Touch the Night by Max Booth III

I’m lucky enough to have preordered one of the signed/numbered hardcover editions from Cemetery Dance. Number 98 is mine. It took me a couple of months to even begin reading this book because I felt almost bad about opening it and putting any sort of wear on it because it just looked so damn nice, untouched as it was.
I wish I’d started reading it sooner.
Sometimes an author releases a work that is as timely as it is timeless, purely out of luck and random chance. Chuck Wendig’s Wanderers being released just before a pandemic took hold of the world’s attention comes to mind. Max Booth III’s Touch the Night being published in the midst of protests and riots ignited by police brutality and systemic racism hits the mark.
This is a book that goes beyond the otherworldly, surrealist horror at its core and paints an all too realistic (and no less horrifying) canvas of race relations, police corruption (and incompetence), and human shortcomings to enhance the terror lurking beneath the surface. The characters are relatable and real in such a way as to make the events of this novel all the more awful. Having been a bit of a juvenile delinquent in my own youth, I could absolutely relate to boys sneaking out at night and being up to no good. Being a parent, I was also unpleasantly faced with putting myself in the shoes of someone finding out that their child is not only missing, but likely kidnapped.
It’s not all bad though, as there is something to be said for characters finding strength they never knew they had when faced with impossible, hallucinatory situations…even as everything spirals further out of control and you can do nothing but helplessly watch it happen.
As a whole, this is a brutal, visceral story that I can’t recommend enough. I’ve recommended all of the author’s books that I’ve read, and this one is no different. This is a must-read for anyone who enjoys horror.
Besides, how many books give you the chance to listen to two characters wistfully discussing their missing penises before requesting robotic replacements only a short while later?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s