By Richard Bell
Print Length: 210
Release Year: 2013
Genre: Humour, Fiction, Anthology
Avg. Goodreads Rating: 4.29
Available on Amazon
A picture of life in and around the Mystee Forest as viewed by a variety of talking animals, strange characters, and the author’s twisted perception of reality. Imagine a cross between Aesop’s Fables and the Brothers Grimm. (Goodreads)
Life Seemed Good, But… is a short read perfect for those days when you’re feeling down and need something lighthearted to bring a bit of the stress off your shoulders. With stories that are generally short and sweet Bell manages to capture the re-readable whimsy of early prose with more modern surrealist writing.
The stories in this anthology are easy to read and fun. Many of them remind me of the more surrealist episodes of Netflix’s Love Death + Robots, and the writing reminds me of the surrealist writings of Mike Russel and Seth Rogan. Additionally, there is the added whimsy of the interconnected relationship between all stories, which definitely made up for my only qualm with this book; the relatively flat characters.
In saying that, the characters were not completely two-dimensional, but not quite as fleshed out as I personally prefer. Of course, with this being an anthology of primarily story-driven prose, one could argue that the lack of character dimensionality is a subsequent causality.
Overall I enjoyed this short read, and recommend picking it up if you find yourself needing a little pick-me-up. Additionally, those who chose to pick up the independent works of Mike Russell and enjoyed it should definitely pick this one up as well.