Mae (Too Cubed Unauthorized: Volume II, 2011, etc.) returns with the third installment of her fictional unauthorized biography of psychedelic rock band Too Cubed.
Like its predecessor, the story picks up immediately after the previous book ended, continuing the overly detailed saga of Too Cubed. Spanning 1991 to 1995, there’s no specific plot running through this chronicle of the life and times of these road-tested musicians. Bass players continue to come and go, although keyboardist Bert seems to have outgrown his habit of helping them exit permanently. The band continues to achieve popularity and success, although their various insecurities—especially in relation to real-life band Phish—begin to wear thin. Too much time is spent on the fans, particularly groupie Gracie. This is, after all, the story of Too Cubed. One non-band character whose story doesn’t become tiresome is Sven. His brush with the law is real—and overdue, as major problems with emotional ramifications are too often glossed over for this cast of characters. As the Too Cubed men enter their 30s, thoughts of love begin to creep in as Mae plays with the very real issue many musicians face as they age: Their rock star lifestyles begin to compete with their innate human need to settle down. Connecting with characters other than bandleaders Stan and Trip can be difficult, but that doesn’t mean these two are easy to like: Trip is besieged by a heroin habit that no one will confront (which doesn’t seem to affect him much), while Stan’s controlling nature teeters on the edge of complete obnoxiousness. At times, readers will wonder if the author even likes any of the people populating the book, despite her frequent intrusions informing readers otherwise.
The third volume of this series doesn’t provide the same easy, absorbing read as previous installments.