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Reviewed by Asher Syed for Readers' Favorite
So Absurd It Must Be True: The Collection of Surreal Humor, Mystery, and Satire by Victoria Ray is the second book in the Unique and Absurd series, preceded by book one, Funny Tales for Dirty Minds. Ray introduces over two dozen original short stories that are delightfully crude and bend the imagination with multi-character collaborations who, in any other setting, would have no business mingling in the same tale, and a hodgepodge of themes that all somehow come together wickedly well. Father Christmas, James Bond, and Papa Smurf in Santa Claire, assassination on the menu of a head-serving restaurant called Chunky Burger, and a Filipina immigrant who embraces political activism as an act of love only to flip it on its head in a counterblow in Left Hand Clara.
Victoria Ray certainly has a wild imagination that bubbles to the surface and flows from the pages in this edition of So Absurd It Must Be True. My favorite is the ultra-short An Episode from the Life of a Cat, a bite-sized story that tells us what we already know: we are little more than slaves to the cats who own us. Each story ends with a punch of insight titled The Lesson that pulls together the essence of Ray's piece. The abundance of creativity is occasionally a little too much for the length of the writing and every so often the plot becomes slightly convoluted and the ending feels rushed, but in the context of an anthology that thrives on the independence of its own stylish formatting, it raises the possibility of this actually being intentional which in and of itself is a credit to the author, and forgivable as a reader. I suppose Ray sums this up succinctly in The Lesson that concludes Between Right and Wrong... “There’s irony in a beautiful curl slowly turning into a tangled mess, beyond resurrection, in a matter of minutes…”