Strungballs is an extraordinary novella from Strange Books author Mike Russell. What are Strungballs? Ten-year-old Sydney is about to find out... but first he must have a cube of his flesh removed. Sydney will transgress everything he was taught to believe in when he embarks upon a journey that will reveal the astonishing secrets hidden by the red balls on white strings known only as... Strungballs. Inspiring, liberating, otherworldly, magical, surreal, bizarre, funny, disturbing, unique... all of these words have been used to describe the stories of Mike Russell. Remember: Once a Strungball is inserted it must never be removed.
|Product dimensions:||5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.14(d)|
About the Author
Mike Russell was born in 1973. He grew up in the small village of Pulborough in the south of England. As a child, he enjoyed daydreaming, art and writing strange stories. As an adult, he enjoys daydreaming, art and writing strange stories.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Strungballs based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
This is definitely a book that is outside of my usual arsenal and definitely is a strange read. It begins with a coming of age ritual where one has a piece of flesh removed to create the Sphere of Flesh and one wears a Strungball. This book is very detailed with measurements and times which is outlined as important within the Sphere, however there is no real indication why. Sydney meets an elderly man, Albert, who puts thoughts into his head about there being no real need to wear Strungballs. This meeting and learning of Albert's death launches Sydney into his quest of life outside the Sphere of Flesh. Overall I believe that this book reads like a metaphor about finding purpose in life, understanding why we're here, and questioning the reason we do the things we do. *An advance copy of this book was provided to me for review purposes only, all opinions expressed are my own*
Sydney lives in a white sterile world, from the room, to the walls and even the curtains, everything is white. The book opens with Sydney lying in a 4m x 4m x 4m room, awaiting to have a piece of flesh removed from his chest. When the procedure was done, he exited the room and was presented with a ‘Strungball’ by his parents. This was placed in the hole that was cut into his chest, with the cord that was attached dangling down the front of his gown. He is warned ‘Once a Strungball is inserted it must never be removed’. The world that the family live in is made up of people always wanting to do good, where numbers and time are very important, and that the more Strungballs you have, the more important you are deemed to be. At first Sydney loves his Strungball, but then he learns about the ‘Others’, people who can live without them. He then meets an elderly man, Albert, with lots of Strungballs. Albert puts thoughts into his head, and makes Sydney question his life, so much so, that he removes the ‘Strungball’, but what will happen to Sydney now? I found this book very strange, but then that was what the author was hoping for. The story is an interesting one, where people believe that some type of ball inserted into their bodies makes them more superior than those without. It’s as if the whole city/world has been brainwashed. All the residents of the city live in one building, where all the doors are numbered 1-999. The apartments all overlook a life force that is looking after them, and protecting them. This life force is made up of peoples flesh (this is where the pieces of flesh are taken when removed from the residents). The first half of the book was interesting as we got to know the world, the people and what Strungballs were. The second half got a whole lot weirder as Sydney sets out on a quest to discover the truth about his world. In this half we have inside out giants, trees of veins, giant sex, to name but a few strange things. The book is interesting, and most positively weird. If you like sci-fi/dystopian novels, then this will appeal to you, and with it only being 66 pages long, you should be able to get through it in one sitting.