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3.65  ·  Rating details ·  72 ratings  ·  43 reviews
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 kn ...more
Paperback, 66 pages
Published October 31st 2016 by StrangeBooks
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Average rating 3.65  · 
Rating details
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James Tivendale
I received a copy of Strungballs in exchange for an honest review. I would like to thank the author and also, Jay the Strangebooks secretary for this opportunity. This review will contain minor spoilers.

This is a short novella, numbering only 66 pages and when it commences, we are introduced to a young gentleman called Sydney who is in a 4m x 4m x 4m room awaiting an operation. The medical procedure is to have a cube of his flesh removed, this cities initiation into adulthood for the youngsters
Glenn Russell

Strungballs - A smashing hit of Mike Russell strangeness.

Having read three of the British author's short story collections - Nothing is Strange, Strange Medicine, Strange Secrets - I knew I'd be in for a hyperstrange whirligig treat with his Strungballs, and I wasn't disappointed.

Strungballs - novella as 64 pages of mind-blowing weirdness rendered in signature Mike Russell simple, crisp language. To share a morsel of what a reader will encounter, here are four snips from the opening chapter:

Whispering Stories
Jun 09, 2017 rated it liked it
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
Gemma McGee
Feb 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
I was lucky enough to be given this book in exchange for a fair and honest review, thank you Jay Strange Books Secretary for contacting me. I would of missed reading this book other wise.

Strungballs is the third book from Mike Russell and his first Novella, with only 66 pages it a nice quick read if you have a couple of hours free.

The book follows Sydney as he has his first skin removed for his first Strungball to be inserted,his skin is used to help patch up a skin barrier that protects the c
Stephanie Burton
Aug 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
See more of my book reviews on my blog, Literary Flits

Strungballs is the first of Mike Russell's stories that I have read, but I am pretty sure it won't be the last! On one hand I was genuinely baffled by much of this surreal futuristic tale, however I thoroughly enjoyed discovering the bizarre world he created. Despite an obvious lack of detailed descriptions of place and character that I usually prefer - this is a short novella after all - I could easily envisage the clinical city and Sydney's
Briar's Reviews
Strungballs by Mike Russell

This book by Mike Russell is another short story. It's a great read for those who want a short, exciting read (and for those like me who didn't want to commit to another Games of Thrones book right away...).

This book is weird, if I put it lightly. The thought of a strungball was not something I have ever dreamed up in my life, but Mike Russell somehow thought this up and created a story about it! It's unique and enticing to me when someone can create such interesting t
Susan Hampson
Nov 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Having already experienced Mike Russell’s stories, I began this one with an open mind and smile. I knew before I started reading that it would be like nothing I have read before, even his first book and yep after 66 pages, the entirety of this book, I can say it is unique.
It is only a small world Sydney lives in, it has identical rooms numbered from 1 – 999 which then brings it back to 1. The rooms are square and the one where I met 10-year-old Sydney very clinical. It had to be he had proudly j
Yesha- Books Teacup and Reviews
(Note: I received a review copy of this book from the author, in exchange for an honest review. I am glad I got a chance to read this book.)

* 2.5 Stars *

This is very strange and weird book. Honestly, I couldn’t get the main concept of the book, Strungballs. It just raised lot of questions after I finished the book.

Characters: Well, only Syndney and Albert were little likable characters in the book because of their uniqueness and ability to think out of box and they made little sense. Everyone el
KitKat The #BookNerd KBbookreviews

Strungballs, by Mike Russell is a weird and wacky novella with a unique view on society and humanity.

Strungballs follows the main character, Sydney, a ten-year-old boy who loves strungballs (red balls placed into your body via holes made by removing your flesh) as they are a physical indicator of those who have done good. Sydney lives in a world where people live in rooms numbered 1-999, they all live to serve the strungball centred society and to do so is
Sep 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
Well what can I say? That was one of the most surreal stories I've ever read, but that made it all the more enjoyable. I don't know if it was supposed to be symbolic or metaphorical or just plain weird. Either way, this is a good short read. I look forward to reading more of Mike Russell's work.

I received this book as part of the Goodreads giveaway
Ruth B
Oct 31, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What are strungballs? is what we all want to know once we start to read this book. As all Mike's books, Strungballs is a mind-blowing experience. It's an experience that leaves you feeling uncomfortable or just awkward in your own body.

It all starts with Sydney who lives in this almost too perfect, where everything is has an exact measure and it has an order. The people in this world only do "what is good" and their only goal is to have strungballs and work for a system they believe is perfect.
Jun 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2017
One thing I can say about this book is that it has helped me to understand this song.

I have no understanding of what I've just read, it is one wild journey that is totally bananas. It starts off as potentially being a very interesting dystopian, then Mike Russell starts messing with infinity and there are giants and breast feeding and that was me lost.

It is a brilliant novel from a mind full of madness, go give it a read.
Jul 26, 2017 rated it liked it
I still have to make my mind up for this one. I don't know what to say about it yet....
Feb 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
To put it simply, this novella is probably the weirdest thing I have ever read! (And I read some weird stuff)
But the weirdness and unfamiliar-ness of this novella is what makes it so great.

The story is revolved around Sydney, a boy living within another dimension...or a dystopian planet...but all he knows is the corridors within his city, and the regimented robotic lifestyles he and his parents live.

This civilisation has its own way of protection, and this is where Sydney's adventure begins. I
Nandini | Novels and Nebulas
Mar 29, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017
Thanks to the publisher for sending me a free e-copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

I'm going to abandon my usual style of reviewing for this one because this is an unusual book, to say the very least. I'm not sure if it's meant to be some sort of metaphor or it's strange because that's the way it should be. For the entire time I was reading it, my brain was stuck on just one thought - "Wait, what?" So if the point was just to tell a strange and kind of disturbing tale, this gets a
Jun 28, 2018 rated it liked it
Thank you to the author for providing me a copy in exchange for an honest review :)

Goosebumps meets Adam and Eve is the best way I can think of to describe this. This author lives up to his theme of strangeness in every book. It has a dystopian feel to it, where the main character, Sydney, is living in this city that revolves around Strungballs—a little ball on a string that attaches to your body after a piece of flesh is taken from you and placed on the ‘Sphere of Flesh’. Are you grossed out ye
Caitlin Guerin
Jul 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
I don’t even know where to start.
Okay – the facts. Strungballs was written by Mike Russell and published by StrangeBooks. This is important information to have. It's important because Strungballs is the strangest book I have ever had the pleasure of reading

Strungballs follows the life of Sydney, a 10 year boy who lives in a weird dystopian future. Past? Alternate Reality? Who Knows! Although Sydney is 10, this short novella is most definitely not for children.

Read the rest of my review of this w
Feb 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jade Moore
Mar 29, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After reading Strungballs I have come to the conclusion that Mike Russell has created his own area of fiction, and he is right to call them strange.

Strange, surreal, odd, but absolutely immersive is how I’d describe his writing style and the narrative that is born from it.

I read this novella in just one day. I began by reading it on the bus to uni, and when I got to uni I sat in the library and read some more. My day was happily punctuated by the thought of being able to steal little moments to
Abbie Foxton
Ordered and mesmeric. This family’s interactions can pause to an extent that almost becomes non existent. Do they exist only if all is involved in the conversation? An eerie language that connects time, memories and moments described to the second. So aware of time, of measurements, the foundation of their lives. This seems to be all they have except for Strungballs. One can hear the buzz of boredom in their ears. What do they have besides every boys dream. The most sort after accoutrement with ...more
Kourtney Reece
Jan 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
I had the opportunity to review a new book called Strungballs by Mike Russell in exchange for an honest review. I would like to thank the author Mike Russell, and Jay, the secretary for Strangebooks for reaching out to me and offering an opportunity to review my first book for my blog.

What are Strungballs? That is question that everyone wants to know when they begin reading this book. The story starts out introducing Sydney who is about to have a medical procedure done to have a portion of his s
Jennifer Tooker
Nov 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Full disclosure – I was provided a copy of this book by the author but have voluntarily chosen to write a review. All opinions are my own.

A strange dystopian thought provoker

Strungballs is a short novella by author Mike Russell. In it, we follow a young boy by the name of Sydney as he undergoes a procedure to remove a square of flesh from his chest. After the procedure, his father presents him with a “strungball” which is a hard red ball on a string that is to be inserted into the newly created
Chelsea Girard
Jan 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
I received a copy of Strungballs in exchange for an honest review. I would like to thank the author and also, Jay the Strangebooks secretary for this opportunity.

In Strungballs by Mike Russell, this 100 page novella is the meaning of ‘strange’ but I loved it!

We follow the journey of ten-year-old boy named Sydney, whose life just doesn’t seem to make sense, until he is given his strungballs. Now, this book was incredibly strange but in a good way. Sydney’s character is an adventurous young boy w
Asriel Aquino
Apr 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I'm a fan now! I've already read Mike Russell's other two books, so I had somewhat higher expectations for this book. I was not disappointed, in fact I was so hooked that I read it all in one sitting(I'm a very slow reader so that's a big deal). I love how the author interprets the world, very surreal.

I won't talk much on the story so that I don't spoil it, as the book is an experience you have to read yourself.

I cannot wait to see what else Mike Russell has in store for us in the future! I di
Katie Greenwood
Dec 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
**I received this book from the publisher/author in exchange for an honest review**

The only way I can describe this novel is gloriously weird. Think Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman weird. 

This book follows Sydney, a young boy living in a dystopian/futuristic community where they donate flesh. Yep. Donate flesh. Every so often these robots appear and harvest a chunk of flesh from a persons body. Cauterising it as they do so. Said people are then presented with a red ball with a string
David Crosby
Nov 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
Well, this was an odd book. I got to grips with the basic premise no problem, quite interesting. Then it veers off into the more fantastical(?) and I am clueless. But, it stayed readable, all I could do was continue the inexplicable journey and kind of revel in it. A quick but oddly enjoyable read.

I received a copy of this book for free through Goodreads Giveaways.
Sarai Henderson
Mar 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
I have to say, this was a strange book. I've never read anything like it, but that's not a bad thing. The concept was unique and well written. The story was so short that there wasn't much time to get a feel for the characters but they moved the story along well. If you want a quick read that will leave your head spinning, try Strungballs by Mike Russell. I gave it four stars.

Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.
Lauren Reads
Jun 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The story is revolved around Sydney, a boy living within a dystopian/futuristic community but all he knows is the corridors within his city, and the regimented robotic lifestyles he and his parents live. The people who exist in this world seem very clinical and in routine, going to work or school daily and like clockwork, and in addition; the aspirations of most children is to work in the highly respected industries of Strungball sales or a Strungball advertising.

If you’ve seen my previous revi
Liliyana Shadowlyn
An episode of "The Twilight Zone" or "The Outer Limits" in book form, 'Strungballs' is a must read for all who love the strange and unusual. Follow along as Sydney, who has lived all of his short decade of life following the rule set out for him by his parents and society. he is in the perfect position to discover the truth behind the Strungballs, and uncover secrets that many didn't even know were being hidden.

Received for fair and honest review
Joy Corkery
Mar 15, 2017 rated it liked it
This review originally appeared here:

Strungballs by Mike Russell may be one of the strangest books out there. It follows the story of Sydney, a ten-year-old boy who is about to have his first cube of flesh removed. The flesh will be placed with the flesh of the city’s other inhabitants in a big sphere used to protect them from the “Others”. Sydney will receive a Strungball, a red ball on white string, as a replacement for the flesh. Once a Strungball is i
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Mike Russell is a British author best known for the short story collection 'Nothing Is Strange'. He is also the author of the short story collections 'Strange Medicine' and 'Strange Secrets', the novella 'Strungballs', and the novels 'The Exploding Book' and, most recently, 'Magic.'

Mike Russell was born in 1973. He grew up in the small village of Pulborough in the south of England. As a child, he

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