GOOD … BUT WEIRD … BUT GOOD WEIRD
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.
Salutations beautiful people on the Internet, Sebas here, reporting once again after a solid 6 months missing (sorry about that) to bring you the first of a series of commissions I’ve had on hold for a while now, this time around I present to you “STRUNGBALLS” by writer Mike Russell from “StrangeBooks”. I feel I have to thank Jay “the StrangeBooks secretary” for contacting me and giving me the incredible opportunity of getting to know this book and the person behind it, it was the first time anyone came to me for a review and I’ve got to say, it felt amazing. So, to wrap up this little intro thingy, sorry about going missing, thank you very much Jay, and without further ado let’s begin this thing.
Sooooo … Strungballs, where to even begin? Ok, let us all just imagine an alternate reality, with a utopian society where everybody lives happily ever after as long as they have balls attached to their bodies (sexist pun not intended, happy it came out that way though). And that’s pretty much Strungballs In a nutshell. Out of a nutshell, we are introduced to Sydney, a little boy just turned 10, and as it is tradition in this bizarre and God's forsaken reality we’re in, when you finish your first living decade you get amputated a small square-shaped piece of skin from your torso in order to fit a strungball into it, which is basically a ball, with a string attached to it, a “process” with the ultimate goal of sticking the amputated piece of skin to a much larger network of other skin cubes resembling somewhat of a ball, a giant ball inside of which resides the sadistic utopia I mentioned a few sentences ago. And that’s all I’m saying on what is Strungballs about because it really isn’t a “large” book and I believe anything else could be considered a spoiler.
The thing is; as you’ll find out on the ending of your reading; in this book what matters is not the plot itself, a really weird one may I add, but rather the message that it carries. The way I see it, Strungballs is a criticism on today’s society where everybody tries their best to fulfill whatever void they feel in their lives with material stuff and any product the media tells them will make them feel better about themselves, creating a society where everybody looks, talks and does exactly the same, a society where there is absolutely no individualism and any opposing action is looked on down with pure and utter disgust; when the reality is, as a human being, you’ll only find true happiness and a sense of fulfillment when you finally accept yourself for who you are and start loving yourself without caring for what others may or may not say if you don’t think exactly the same way as they do, in other words: allow yourself to be an egotistical narcissistic fuck who doesn’t give a single crap about anybody else and you’ll be just fine (I want to clarify that this is just my opinion, any other thoughts you may have about its meaning when you’re done with it shouldn’t be, and please don’t let be influenced by mine). In all seriousness now, this book is a very well-thought piece of literature, the fact that it’s really small, and believe me: it is, doesn’t mean in the slightest it doesn’t deserve your attention because this is by far one of the best times I’ve had reading a book, it is short, it is enjoyable and after you finish it, it will leave you with a nice little message you can apply to your everyday life. It also has anything you could possibly ask for, such as utopias, amputations, bullying, a grumpy old dude, and the weirdest sex described ever.
So, to wrap up this little review thingy, Strungballs is a good book I highly recommend to anyone looking for something else other than a 5,000 pages novel, please grow out of the current social pressure and be your own self for fuck’s sakes and until next time you lovable shitheads.
P.S. Here I'll leave a nice little link to Strangebooks's site in case you want to check out their stuff (do it)