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This is my 4th book review of Mike Russell’s books, having already reviewed Magic, The Man Whose Wife Was The Moon and Strange Concentrate. Today I am reviewing Mike Russell’s collection of short stories called Nothing Is Strange, which was actually written before the other three books I’ve reviewed! I was kindly provided with an e-book copy from the publisher, StrangeBooks.
About Nothing Is Strange
As mentioned, Nothing Is Strange is a collection of short stories written by surrealist, fantasy fiction author, Mike Russell. The stories all stand alone and have no connection to each other. I recently read another collection of short stories by Mike Russell, called Strange Concentrate, and those stories were REALLY short, some of them just a few paragraphs long. The stories in Nothing Is Strange are a bit longer than this, but they had a similar feel and themes.
What did I think of the stories?
The stories are very strange, which I was not surprised about considering the book’s title and the previous books I have read by this author. They are written in simple, straightforward language but they are full of imaginative and unexpected twists and turns. Some of the stories are quite gruesome, some have adult themes and some have strong language. For this reason, I wouldn’t recommend it to children or anyone who is sensitive to these things.
Despite being strange, the stories are entertaining and intriguing – they were easy to read and kept me turning the pages. Each story gave the impression that there was a hidden meaning or moral behind it, but for most of them I struggled to grasp it. Maybe there is no meaning after all, or it’s deliberately ambiguous. Either way, they make you think!
The Shining Flower was a particular favourite of mine because it involves the readers in the story in a unique way which I thought was really clever. I don’t want to give spoilers, so you’ll have to read the book if you want to find out how!
The last story ends with the words ‘nothing is strange’ – so that’s where the book gets its title from. You only understand the significance and context of the title when you reach the end of the book, which is another unique feature of this book.
Would I recommend Nothing Is Strange?
If you want a quick, easy and entertaining read that is different from anything you’ve read before, I recommend this book. It’s the kind of book you can dip in and out of when you have 5 minutes to spare, because the stories have no connection to each other so you can just read one at a time. Saying that, I read multiple stories at a time and finished the book in 3 reading sessions, because each time I wanted to keep on reading and see what the next weird and wonderful story was about!