It took me about two days to finish ‘Bizarre Romance’, a short story collection by Audrey Niffenegger & Eddie Campbell. 

The problem with this book is that it doesn’t really live up to its name. Out of the thirteen stories in the book, only 3-4 of them were weird enough. The others bordered on boring, not bizarre.

Picked up this book because I really like odd stuff and am absolutely fine with stories that don’t make too much sense. We have enough practicalities bogging us down in the real world. Fiction should be allowed to be unreasonable. But Niffenegger’s tales are pretty mundane and quiet digestible.

What was even more disappointing was that Eddie Campbell’s illustrations were mediocre. Some of them just seemed like real photographs edited by some phone app. Others looked like quick scrawls by a kid on paint.

This is neither a graphic novel nor a regular text heavy novel. Some stories have no illustrations at all. And a lot of them have already been published somewhere else. So I felt like the blurb on this book was a little misleading –

‘Once upon a time, a writer and an artist got married. ‘Let’s collaborate,’ said the writer. ‘Ugh, no thanks, darling,’ said the artist. But lo and behold, they collaborated and here’s the result: thirteen stories about oddballs in love, infestations of angels, nefarious fairies, cats, spies, monsters, more cats…’ 

I was under the impression that these stories would have been fresh and that each one of them would be illustrated. Most of the plots are pretty forgettable. There was one with a cat lady that I liked best.

Over-all, ‘Bizarre Romance’ is not a bad pick. I would give it a 3 on 5. And I loved the hardback, it’s a nice looking addition to the book shelf.

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