Title: Strange Medicine
Author: Mike Russell
Publication Date: 2016
Review Score: 6/10
A book best classified under the title of “weird fiction”, Strange Medicine is a collection of truly bizarre short stories that all focus around the theme of transformation, yet are all completely unique and off the wall. From a woman in love with her telephone to a man made out of birds to fish that emerges from your shoulder, this book has a little bit of everything you’ve never even thought of.
The first thing I would say about this collection of stories is that, hand on heart, I’ve never read anything like this in my life, which in a world full of an unlimited supply of new books that has to be a compliment. As well as that, the main positive of this book is that although some of the stories feel like someone has just drunkenly cobbled together pieces of different ideas that do not come together to make a full picture, you will still find yourself wanting to know what happens and trying desperately to see the completed image.
I think Russell has to be appreciated for going completely outside the box, not sticking to populist writing conventions and creating something truly unique. It is not my normal cup of tea and may not be yours, but I can say I will never forget reading this book and every now and then it’s good to step outside of our reading comfort zones. Maybe you should step out of yours?