My Rating- 4/5 stars

Have you ever thought we are so conditioned to think in a certain way we don’t bother questioning about things? Do you think we live in the prisons of our mind? Do you think we are so blinded by the society’s notion of what is right and what is wrong that we don’t see the truth? I found myself thinking about these poignant questions while reading Strungballs.

Strungballs by Mike Russell is a short novel about a 10-year old Sydney. Sydney lives in a city and has to get strungball inserted into him by giving away a piece of his flesh. Everyone in the city has one strungball inside them.The rule is, however, to never remove the ball. Then, one day, he bumps into another citizen of the city, Albert and that is when things change.

The city and its people are mechanical. Everything has to be done in a particular manner and no one ever suspects. They are supposed to do “good” and “right” things. But, Albert is different and he suspects. When Sydney meets Albert, he also starts questioning things. This awakening in him leads to various strange and bizarre events. On his quest to find answers, he comes across giants and reflections.

The narrative flows smoothly in the initial stages but towards the end, it goes a little haywire. I had to read twice to know what happened. But I think it adds to the beauty of the strange stories. You are so messed up in your head that you couldn’t believe what happened. The mention of time, dimensions, and colors just added to the strangeness of the story. The language is simple yet impactful. I love Sydney’s character for being courageous, curious and daring. I liked how everything came to full circle towards the ending.

In a nutshell, pick up this book if you want to read something quick, strange and mind-boggling.

PS: I received the PDF version of the book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

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