Douglas Coop is a retired eye surgeon now living in Tauranga, New Zealand. He practiced in Canberra, and across those years he published several research articles in the British Journal of Ophthalmology. After retiring he edited Tone, the journal of the Nelson School of Music, NZ.
In 1996 he won first prize in a New Zealand national short story competition, WDSSC, with The Legacy, a humorous yarn about the consequences of a will.
The Legacy is the first story in his latest short story collection, Parables of Human Frailty.
He has previously published the following books:
At the heart of each short story in this intriguing collection is a parable, a universal truth that strikes a chord in all of us. The stories concern very human psychological situations: the vagaries of love, the pitfalls of envy, the sacrifices of ambition or, in the award-winning story ‘The Legacy’, how ridiculing another person may come back to haunt you. Some stories here are fiction. Others — as with the timeless wisdom of parables — sail very close to home.
These stories are shorter than many. Parables are universal tales, and do not depend on the particular people they involve. The characters in the stories represent anybody in that situation. They behave as they do regardless of their background or personality. Thus character development is not only irrelevant, but could also be misleading.
The main theme of this book is a sociological and psychological examination of crowd behaviour and people power. Written for the general public, it draws on a century of fieldwork, and brings together the opinions and guidance of many scientists eminent in their field to give modern-day insights to this traditional area of interest.
Nowadays, crowds respond in different ways to the many types of leaders: politicians, teachers, preachers, and the stirrers of public conscience, as well as anybody in the position to influence crowds in times of social strife. The social media now give great power to individuals, enabling a single person to influence people worldwide.
In 1834 young George White becomes a victim of intrigue. He is arrested in England and sentenced to transportation to 'parts beyond the seas' for a period of seven years. We follow him through jails, a Thames prison hulk and the long sea voyage ending in a famous shipwreck. In Australia he finds romance, but they both face many more challenges in a story of adventure, intrigue and romance.
Thousands of people go missing each year, exceeding the combined number of traffic fatalities, suicides and all the injuries requiring hospitalisation. In addition, each person reported missing affects at least twelve others emotionally or financially; immobilising families as there can be no closure until the fate of their loved one is resolved.
From the Sidelines of Music presents a collection of articles embracing a musical theme, each written for the newsletter of the Nelson School of Music in Nelson, New Zealand.
The essays do not deal with the technicalities of music. Rather, they explore the relationship of music to other spheres of modern society and the long path music took before reaching its present form is in place in today's society. Douglas Coop also examines composers and how they wrote their music, and includes several humorous asides, as well as two final added articles that did not originally appear in the newsletter.
Collected excerpts from the life of Douglas Coop, as told on the Jim Sullivan Sunday evening show, New Zealand Radio National.
"We all have a full tapestry of memories, and I believe they fall into two categories. We have a store of personal reminiscences and life-changing experiences of value to us alone. But added to these, many of us have a few out of the ordinary incidents that may stir interest or amuse others. Like many people I have had unusual events crop up every now and then across the years. None have been cliff-hanging dramas, but simply things out-of-the-ordinary for many people."