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Strungballs by Mike Russell

4/5 stars

I received a copy of Strungballs in exchange for an honest review. I would like to thank the author and also, Jay the Strangebooks secretary for this opportunity.

In Strungballs by Mike Russell, this 100 page novella is the meaning of ‘strange’ but I loved it!

We follow the journey of ten-year-old boy named Sydney, whose life just doesn’t seem to make sense, until he is given his strungballs. Now, this book was incredibly strange but in a good way. Sydney’s character is an adventurous young boy who must have a cube of flesh removed before he becomes a man and earns his ‘strungballs. In this uniquely bizarre story, Sydney finds the true meaning behind the world he lives in but not until he breaks down the wall and finds out the meaning behind the wall that keeps him there.

“Once a strungball is inserted, it must never be removed.”

I found the main character Sydney to be infectious as his curiosity grew more profound as the novella continued. With many questions asked comes many unturned stones that nobody understands but Sydney is willing to fight for.

I loved the world Russell built as he describes everything very distinctively, even down to the centimetres and timelines down to the seconds. Yes, this book was strange but it’s meant to be so Mike Russell really hit it on the head with this one.

One concept that through me off was the giants and their baby...why? Well, in order for everyone to come together, so to speak without giving out any spoilers, it didn’t really make sense to me which is why I only gave the book 4 stars.

I would recommend this short story to anyone who loves a short compelling story. I found the strangeness of the novel to be captivating and give off the impression of Mike’s weird mind. I have never read anything like Strungballs, but I’m glad I did.

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