Review: Strange Stories as extraordinary as promised

A collection of short stories, ‘Strange Stories’ is extraordinary just as promised. The first story of a nurse who loves reading and finds a patient reading one of her favourite books warmed me right away.

Strange Stories Shreya Sen

She exclaimed, ‘Holden Caulfield, I haven’t seen you in a while!”

And he says, “Jane Gallagher, is that really you?”

No need to mention, I was blushing and taken to the writing of the author. Later, I found out that I judged a page too soon. The end of the story left my mouth hanging wide open. It took me by surprise. After such a good start and so much normality, how did she turn it to strange and scary? The stories kept getting strange and frightening. Since I was reading at night, I had to put down the book and distract myself because I wanted to sleep. The stories are about everyday people whose lives take unforeseen turns. Suddenly, they find themselves drawn inexorably into encounters and situations that weren’t a part of their plan, but which result in the shocking revelation of buried chunks of their psyches.  The characters were so typical and had me falling for them every time. I found myself raking my brain, what could possibly go wrong with them? And why? Oh god, why?

Generally, in short stories, it’s hard to find connection or relate with the protagonist. But this was the first time, these characters I loved, and now I am scared of will haunt me for life. Every story just comes alive in a few pages and leaves you begging for more, no matter how strange. These stories are not something you read in passing. Every story has a soul of its own. This was my first book by Shreya, and I instantly fell in love with her writing style. There’s something about it. It’s charming. Sorts of lyrical and poetic. My first thought after reading the story was, I need to read a full-fledged novel by her too. I know its wrong to compare authors but to give you a sense of how good it was; strange stories felt like Gillian Flynn story wrote by Margaret Atwood. It’s a must-read for people who love horrors and thrillers. But also for everyone who has a thing for words and literature. If not for the stories then for her writing style.