G’day friends! I’m back again for another review post. I know… who am I posting yesterday AND today? I was just on a roll yesterday writing reviews so I thought why not use the motivation and actually do something productive? Should I have used this bout of motivation to write my thesis? Yes. But did I? No.
I know I’ll come to regret that decision eventually but that’s for future me to deal with.
Before I delve into this mini-review, here is the synopsis that can also be found on Goodreads:
20 mind-expanding short stories.
Inspiring, liberating, otherworldly, magical, surreal, bizarre, funny, disturbing, unique… all of these words have been used to describe the stories of Mike Russell so put on your top hat, open your third eye and enjoy: Nothing Is Strange
Nothing is Strange by Mike Russell is the first collection of short stories by Mike Russell and through it we have the opportunity to read twenty short stories written in a very surrealistic and unique way. I do have to admit that Mike Russell’s writing is quite nuanced and complex even though the short stories are incredibly short.
“My life appeared strange because it was one way not another. Only if it had been every possibility at once would it have not appeared strange. And that is what I am now: every possibility at once. And nothing is strange.”
I just finished reading this short story collection and I would have to admit, that I still am not quite sure what actually happened.
Though the title is Nothing is Strange, everything really is. Which I thought was pretty funny.
I still don’t quite understand most of the short stories in this collection, and possibly I am not the best person to read and review this book because I am not one to seek out books such as this. But the only way I can describe this short story anthology is an exploration of the strange, of turning what we think of reality on its head.
had a few of my favourites, but the overall anthology is quite interesting in the way that it explores what is considered strange and weird and why it is considered such. Although I didn’t understand some short stories, which I think was the entire purpose, I do think they are put together quite well. As someone who doesn’t really read short story collections, I wasn’t taken too aback by anything and I think that the way the anthology was structured was done well as it flowed from one story to another quite well.
I had a few favourites, “The Diaries of Sun City,” “Extraordinary Elsie”, and “Everything Was Strange” were the main three as I read them and sat back and my reaction was ‘wow’. I think with short story collections and short stories themselves, the response to these stories are completely subjective more so than with full-length novels as each person will connect with different aspects of the short story or will not. Since the stories are so short, you are either absorbed into the story immediately or not at all.
I have to admit, that I do wish that the stories are slightly longer (but I do know that they are short stories for a reason) but as a result, especially in terms of some of the stories themselves, I just couldn’t get into them because by the time I found myself undertanding the flow of the story it would end. Possibly having less in terms of the quantity of the short stories, in order to have slightly longer and more exploratory stories in nature would be so much more engaging and immersive.
Though I did enjoy reading Nothing is Strange by Mike Russell, some stories fell short for me. I do think that this short story collection would be great for people who enjoy dark, creepy, horro-esque stories. These stories are simplistic but are actually incredibly complex and intricate. It requires the reader to interpret and think outside the boundaries of their own mind. I rated it 3 out of 5 stars and I do recommend it, especially for right now as most of us are at home pretending to be productive!
I just want to extend my thanks to Strange Books for providing me with a free copy of the ebook in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.
Until next time, happy reading and be safe.
All the love,