The Stone Thrower by Adam Marek
Adam Marek’s second collection of short stories, The Stone Thrower, revolves around the profound and sometimes unexplainable relationship between parents and their children. The Stone Thrower includes thirteen of Marek’s short stories which have appeared in other short story anthologies and as excerpts in non-fiction novels. Easy enough to follow, but unusual in plot, Marek’s stories are often shrouded by emotional complexities, ending on a note of longing or mystery, and each driving home a melancholy which is only reinforced by the next in the collection.
This is not to say Marek’s work is depressing, but strong and poignant; intricate and detailed in such a way the reader can visualise the bond between the parents and children on every page. One highlight from the book is Dead Fish, cleverly revealed to the reader from an almost spiritual viewpoint and which tells the story of one boy’s race across the city after stealing a dead fish – albeit a pricey one. But don’t be fooled by what seems like a mere mischievous and adolescent act, Dead Fish is a story filled with sorrow, which, of course, is of the compelling, poignant sort, rather than depressing kind. [Amy Balloch]