Allow me to pose a question to you dear readers. If a tree falls in the middle of a forest and there’s no-one there to hear it, does it still make a sound? What if that forest is filled with horse-chestnut trees? What if it was oak? Can you hear my voice ask these questions? Even though you’re reading my words on a screen. How do I sound? Squeaky? Husky? How does sound exist if there is no one around to hear it? How does anything exist if no one is there to witness it? Is your brain melting into a big puddle of slop just thinking about all these questions? Me too, let’s breathe and have a cuppa. That’s better. Prepare yourself for I have an extraordinary read to share with you.
I am extremely delighted to be reviewing on the blog today Strange Secrets By Mike Russell. A truly talented writer with a bottomless imagination to pull ideas from that never fails to put me in a literature coma for about a week. Every-time I dive into Mike Russell’s world I return feeling bloated and more than satisfied with my fill. I have thoroughly devoured his previous books, Strungballs, Strange Medicine and Nothing Is Strange to my heart’s content. So, you can imagine my excitement as I sat down eagerly for my next meal. 7 short stories to bewitch my taste buds. Delicious. I am a greedy Bunny.
A big thank you to the fabulous people at Strange Books for sending me a copy of Strange Secrets By Mike Russell to review. I can’t recommend these books enough. They are beautifully strange stories that make you question everything. And that, dear reader is never a bad thing in my opinion. Never.
Russell has a strange, unique and intriguing imagination that I adore. His use of imagery always manages to paint masterpieces in my mind. The images swirl and dance together, becoming one with the words upon the page. As always it’s hypnotising and I’m left staring into space until the spilling of hot tea occurs and I am awakened from my trance. Powerful, inspiring stuff.
‘Mary-Lou grasped the middle of the stem between her finger and thumb, lifted the two-headed rose out of the box, then held it in front of her eyes to examine it. Both of the flowers were growing seamlessly from ether end of the stem. It did indeed look real.’
Perfection is most definitely in the eye of the beholder and this is shown throughout each story. What is perfect? A two-headed rose? What is normal? A puppet controlling the puppeteer? What is anything? Russell gives the reader the key to unlock so many possibilities within their mind. To question, to think outside the box. Things they never dared think possible. What is real? It’s daring writing as I know it will not be to everyone’s taste yet you have got to ask yourself. Why? And that’s the beauty of it. Before you even know it you have fallen into the trap of the never-ending wheel of questions and find yourself curious to discover more.
I sensed a strong theme of control throughout the 7 stories. How characters desired the need for it. We as humans need constant validation for our purpose. A pat on the back, a well done and quick hand shake. That shiny gold star at the end of a long day. Something to acknowledge our existence on this earth. To be seen and heard, yet never understood. It fitted well within the stories and added a realistic vibe.
‘If you define yourself, you will change into something that evades your definition. Then if you define yourself again, you will change again. It will happen again and again and again. Do you understand? It will happen endlessly. It will continue to happen until you stop defining yourself, until you realise that you are not a thing.’
I adored reading Missing Person, it gave me goose bumps and a sharp shiver down my spin. I have always seen wardrobes as a gateway to other worlds. Not for a second did I ever consider they would be the final destination for our remains. Yet that is what I admire about Russell’s world. He takes something as simple as a wardrobe and makes it an ominous, daunting character that captures the very image of death. Chilling and perfectly done.
‘Death is the noun, dead is the adjective, die is the verb. When someone dies they vanish. Completely. Missing people aren’t anywhere.’
Overall I was more than satisfied as I paid my bill, even tipping over the expected amount. No one can spin a strange tale like Russell. He has a natural talent for it. It’s different and quirky which is why I love it. Who wants normal when you can have a daily dose of strangeness at your fingertips? You only live once so why not expand your horizons to new beautiful bizarre worlds? Take a daring dive into the Strange Books collection and you will soon start viewing the world from a different angle completely. Who knows. Maybe even upside down if you so desire. Anything is possible.
I give Strange Secrets By Mike Russell a Five out of Five paw rating.
I look forward to another indulgent dose of Russell’s mind in the future. It’s brilliant writing that brightens the madness surrounding our daily lives. I don’t feel completely alone in my oddness these days. I embrace and celebrate it, as we all should.
Grab a copy of the book here and expose the strangeness.
Check out Strange Books here and treat yourself to a copy of something out of the ordinary. Enjoy and don’t forget. It’s a strange world after all…
Strange Books Website : https://strangebooks.com
Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/MikeRussellStrangeBooks/
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