Here is a unique book by indie author Richard Bell.  He calls it intelligent stoner humor but it can be enjoyed whether you are high or not. The title is Life Seemed Good, But…. and is a trip through his many neuroses as viewed in a series of very short original stories involving strange characters, talking animals and vegetables, and his adventures with aluminum foil and lasers. Imagine a cross between Aesop’s fables and the Brothers Grimm with a touch of dark humor, bad puns and the art of anti-climax. The stories start out innocently enough and begin to build upon one another in unpredictable ways while mirroring the pattern of a life seemed good, but that something always went wrong.

The title comes from a time in the author’s life when he was writing as therapy because his wife had been diagnosed with leukemia and shortly thereafter they were laid off from their jobs. As a way of giving back, some of his proceeds are being donated to medical research. Bell dedicates the book to everyone who has cared for a loved one with a serious illness. Only by creating characters that were worse off than him was he able to bounce back, overcome his depression, and devote the time and energy needed to caring for a sick spouse. Fourteen years later she is still in remission.

The book is rated PG13 because in Bell’s opinion some of the stories are suggestive and contain drug references, not to mention the cartoon violence. It also contains a wealth of hidden trivia from modern culture and the sciences. There are secret messages, commentaries, subliminal suggestions and tips to make your life more interesting. The stories are each meant to stand alone but there are interconnections that appear as you read through. Each is very short, often only one page, so it is easy to pick up and put down and makes a great bathroom book. When asked, Bell claims he did not create the stories while high. He says that came in during the editing process.

Bell was born in Chicago, is married, and currently residing over the border in Wisconsin. While some kids had to be funny so other kids would like them, Bell had to be funny so his parents would like him. Several years after he began writing, Bell sent some of his stories to a local magazine and was rewarded with a monthly column. He continued writing since he was working temp jobs in between unemployment for 11 years and life was no bed of roses. In 2011 he published the first electronic version. After that came additions and revisions, finally being finished in 2017. Life Seemed Good, But…. is not a book to be rushed through, but pondered and enjoyed and will have you laughing like a kid again.

Bell supports and works toward national legalization of cannabis in his own small way. He is hoping to introduce the book to shops that sell cannabis so that it can reach more of the stoner community, and for retail stores it can be ordered through Ingram Spark. Available as a paperback or a download. Check it out and if you like it, tell a friend and something good will happen to you in the next 3 years. I know it sounds crazy but it’s true!

Here is where to get it: