This review was originally written in the summer of 2015. As you can probably tell from the picture above–as well as other, more recent reviews–I’m a bit of a fan of this particular author.
I went into The Mind Is a Razor Blade by Max Booth III without any expectations and no knowledge of the plot beyond what the back cover provided.
It starts off sporadic and disorienting, perfectly conveying the state of mind of our protagonist, the very definition of an unreliable narrator.
A man wakes up naked in a river with a corpse nearby and no idea who he is, who the corpse is, or how either of them got there. In the first few minutes of reading the book our protagonist has stolen a coat from a corpse, shot a man numerous times, and made a stumbling but successful escape from the police.
Believe it or not, the story gets crazier from there on out. As our protagonist begins getting a marginally better grasp on who he is and what is going on the narrative simply becomes more bizarre and disturbing along the way, keeping the narrator on his toes (and, by extension, the reader as well).
Through the protagonist, we become unwilling tourists through a city driven mad by drug use, organized crime that crosses into the supernatural while exhibiting the hallmarks of a cult, and inhuman creatures that hunt for organs from the populace…also, there are spiders, lots of spiders. In the midst of all of this, there is also redemption and at the core a sense that love can transcend even the most horrific experiences.
This book contained all of the best elements of noir, horror, a sort of perverse humor, and surrealism. If you’re a fan of the movie Dark City or the book John Dies At the End, this is definitely something you might want to check out.