Strungballs is an extraordinary novella from Strange Books author Mike Russell. What are Strungballs? Ten-year-old Sydney is about to find out… but first he must have a cube of his flesh removed. Sydney will transgress everything he was taught to believe in when he embarks upon a journey that will reveal the astonishing secrets hidden by the red balls on white strings known only as… Strungballs. Inspiring, liberating, otherworldly, magical, surreal, bizarre, funny, disturbing, unique… all of these words have been used to describe the stories of Mike Russell. Remember: Once a Strungball is inserted it must never be removed.
HERE ARE MY THOUGHTS AND REVIEW
Having already experienced Mike Russell’s stories, I began this one with an open mind and smile. I knew before I started reading that it would be like nothing I have read before, even his first book and yep after 66 pages, the entirety of this book, I can say it is unique.
It is only a small world Sydney lives in, it has identical rooms numbered from 1 – 999 which then brings it back to 1. The rooms are square and the one where I met 10-year-old Sydney very clinical. It had to be he had proudly just had his first cube of flesh removed from his chest. It was for the good of the community. His parents presented him with his first Strungball, which fitted into the hole in his chest, with a string to dangle down so that he and others could see how many cubes of flesh he had given. Everything is fine until Sydney learns of the ‘others’ and meets the man who has more Strungballs than anyone else.
I don’t try to dissect Mike Russell’s stories they are just simply what they are the day I read them, tomorrow I will see something else in them. The point is I just like how I go along with them because I have nothing to compare them to. I always think of Alice in Wonderland when I think of Mike Russell and one of the sayings in it. ‘I’m not crazy, my reality is just different than yours.’ Just perfect. What an imagination this man has, so glad he shares it.
HERE IS A LITTLE ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mike Russell was born in 1973. He grew up in the small village of Pulborough in the south of England. As a child, he enjoyed daydreaming, art and writing strange stories. As an adult, he enjoys daydreaming, art and writing strange stories.
Mike Russell’s books have been described as Strange Fiction, Weird Fiction, Weird Lit, Surrealism, Fantasy Fiction, Science Fiction, Speculative Fiction, Metaphysical Fiction… but he just likes to call them Strange Books.