Disappearing off the Face of the Earth

Disappearing off the Face of the Earth


Disappearing off the Face of the Earth

Hideaway Self Storage, located just off Brisbane's M1, is in decline. But manager Ken Guy and his assistant Bruce carry on with their daily rituals even as the facility falls apart around them. Lately, however, certain tenants have been disappearing off the face of the earth, leaving behind units full of valuable items. Ken has no idea where these rent defaulters have gone but he thinks he might be able to turn their abandoned -things' into a nice little earner that could help save his business. But the disappearances are accompanied by strange occurrences such as Bruce's inexplicable late-night excursions, Ken's intensifying aversion to fluorescent lights, and Ken's girlfriend's intensifying aversion to Ken. While further along the motorway, construction of a rival facility"Pharoah's Tomb Self Storage, part of a nationwide franchise"hints at a mysterious past and a precarious future.

A surprisingly funny study of physical and mental deterioration, David Cohen's second novel is never quite what it seems. Sharply attuned to the absurdities of contemporary urban life, it is that rare literary beast, a comic drama that is at once intelligent and suspenseful, humorous and deep.

David Cohen grew up in Perth, has spent many years in Melbourne, and now lives in Brisbane. His first novel Fear of Tennis won a Varuna/ HarperCollins Manuscript Development Award, and was subsequently published by Black Pepper. Les Murray named it as one of his favourite books of 2007. His short fiction has appeared in The Big Issue, Meanjin, Seizure, Tracks, and elsewhere. In 2016 his shortstory collection, The Hunter, was shortlisted for the inaugural Dorothy Hewett Award for an unpublished manuscript.

Disappearing off the Face of the Earth
Transit Lounge Publishing
Author: David Cohen
ISBN: 9780995359482
RRP: $29.95

 

Interview with David Cohen

Question: What inspired Disappearing off the Face of the Earth?

David Cohen: I used a self-storage facility when I relocated from Melbourne to Brisbane seven years ago. I thought it would be a great setting for some sort of fictional situation. I didn't have any other ideas at that point but I knew that sooner or later I'd develop it into a story or novel.


Question: What was the best part about creating the character of Ken?

David Cohen: Everything in the story is told from Ken's perspective, which, as becomes increasingly evident, isn't entirely reliable. This unreliability gave me licence to include all sorts of strange encounters without having to explain them as such.


Question: How much of your inspiration for Disappearing off the Face of the Earth was taken, from your real life?

David Cohen: As far as direct experience goes, not much. Perhaps the only directly personal connection is the fact that someone very close to me suffers from dementia, which is why I included a character, i.e. Ken's uncle Dennis, with a similar affliction.


Question: What originally motivated you to write books?

David Cohen: I've always loved words and I enjoy making up fictional situations. I've been writing short stories since my late teens, and I still like that literary form the most. I started writing novels simply because I couldn't get a short-story collection published -- although lots of my stories have been published individually here and there. But now I really enjoy novel writing for its own sake.


Interview by Brooke Hunter

 

 

Disappearing off the Face of the Earth
Transit Lounge Publishing
Author: David Cohen
ISBN: 9780995359482
RRP: $29.95




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