We Need to Do Something by Max Booth III
Perpetual Motion Machine Press (May 2020)
122 pages; $12.95 paperback; $3.99 e-book
Reviewed by Anton Cancre
Max Booth III is carving a niche out for himself as the king of premises that should not, in any way whatsoever, work. Yet, somehow, he does it. Every frickin’ time. Even with that anthology that every editor on the planet curses him for. I’ll be damned if he doesn’t pull it off again with We Need to Do Something.
Picture your standard two-parents-two-kids suburban family. Dad’s a drunk. Mom comes across as a sheepish nothing. The teenage daughter is obsessed with her phone. The young son can’t stop making fart jokes. They are stuck in their bathroom because a tornado knocked a tree over and blocked the door.
But, if you think that is it, then you need more Max in your life. As per his usual approach, not much happens for the first half, so it does require patience. At the same time, the (relative to the situation) sane interactions and characters are intriguing enough to keep it interesting. Then it starts going off the rails as you begin to find out what is actually happening.
Unfortunately, there is no way for me to sell you more on this without ruining the effect. Just, please, please, please trust me on it. This novella shouldn’t work, but it will absolutely wreck you. Get it. Read it. Love it.