Thank you, Jay, for sending me a ebook copy of The Exploding Book by Mike Russell for free in exchange for an honest review.
This is the fifth book I have been lucky enough to receive from Jay and Mike Russell and I honestly couldn’t wait to jump back down the rabbit hole that is the worlds Mike creates through his writing. I have previously reviewed Strange Medicine, Strange Secrets, Nothing is Strange and Strungballs. Having already read and experienced Mike Russell’s stories, as always, I started this one with an open mind and ready to jump. I knew before I started reading that it would be like nothing I have read before and I can say it is unique.
Mike Russel has taken the art of strange fiction to new levels over the past few years, and this, his latest creation is no different in his latest book which differs to his usual books as this is a full length novel rather than a collection of short stories. This book will make you feel strange, the characters are uncanny and believe in all kinds of mysterious things. The world that weaves with his world is a treat to read. I think it is the best use of imagery.
The plot itself is very different, very strange and weird, completely crazy. It looks like a mess of nonsenses, but it has its way. Everything happens with a reason and in order. I had some moments where I thought why the book is leading me this way or that some parts were completely insane, but in the end, everything comes together and becomes a solid part of the book. If you’ve seen my previous reviews of Mikes work, you know that I loved his writing style
The best part of the book is that it invites you into its world and to village Gladeville, where people have visions of a gold temple, each temple being different for each person. Slight spoiler but there is also a book simply called the Dark Book which, when it explodes, destroys all books except itself. You are not just a passive reader but an active witness of the unusual happenings of the town. Since you are a part of the world, it keeps you engaged and on the edge of your seat. I honestly had so many thoughts flying through my head while reading this. I jumped on conspiracy theories, a religious cult and the pure stupidity of humanity.
I try not to dissect Mike Russell’s stories they are just simply what they are the day I read them, tomorrow I will see something else in them. However, while reading this book, you can make so many connections, see so many hidden meanings, but at the end, it’s just a book you can’t know if the Mike wanted it to have a meaning or he has just told you a story.
If you are a lover of the strange, the offbeat, metaphors, and stories in which you can get lost you must read it!