Nothing is Strange by Mike Russell

I received this from Strange Reviews in return for a review.

Nothing is Strange.jpg

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

Published 31st December 2014

146 pages

Try It – 3 stars

Read on 17th March



So I like short stories as a general rule and will never really turn down an opportunity to read them.

This book/collection is strange although the title states otherwise *wink wink* and I like strange to some extent but at some stages it just passes over my head I think. I sort of gained an appreciation for this in a more apparent level and I’m unsure the level of depth the author was trying to achieve. I study accounting and finance and I have a very regimented and logical outlook on life so I am not always the best person to delve into the greater philosophical meaning behind things. You never know, I may be thinking that this should have greater meaning but sometimes an apple is just an apple rather than the tree, earth, and the greater questions of life.

For me this felt like a parallel universe where situations, people and the scenes came from our dreams or daydreams. I think this became more prevalent because I know that people have the what if situation such as “what if I just step out in the road?”.  It also then felt like a caricature, where the author has taken one idea or ‘problematic issue’ and spun out a whole story in this affect. Everything just seems bigger than reality so it made me feel like I was in a parallel dystopian universe before accepting that this happens.

It is very bluntly written and in an almost basic factual style but it worked in the sense that I found it very easy to imagine the characters, and the scene. I don’t know if this could be achieved with a bit more complex writing or if the simplicity is the reason that people can connect with it. Personally I prefer a bit more meat to my short stories but I am always interested in trying something different.

I would be interested in seeing some of these short stories further developed and seeing more of the authors thoughts especially perhaps the story The Meeting, I liked this but there seems like more potential for it. I understand that this might be part of the authors plan, either because they write best in this fashion, or to allow the reader to expand the story more by themselves and thus gain something more out of it.

I would recommend giving this book a try but I can’t promise that it is for everyone, but I believe that in order to grow as a reader you sometimes have to step out with your comfort zone, and that’s what I did.

You can find out more about the author and his books here

Thanks for reading folks!

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