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Strange Secrets

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  65 ratings  ·  44 reviews
Discover the mystery of the two-headed rose and many more Strange Secrets in this new collection of extraordinary stories by Mike Russell. 'It can't be real.' 'But it is.' Strange Secrets invites you to discover the magical and the marvellous. Startlingly inventive and constantly entertaining, these unique, vital and vividly realised stories will take you to places you hav ...more
Paperback, 156 pages
Published February 8th 2018 by Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
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Average rating 3.88  · 
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 ·  65 ratings  ·  44 reviews

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Dannii Elle
I originally gave this book three stars but I knew something of this imaginative magnitude did not deserve to linger there, I just did not know how else to rate my reading experience. I have since bumped it to four stars as, weeks after finishing it, I still find my thoughts returning to the wonders contained inside this book.

What a thoroughly bizarre reading experience! This short anthology was by far the most inventive thing I have ever read and I am still puzzling out exactly how I feel about
Glenn Russell

Similar to the above photo of strange marionettes, seven in number, Mike Russell's 2017 collection, Strange Secrets, likewise contains seven - seven very strange stories.

Strange Secrets, Mike's third short story collection - following Nothing is Strange (2014) and Strange Medicine (2016) - continues to expand the world of strangeness in ways most unique. To explore a number of fascinating secrets concealed in Strange Secrets, I'll share the following glimpses:

"An elderly man wear
Emm - "That Book You Like is Coming Back in Style"
Deny and defy, is that really the way to be about death? What does a being become when they die? A flower, perhaps a ghost, or do they unbecome anything at all? Death is secretive and shy, impossible to see but impossible to hide. We don’t talk about it within these walls, in any case.

Strange Secrets is a series of lucid dreams hovering on the line between madness and philosophy, wherever that lies. The whole blossom of it is hard to describe, it doesn’t exactly identify as a genre. Everyone in
May 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 STARS.

Thank you to the author for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

Bizarre, thought provoking, and satirical are just a few adjectives I would use to describe this collection of short stories by Mike Russell. There are 7 stories in the collection: The Constantly Empty Pool, The Puppeteer, Arnold’s Melting Foot, Missing Persons, Reality, Maps, and The Forest. My favourite had to be Missing Persons and The Forest. The best thing about this is that it
Ellie Mitchell
Sep 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Strange Secrets is a unique collection of unusual short stories that discuss topics such as the nature of reality, the afterlife, and our individual perceptions of our world.

My favourite stories were Missing Persons, Reality, and The Forest. Each explored its theme well and had me thinking deeply about it for days after.

~Writing Style

Russell’s writing style uses simple words and paints a clear picture for the reader. He makes good use of humour to alleviate the awkward tension of certain scenes,
Apr 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
I finished this book 2 days ago and I am yet not sure how I feel about this book! I mean this book is STRANGE!!!

Strange Secrets is a collection of seven small stories that deals with secrets of all mankind, our fear of love, life, death, change, being someone else’s puppet, what not! Each one of the stories starts of somewhat normal and as it proceeds to its end, somewhere in between this the line between normal and madness gets blurred and makes things.. unreal.. strange and crazy.

The narration
George (BuriedInBooks)
First of all I received Strange Secrets from the publisher. Thanks for the opportunity.

Strange Secrets is a collection of short stories by Mike Russell. Strange Secrets is what I would call a strange book and to be honest it’s not something I would pick up on my own.

I felt Strange Secrets was a little out of my comfort zone but I can see why people would enjoy it due to the whacky stories contained. The title tells you exactly what your getting and I can see people that enjoy
Mar 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
If Rene Magritte had been a writer instead of a painter, he would have been Mike Russell. These stories have the same kind of surreal, dreamlike quality as Magritte's paintings. I can compare him to Magritte, to David Lynch, maybe even to "The Twilight Zone" to some degree, but really, there is nobody quite like Mike Russell. These stories have a strange beauty and an outlandish wisdom (if that makes any sense). I really think he sees around the edges of reality. ...more
Mar 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
(This book review is also on my blog.)

The Strange Books secretary gave me a copy in exchange for an honest review. Seeing the synopsis, I was intrigued right away. A collection of short stories filled with mystery and magic? Count me in!

The writing
I really liked the writing in this book. It was easy to read and to follow, yet it was eerie and disturbing. These short stories, though they seem like simple bedtime stories at first, can be awfully spooky as you read on. Apart from being mysterious,
Mar 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Okay! Wow. I forgot how his stories make me feel!! They truly mess with your mind, in the best way possible! Your sense of reality gets thrown out the window and all of a sudden you’re on a journey of complete and utter perfect insanity! It’s absolutely thrilling! The stories are uniquely strange and enthralling. They’re eerie and captivating. Once you start reading the stories you can’t stop! I think I shall truly forever be a Mike Russell fan, he tends to give me the same dark Tim Burton-esq f ...more
Alexa Dudley
Jun 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Strange Secrets by Mike Russell is a collection of seven short stories, each with a completely different development and narrative but all of which maintain a bizarre and fantastical quality that makes them hard to put down.

Strange Secrets is imaginative, magical, and bizarre in all the best ways -- each story had a different element that kept me glued to the pages. Seriously. I started reading Strange Secrets during my lunch break and I couldn't pull myself away when my break was over. This ge
Jul 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Surrealism, metaphysical fiction, fatalism are classes of literary works which highly fascinate me, the reason being Haruki Murakami, the one who has made me fall in love with those genres! 
When the author requested me for a review of his book- ‘Strange Secrets’, I instantly agreed to give it a try. I was very excited because after a long time I would read something out of the ordinary and the “strangeness” of ‘Strange Secrets’ indeed made it one highly entertaining read! 
Let’s just take a momen
Thank you to the publisher for sending me a copy in exchange of an honest review.

Strange Secrets is a collection of short stories, set in a world of magical realism and filled with metaphors that deals with mysteries and secrets like human beings, life, death, change... Between fantasy and philosophy, this book lets you escape reality for a vivid but weird dream where “mystery” and “everything is possible” are the key words.

This book was by far the strangest book I have ever read in my entire li
Miles Holmes
Apr 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
First, we were informed that Nothing is Strange. Next, we were prescribed Strange Medicine. After that, we were given some Strungballs. Now, we have been told some Strange Secrets.
There are so many fantastic, magical, and (yes) strange secrets to discover when you read this book. You will learn what happened to Gregory's finger and the truth behind a puppeteer. You will also learn what a Lazenby is, discover the truth behind the “Wardrobe Channel.,” all the while knowing you're living in a fake
Susan Hampson
Jun 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I love Mike Russell’s short stories because they are like a box of chocolates, everyone so very different and you are hard pushed to pick a favourite! Well, these seven beauties were quickly devoured leaving me just needing one more and then another which I will have to wait for. I won’t ever have my fill.
If you can imagine that period of time between beginning to drift to sleep and actually getting there then you are probably in the place that these stories belong, where you fall from a cliff y
Ravneet Kaur
Mar 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Like his previous work, I loved reading these short stories. The stories have crazy plotlines, for example, what if one day the puppet becomes the puppeteer or whatif you come across a pool which pulls out your reflection in flesh and bones?
You will feel like the cat in this image but in a good way. During the course of reading every story, your mind is in a state of constant wonder as to what to expect next. These stories are completely unpredictable and keep you on the edge of your seat. The s
Jonathan Carter
Oct 20, 2020 rated it liked it
Disclaimer: An e-copy of this novel has been sent to me by StrangeBooks in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are mine and mine alone.

A story that will pull you deeper and deeper into the madness of death; I believe this is a collection of the lunacies in life, of our fear of the unknown, and ultimately our fear of death.

Wonderfully poetic, this anthology is the perfect read for someone looking for something eerie.

Apr 04, 2018 rated it liked it
The stories weren't for me in terms of content, but there is no denying they were well thought out and very well written stories. Each was the perfect length to get the author's message across and provide a thought-provoking read. ...more
Pamela Scott

This is my first time reading the author. I really didn’t know what to make of these stories at first. They’re totally whacky, bizarre and downright odd. I didn’t enjoy them at first and it took a couple of stories to get used to the oddness. I wouldn’t say these stories are stunning works of literary wonder but they are original, unique and hugely entertaining. These are well worth a read if you want something a little different. I especially enjoyed Arno
Kaili (Owl Book World)
Strange secrets is definitely a strange book which I guess kind of threw me off. I guess I wasn't expecting the stories to be as strange as they were. Even though it threw me off I did like some of the stories. They are unique and make you think. ...more
Aug 13, 2018 rated it liked it
Utterly surreal and thought-provoking. Full review to come on the blog!
Apr 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
I’d like to thank the publisher Strange Books for a complimentary copy of Mike Russell’s short story collection Strange Secrets in exchange for an honest review.

I’m gonna be honest, I’m not entirely sure where to begin.

Mike Russell’s short story collection Strange Secrets is what I imagine René Magritte and Salvador Dali’s fever dreams might have looked like in a written format. I know the title has ‘strange’ written right in it, but I truly had no idea what I was getting myself into.

Strange Sec
Dave Higgins
May 24, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
Russell adds a dash of the strange to reality, creating worlds like our own that are fantastical yet plausible.

This collection contains seven stories of everyday life with a weird or surreal edge.

‘The Constantly Empty Pool’ Rumours of the purest water in the world draw Mary Lou to a remote town in the United States. The inhabitants admit it exists, but instead of telling her where, tell her tales of impossible objects.

‘The Puppeteer’ Every day, an old man, tired but immaculately dressed, dance
Pauliina (The Bookaholic Dreamer)
overall, 2.5 stars

see my full review on my blog: https://bookaholicdreamer.wordpress.c...

I received a free e-copy from the author in exchange for an honest review, Thank you! Receiving a free copy has in no way affected my opinions on the book.

Strange Secrets is a strange book indeed. It consists of 7 mindbogglingly weird short stories that made my skin crawl. It is not a book for readers who are looking for something light, but it is perfect for anyone who wants to get engrossed into a shor
Allie Bock
Jul 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
These stories definitely live up to their title. They are strange, yet wonderful. The characters were realistic, maybe a little simplistic but that is the beauty of a short story. They didn’t take long to read, but stayed with me for long after I had finished them just like a crazy dream. To be honest, I am not sure that I always get the morale of the story that I was reading. I am not going to summarize each story as I want you to check it out yourself. I did have 2 favorite stories that I do w ...more
Apr 07, 2018 rated it liked it
Bizarre. Weird. Surreal. Eccentric. Odd. Curious. Peculiar.

When Mike Russell says 'strange' he really means it. After finishing the first story, The Constantly Empty Pool, I audibly shouted, "What?!" and reread the last page or so just in case I had missed something. While Maps is a tragic tale of mental illness, the ending left me, once again verbally shouting in my car.

For me, the brilliant masterpiece of Strange Secrets is Missing Persons. A world where 'death' is an outlawed word, along with
Mar 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
I was contacted by the publishers Stranger Books, asking if I would be interested in reading and reviewing this book. After reading the synopsis that they had sent, I knew it would be something that I would be interested in reading.

This book is a collection of seven short stories, my favourite of the 7 was Missing Persons.

I thought the writing and plot was really good, it was easy to read and follow. I found the stories to be mysterious and strange but at the same time disturbing, but I this was
Don Jimmy Reviews
Sep 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Where oh where do we start with a review for this book. It’s one of the weirdest things I have ever read – but at the same time it is completely fascinating.

Seven stories that take you from shimmering pools to wardrobes to enchanted forests – with a wonderful trip through what reality really is in between. These are tales which aim to mesmerise and, I suspect, leave you with a lot to think about.

The stories are not connected in any real way aside from being completely off the wall, but the langu
Challa Fletcher
Apr 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Strange Secrets is the perfect addition to Mike Russell’s strange collection of tales. With each story, my mind wanted to decipher the meaning of the strange. Because in the center of each story there is a grain of truth; a recognized perception of society’s idea and perspective. As my mind took in double-ended roses and arguing lovers I couldn’t help but think that sometimes strange just isn’t as strange as one might think.

My favorite story was Reality. A woman realizes all of the fake things t
Liliyana Shadowlyn
Jun 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020-reads
Strange Secrets is a mind-bending collection. I mean that - this book will challenge what you consider to be the limits of reality. If you're a fan of Outer Limits, and enjoy seeing reality from a slightly skewed angle, then you'll find endless delight in this collection. A great escape from reality right now, and I know I'll be rereading this soon I'm sure! ...more
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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', 'Strange Secrets' and 'Strange Wonders', the novella 'Strungballs' and the novels 'The Exploding Book' and 'Magic.'

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

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