Tuesday 11 July 2017

Review on Strange Medicine

“Weird and wonderful stories for all that ails you.”

This book of eight short stories focuses on the strange, the weird, and occasionally the scary. From an invisible mime, to a man with no brain, there is something in this book for whatever ails you.

So short stories aren't usually my thing, and I find them difficult to review. Although my reviews don't necessarily follow a structure, I always discuss the characters, their motives and their personality. However, with short stories, this is almost impossible to do. Short stories serve the purpose of telling us a single line of narrative, with no subplots, no romantic ventures unless necessary to the plot, and little character development and world building. The stories in Strange Medicine are there to shock you, to make you feel uncomfortable and to overall weird you out. I adore anything out of the ordinary, and I felt as if a few of these stories had a bit of a Welcome to Nightvale vibe. I loved that non of the stories were interconnected, letting you read them in any order. I also loved that they were all different lengths, as a couple of times I had a limited time in which I could read, meaning I would choose to read one of the shorter ones, whereas once I was relaxed in bed for the night, I would choose the longer ones. The book is also short enough to read in one sitting, at just 141 pages.

I always feel as if I'm in danger of spoiling the stories when I try to share my opinions on the stories themselves, but I'm going to try to mention my favourites without being too spoilery. I adored Flock, the first story in the book. It is about a man called Anthony Tobias Bradshaw, who continues to go to work every day despite the business no longer existing. I loved that the story kept repeating his full name, and kept giving us little hints that something wasn't right, along with creating a sense of unease. I felt as if this story could easily have been a Welcome to Nightvale storyline, as it was based around a man completing tasks he thought were completely normal, while the other characters and the reader thought he was strange. I loved that his actions became progressively stranger, right up until the bizarre twist at the end.

Another story that I loved was the last one in the book, Shish. I think I probably loved this one so much as it reminded me of one of my favourite anime's, Parayste the maxim, but instead of having a hand being possessed by an alien, this story was about a young girl who finds a fish growing out of her shoulder. Although this story was probably the silliest, I also found it the creepiest, particularly the ending. Having multiple fishy heads looking at me would not be my idea of fun! I also adored Brain, a story about a professor who, after having a CT scan, discovers that he has no brain.

Although I adored most of these stories, there were a couple that were so weird that I didn't fully understand what was going on. I preferred the longer stories, as the extremely short ones, such as The Spy, made little sense to me. I'm not sure if it was just me who found some of the stories confusing and totally missing the point, or if other readers would feel the same.

I overall really enjoyed these stories! They are perfect for anyone who enjoys reading, but doesn't have the time for novels. Each story is short enough to read in about 15 minutes or less, so they're perfect for reading on the commute to work, or during your lunch break. I definitely prescribe this book for anyone who loves reading anything out of the ordinary!

Strange Medicine is now available to purchase!

  | Amazon Book Depository

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