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Reviewed by Lit Amri for Readers' Favorite
Nothing Is Strange by Mike Russell does the opposite of what the title supposedly entails; all 20 short stories in this book are strange. Some stories are intriguing, some are surreal, witty, as well as inspiring. Then there are stories that are just downright confusing for me. This does not mean that the stories themselves are bad, but they are so abstract in terms of plot that I just stopped analyzing or trying to figure out what the stories are all about – I just accept, read and enjoy them as they are.
After a few chapters, it is easy for me to conclude right away that Nothing Is Strange is a fascinating allegory. Every story is loaded with some meanings that are entirely up to readers to interpret. The Living Crown is an excellent tale, which conceptually depicts the dogmatic law, expectations and the like that prevent people from experiencing absolute and true freedom. The Diaries of Sun City also projects a similar gist; freedom in terms of self expression.
All in all, Russell’s Nothing Is Strange is a unique collection of short stories that takes readers to bizarre places and lets them experience dreamlike situations that I have yet to read in other books. To be frank, it is not for everyone. If you prefer your books to be clear-cut instead of edging towards Freudian and Jungian interest, then this is not your cup of tea. Trying to make sense of the plot (if there is one) is futile. Nothing Is Strange is all about surrealism.