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.
Strange Medicine is a collection of eight short stories, although a couple are longer than the others, in particular, MIME, which is 25% of the entire book. Hmm, how to describe these stories? Strange, would be a good start. A part of me actually expected these to have more of a horror slant to them, but that might have more to do with most of the short stories I’ve read in the past being horror. These are not horror. These are bizarre, weird and strangely intriguing. All the stories are well written and there is plenty to keep you interested, with weird and wonderful things going on with birds, fish, brains, bricks, mimes and telephones. I mostly have no idea how the author came up with these stories. The mind boggles!
I’m not sure whether I have a favourite. I’m also not sure I fully understood the message or endings of them all. However, I did enjoy them all. After all, life is a mystery. SEVENTY-TWO BRICKS had me very intrigued, BRAIN made my mind rattle, TELEPHONE had me laughing the most, and MIME was in many ways the most thought provoking, but some of that may be because it was the longest and therefore took longer to reach its conclusion.
One of the strangest impacts this book had on me was having just two songs going round and round in my head for the few days I was reading it. Bad Medicine, by Bon Jovi – “Your love is like bad medicine. Bad medicine is what I need.” and A Spoonful of Sugar from Mary Poppins – “A Spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down. The medicine go dowwwwn. The medicine go down. Just a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down. In a most delightful way.” I am quite looking forward to some other songs entering back into my mind now I’ve finished reading this. Those two songs are beginning to make me feel like I’m going a little bit crazy, and they only came to my mind because of the book title. Yes, I believe I may be quite strange myself.
I definitely recommend this collection to those who enjoy short stories, and especially if you enjoy off-the-wall kind of reads, because even the walls referred to in one of these stories aren’t quite what you’d expect.
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