Strange Secrets by Mike Russell

April 07, 2018

Jay from Strange Books was kind enough to send me Mike Russell's newest book, Strange Secrets, a collection of seven short stories. Thank you so much!

When Mike Russell says 'strange' he really means it. After finishing the first story, The Constantly Empty Pool, I audibly shouted, "What?!" and reread the last page or so just in case I had missed something. While Maps is a tragic tale of mental illness, the ending left me, once again verbally shouting in my car.

For me, the brilliant masterpiece of Strange Secrets is Missing Persons. A world where 'death' is an outlawed word, along with 'corpse', 'die', 'dead', etc, a young girl searches after the truth of how a person goes missing and why they can't be found again. As the longest story of the collection, this one caught my attention slowly, but ended up being the best one!  I could see this one as a wonderfully bizarre and mysterious film directed by Terry Gilliam. 

Bizarre. Weird. Surreal. Eccentric. Odd. Curious. Peculiar.

Russell infuses his writings with outlandish and dreamlike narratives that are often masked as astute observations of the human world and sometimes, wildly poignant wisdom.

A recipe for one Mike Russell: one part Salvador Dali, a pinch of Ray Bradbury, a small dash of Aesop, and a sliver of Shel Silverstein.

my rating: 3/5


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