I knew I was going to love this book before I’d started reading it. Being slightly familiar with Max Booth III’s work and knowing that he had a book about a hotel night auditor in the works, I’ve anticipated this one so much and knew it was going to be good, but I didn’t know it was going to be up there with Tom Spanbauer’s I Loved You More as best book I’ve read this year.
The Nightly Disease tells the story of Isaac —a depressed, misanthropic hotel night auditor— as he powers through night after night working a soul crushing job and dealing with a myriad of unnecessarily irate customers, two of which are sadistic psychopaths who torment him. Isaac’s favourite pastime is pursuing an unhealthy relationship with an equally disturbed woman, chatting to a fellow night auditor enabling each other’s bad habits, masturbating on the hotel roof, and dreading the looming threat of owls.
Every person that happens to cross paths with Isaac is fucked up in their own special way, and the poor kid can’t get a break as disasters pile up one after the other causing him to slowly lose his mind in different hilarious ways. Despite being likeable and relatable, Isaac is aggravating. He’s the kind of person that deserves a slap and a hug at the same time. Still, you can’t hate Isaac as much as he hates himself and everyone in the hotel.
Whatever Tom Spanbauer can do with love and pain, Max Booth III did with a thriller/comedy. I learned early on that reading this book in public was a bad idea as I looked quite daft laughing in the middle of a café. Max Booth III is a graceful writer who not only created the Bible for anyone who has ever worked in customer service, but he’s done it so well you can hear the protagonist’s voice deadpanning throughout, occasionally ending sentences with a shock punchline without you knowing there was a joke.
I’m going to recommend this one to everyone I know. Looking forward to reading How to Successfully Kidnap Strangers which I’d been planning to read before this one came out but there we are.