Author Cameron A. Straughan
Thank you to author Straughan for providing me with a copy of The Surreal Adventures of Anthony Zen in exchange for this honest review.
Author Cameron A. Straughan states at the beginning of this book as well as in his correspondence with me that he is an autistic author with an unusual sense of humor that not everyone gets. His unusual but immensely creative sense of humor is on full display in The Surreal Adventures of Anthony Zen.
The book is closer to a series of related short stories than a novella. There isn’t exactly a central plot or conflict to follow. Mostly, the reader just attempts to follow as Anthony journeys to work, meets with his parents, and goes on other mundane trips that become wacky misadventures. And he has almost always, if not always, forgotten his pants.
The world of Anthony Zen is a surreal alternate present that doesn’t necessarily adhere to the rules of physics or time. In fact, it seems like everything in the book happens between the times of 0859 and 0901.
It’s entertaining to get a view of pure imagination with no rules or boundaries. If nothing else it is unexpected and unpredictable. It’s best to just sit back and let Anthony do whatever it is he’s going to do.
However, since this book really lives up to the surrealist genre it’s not exactly the best for binge reading. I found it best to read a chapter or two and then pick up something more substantial for the rest of my reading time. Everything in Anthony Zen can start to blend together after a short while.
I don’t think I’ve ever read much true surrealist literature. I would imagine that the whole genre is best consumed in smaller portions. I enjoy surrealist art and paintings but it’s quite a different situation to try and partake in surrealism for more than a few minutes at a time.
I would say that The Surreal Adventures of Anthony Zen does have a discernable humor to it. One that I can even relate to. Oddly enough I found an unusual pet name that through a series of unexplainable inside jokes has become part of my normal lexicon used to refer to my boyfriend within the pages of this book. I got very excited and sent him a picture of it.
And no, that’s not a sexual euphemism, get you’re head out of the gutter and into the surrealist clouds!
This book is certain to break up any reading rut, just let the silliness and bizarre tales take you away to a completely fantastic and strange land.
3/5 forgotten trousers 👖👖👖
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Buy it here: The Surreal Adventures of Anthony Zen