Saturday, 1 April 2017

Book Review - Strange Medicine - Mike Russell

I was kindly sent this book to review by Strange Books - an indie press based in Brighton. I knew straight away that this book was for me, and was delighted to be given the opportunity to read it.

Strange Medicine is a collection of short, weird stories, that get progressively strange the further you read. I found myself snort laughing on the train home from work at the unexpected absurdity of the first story; a nice touch for the book, but not so much for the appearance of my sanity to the other passengers.

Unlike Pretty Monsters, the stories in this book aren't dark, or any way twisted. They're strange of course - thats said in the title! But I would describe them more as charming than anything else. They're easy to read, and easy to make you smile.

I've read a few other reviews on this book, and a lot of people comment about the morals of the stories, and what Mike Russell was trying to get across to the reader. It could be because I am fantastically dim, but to me there wasn't another agenda other than for the reader to enjoy short, weird reads. And I think that should be the way you go into it, not to look, and analyse everything that has been said for a deeper meaning (English teachers around the world stand in uproar), but to just enjoy it for what it is.

My only complaint is that the book wasn't longer, I think I finished this over the course of 2 days worth of train commutes.

If you don't like weird, if you like everything to have a strong significant meaning, then this book isn't for you. But if you're open, if you're willing to step into a world that is just a little bit odder than our own I would definitely recommend giving this collection a go - 4/5

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