Maggots Screaming! by Max Booth III [Book Review]

(Sesame Street music playing)

The Letter of the Day is….D! D for Dysfunctional!

Everything about MAGGOTS SCREAMING! by Max Booth III can be summed up in that one word, dysfunctional.

Dysfunctional marriage, dysfunctional friendships, a dysfunctional body farm operated by an even more dysfunctional anthropologist. I could go on and on. From the very beginning, normalcy is thrown clear out of the window.

The more pages I turned while reading MAGGOTS SCREAMING! the more outlandish things became (in the best ways possible). This felt like an extended episode of Treehouse of Horror from The Simpsons, which coincidentally or not, Dylan and his dad are big fans of. With that being said if you are looking for horror based in a reality that you can make some sort of sense of then you are in the wrong place, my friend. You’d be better off going and digging a hole out back in your dead garden than reading this book. Nothing about this story makes sense and that’s okay, it doesn’t need to. The why behind what is happening really isn’t that important. It doesn’t need to be explained or justified. Just know that something bizarre, grotesque, and unexplainable is happening and we the readers are along for a wild ride as the characters have to cope with this disturbing situation and all of the consequences.

MAGGOTS SCREAMING! by Max Booth III

The best part, the absolute best part of MAGGOT SCREAMING! for me were the comedic moments. I mean laugh out loud funny for me. Most of this came through the dialogue (though there is a scene involving flatulence that had me immaturely cackling like I was back in high school) which was not only funny but felt natural and authentic. The back and forth banter and bickering between Max (the dad) and his ex-best friend Andy were nuggets of comedy gold.

If you have a weak stomach beware because this book could cause you to turn green around the gills (I think that is the saying anyway). Fans of body horror will have a lot to sink their teeth into here (I’m looking at you Comrade). From bodily decomposition to the purging of fluids to flesh eating insects and everything in between. Booth gives us an educational crash course on the different stages of human decomposition in all of its putrid and gnarly detail.

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MAGGOTS SCREAMING! by Max Booth III

MAGGOTS SCREAMING! by Max Booth III is a kaleidoscopic journey of lunacy. Absurd, meta, disgusting, brash, unapologetically hilarious and yes of course dysfunctional. A perfect concoction of gross out body horror and comedy. This was my first experience reading anything from Max Booth III and I was not disappointed. I am looking forward to getting the chance to read more of his work soon. I’ll leave you with a word of warning, dear reader. The next time you are outside under the glaring eye of the sun piddling around in your garden be careful. You never know what you might dig up.

I received an ARC of this book from the publisher for review consideration.

Brad Proctor

Brad Proctor

Reviewer

Book reviewer & Booktuber who focuses mostly on small press & indie horror, sci-fi, fantasy, & southern literature. 

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