flash fiction created with the pictures in mind was not what I expected and I couldn’t help but marvel at the creativity and careful thought that went into each one. The stories in Flash Fiction Stories of the Sea are each set in a different tone and atmosphere which often left me intrigued and clamoring for more. I was drawn in by the brief story from the very first chapter: “And Then There Were Two” and the book had my attention right to the end, where I was greeted by a beautifully written poem “Hoh”.

I truly appreciate the variety of ideas in this book and I feel as though I have also gained some knowledge about the sea and the people who sail the sea. The endnotes were a big help as well. At the end of some stories, I sometimes felt like I wanted to know more about the background of the story or how it came to be, so I scrolled down and read the notes related to the story. Like the sea, Flash Fiction Stories of the Sea is ever-changing and mysterious; you never know what to expect in the next chapter but I looked forward to each one.