Something in the Middle: Small Stories from the Far Side of Consciousness by A.I. Wand – Book Review

Something in the Middle: Small Stories from the Far Side of Consciousness

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  • Source: Review Copy
  • Pages: 428
  • Publication Date: July 30, 2020
  • My Rating: 4/5


A first-time author. 

A hotshot book editor. 

A whirlwind romance and a runaway bestseller nobody saw coming. 

The meteoric rise and stunning collapse of a cross-platform media empire. 

All of this – plus a basement full of undiscovered treasures left by former tenants – is thoughtfully unpacked and dusted off in our sideways collection of small, strange fictions. 

Nothing here is what it seems upon first glance. 

Or second glance. 

Geometry, physics, dating, office culture, school, sports, domestic life, and the paranormal collide in a surreal fusion posing some curious questions: 

  • What happens when a trained specialist perpetrates a coordinated attack on a person’s large intestine during an artistic fugue? 
  • Did space aliens abduct her, or was it the movie studio? 
  • Is it possible to write a book anymore with no zombies in it? 
  • Are witches, voodoo, a mad scientist, a demented surgeon, a sadistic psychiatrist, and a crazy clown enough? 
  • What, exactly, are smart pills? 
  • What do I want in my middle? 

Read a longer blurb on Amazon


In Something in the Middle, the author A.I. Wand has created a collection of stories unlike anything else by exercising immense imaginative power. His intention was to write a collection of stories that did not seem to be written by just one person, and he indeed puts on many hats and gives the readers an anthology that is bizarre, yet fun to read.

The author has a very compelling and frank tone. The narrative form is not static. It breaks form again and again. The author does it elegantly, successfully piquing curiosity more than confusion.

The book starts with the most eccentric introduction I’ve ever read. It continues to astonish me again and again. There is surrealism and dark humor in the book. There is romance and murder. The author clearly refused to put his short stories in a box and encapsulated multiple genres in this anthology.

Most of the stories didn’t have any deep underlying meanings (if they did, I missed out on them). They were just eccentric stories that would make you chuckle (and occasionally gross you out). He did subtly touch on current world issues in a hilarious way. The author played around with different settings, formats, and even writing styles. This book is very nuanced and its fun lies in the writing style rather than the plot or plotlines because they are just so random.

This book contains something for everyone. There are stories that will make you laugh out loud. There are darker and even grotesque stories like “The High Price of Tardiness.” Stories like “Roll Call” will make you shed a tear. In one story, a writer argues with a character he created. Every story wasn’t strange or complex. Stories like “Complacency” were simpler and got their message across. However, there were some stories that I just did not understand. I have to commend the author of this book for writing the most creative anthology I have ever read.

Some readers may have to get past the initial discomfort and confusion of the book because of its unconventional nature. I will say that there was not a single moment of boredom for me. This book felt like the most well-thought-out and complex comedy act I’ve ever experienced.

Reading this book is a truly unique experience. If you like linear anthologies that all follow a genre or a theme, this might not be for you. But if you are open to trying books written in unconventional ways, you might enjoy this book a lot. 

Content warnings for the book:  aggressive sexual content, violent content, expletives

Check out the book website for an interactive experience!

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