'We recommend the following prescription: Strange Medicine - weird and wonderful stories for all that ails you. Strange Medicine is a fantastic collection of extraordinary tales of transformation by UK weird-fiction author Mike Russell. If you love the strange, surreal and unusual or if you are just looking for something different, Strange Medicine is for you.'
DISCLAIMER: I was sent this book for free in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.
Mike and Jay over at StrangeBooks were kind enough to send me a copy of this book almost a year ago now, but I got so caught up in exams and uni work that I didn't get round to it for a long time. It was definitely worth the wait, though!
Strange Medicine is a collection of short stories by Mike Russell, all with something odd and strange happening within them. The stories in this collection were a bit longer than those of Nothing is Strange, another book by Russell that I was kindly sent last year. I preferred this, however, as the longer format allowed for the strangeness to be built up slowly and established throughout the story rather than either an onslaught of weird or a sudden twist that left you confused. That's not to say you won't be confused though. Some of the ideas Russell has come up with will completely hit you out of nowhere in the best way possible. There is no predicting what is going to happen next.
Shish, for example. Great idea, well-executed, but where did that initial idea come from??
Mainly, I enjoyed how inspiring this collection was. Every idea is put forward with confidence and without hesitation, with Russell clearly being confident in the expression of his ideas and his writing ability. The stories flow so well, both in terms of their pacing and where they appear within the collection. They work really well together, and there definitely seems to be some kind of cohesion between them that pulls it all together. Perhaps it's the way the weirdness is established as completely normal and built up slowly rather than being thrown at you, but there was something soothing about reading this collection. I was definitely left with an itch to write afterward, too!
Overall, I greatly enjoyed this collection. This is my favourite of Russell's so far, and I thoroughly recommend it if you are interested in something a little bit out of the ordinary.
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