Everybody’s Strange is a potent selection of nine short stories, all written by businessman and first-time author Arthur Cantor. Written during the worst lockdowns in the Philippines in 2020 and 2021, Everybody’s Strange is not a meditation on human nature. It’s a magnifying glass, which Cantor uses to great effect. These propulsive and utterly peculiar stories show the very worst and very best that humans are capable of.
What makes these book quite interesting and a bit unsettling is how the author takes familiar scenarios and playfully plunges them into the realm of the surreal, as seen in “The Lab,” a tragicomedy in which a distraught bachelor finds himself in a wild experiment that keeps the world’s billionaires forever young.
Cantor also takes a jab at traditions in “Eating Out,” in which estranged family members manage to keep their bond firm through a strange ritual that happens during dinner. In this short story, the author questions the great lengths people would go to in the name of family.
Overall, despite its unsettling and surreal themes, there’s something familiar in the collection of nine short stories. Original, creative and well thought out. Perhaps because it captures something we’ve never acknowledged within ourselves, that in our moments of struggle and discomfort, everybody’s strange.