The Nightly Disease (Max Booth III)

This was a fun one.  Not fun in the sense of madcap, frothy, happy fun, but fun in the sense of “terrible things are happening, and I want to see what’s next”.  If you have any interest in dark, awful, yet still hilarious fiction, this might be a good one to check out.


Max Booth III is a man who knows his subject matter.  Well, at least a good chunk of it.  He’s a night auditor at a hotel, which means that any book he writes about a night auditor at a hotel is going to have at least more than a hint of authenticity about it.  I keep finding myself wanting to compare this book to Clerks.  Not because it’s written by Kevin Smith, but because it’s an intimate look at a person who doesn’t enjoy his job, and survives the best way he can (by doing horrible things and trying his best to avoid his boss whenever possible).

The Nightly Disease is a book that is difficult to describe.  Sure, it’s about a hotel, and some of the employees there.  Sure, most of the characters in it are not nice people.  Sure, there’s more than a small dash of humor.  Beyond that, things get dicey.  This novel falls into the fine tradition of bizarro literature, a genre that I’m usually not too interested in.  My tastes typically fall to less strange pieces of fiction, but when I got the chance to read it for free in exchange for a review, I gave it a shot.  I didn’t expect to be able to get through the whole thing when I started reading, but I was shocked to discover that I couldn’t quit.

There are some truly strange elements to this story (which is the hallmark of bizarro, if you didn’t know that already).  As you probably recognize from the cover image above, owls are involved.  Owls are a bigger part of The Nightly Disease than you’d think (and probably a bigger part of it than you’ll like).  Beyond the owls, and the hotel(s), there’s a lot here to digest: all kinds of death and mayhem, a heist, counterfeit tennis shoes, face-eating, waffles (so many waffles), alcohol, bulimia, several dead bodies, and a surprisingly sweet romantic moment or two.

It’s rare when I recommend a book that I know many people won’t like.  When I say I recommend it wholeheartedly, know that I’m recommending it for you IF my synopsis sounds compelling.  I thought it was hilarious, gruesome, weird, and even, at times, heartwarming.  My mother would not enjoy this book.  There’s a good chance, though, that you might!  I had a wonderful time reading The Nightly Disease.  If you’re willing to go in expecting to be surprised, there’s a great deal here to enjoy.  So with an open mind, give it a shot!  You can find it for purchase (at a very reasonable price at the moment, too) here.  And if you think it’s scary and too gory and in poor taste, remember–I warned you!!

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