3 out of 4 stars
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The Odd and The Strange by Harvey Havel is a fictional novel. It is a collection of 89 short stories from a variety of genres. The book tells sci-fi, horror, paranormal, and so many other tales. However, the focus is on unusual occurrences with extraordinary outcomes. It encompasses the deepest thoughts of man and the results they produce. With concise chapters, the author delivers quick messages.
In The Odd and The Strange, the characters are mostly young and unusual. In BMW, a young lady decapitates her boyfriend's head because he complains about his job all the time. In Asylum, a young boy is sent to a psychiatric home for setting his family house on fire with his parents inside because he got a revelation to do so. These are only a few examples of the experience that awaits the reader. Although the storylines are bizarre, the author makes the characters relatable and the events realistic.
The author's tone is atypical. Most of the endings are unexpected, and the author challenges profound minds to understand his narration. If you're going to read this book, you have to think out of the box — the short stories aren't conventional.
What I like most about this book is the author's writing style. Each sentence has a deep meaning to it. The author's choice of words is direct, yet with a powerful effect. The author's ability to infuse a story in just a few paragraphs is commendable.
My favorite stories in this collection are A Lesson on Money and Installation. These stories make me wonder why people behave the way they do.
The author's use of words to portray the characters' emotions in some of the stories is uncommon. However, some of the stories lack the enthralling ability to capture a reader. Some of the stories aren't spellbinding, as most of them lack emotion. This disconnect in some stories is one of the book's banes — it isn't uncommon with short-story collections.
The Odd and The Strange didn't seem to be professionally edited as I found a plethora of grammatical errors. This was what I disliked most about the book; I expected the editors to do a thorough job considering the brevity of the stories. Therefore, I'd rate the book three out of four stars. I would recommend it to those who love sci-fi, horror, and crime stories. Parental guidance would be needed for readers aged 13 years and below, as there were descriptions of sexual scenes and a lot of expletives.
The Odd and The Strange
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