VERY HIP VERY BIZARRO VERY CREEPY AND VERY, VERY EVEN BRILLIANTLY FUNNYIN A CRUDE, JUVENILE WAYI read a lot I read everyday and go through a number of books every week Reading as much as I do, I get a real jolly on when I come across a book like this because it is so different from the usual fare I m not sure I can adequately describe the book, but the phrase that seems most apt is brilliantly stupid with surreal, incredibly funny and dude that s gross close behindSomething coming back from the dead was almost always bad news Movies taught me that For every one Jesus you get a million zombies And watch out for Molly See if she does anything unusual There s something I don t trust about the way she exploded and then came back from the dead like thatsee what I mean.As far as the plot, not much to say that isn t in the book description David and John are a couple of smart, cynical, directionless guys I think the book does such a great job speaking for itself, that here are a few excerpts from the book where David our narrator gives some insight into his worldview mindsetFrom day one it was like society was this violent, complicated dance and everybody had taken lessons but me Knocked to the floor again, climbing to my feet each time, bloody and humiliated Always met with disapproving faces, waiting for me to leave so I d stop fucking up the party The wanted to push me outside, where the freaks huddled in the cold Out there with the misfits, the broken, the glazed eye types who can only watch as the normals enjoy their shiny new cars and careers and marriages and vacations with the kids The freaks spend their lives shambling around, wondering how they got left out, mumbling about conspiracy theories and bigfoot sightings Their encounters with the world are marked by awkward conversations and stifled laughter, hidden smirks and rolled eyes And worst of all, pity. AND later And no one cares You kick and scream and cry out in the darkness and no answer comes You rage against the unfathomable injustice and two blocks away some guy watches a baseball game and scratches his balls Scientists talk about dark matter, the invisible, mysterious substance that occupies the space between stars Dark Matter makes up 99.99 percent of the universe and they don t know what it is Well I know It s apathy That s the truth of it Pile together everything we know and care about in the universe and it will still be nothing than a tiny speck in the middle of a vast black ocean of Who Gives A FuckWell these two guys discover that a new drug called soy sauce has allowed forced them to see into an alternative reality parallel dimension where nasty, evil things with a good sense of humor are looking to take over See above picture of a Roach Man from the upcoming movie version Well from the moment they experience the sauce, bizarroness and a mayhem o rama ensues And I didn t stop laughing until the end The plot is utterly secondary to the reading experience and what shines in this book is the attitude of the two main characters, John and David, when they encounter the endless stream of nightmare situations in the book They simply accept it, deal with it, shout out a lot of sarcasm and penis jokes and just go along for the ride At least, for the most part there are a few times when it gets to be a bit much for our heroes Case in pointNo, no Keep driving, said a soft voice in my ear She will not bite if you keep driving Fuck that Fuck that idea like the captain of the Thai Fuck Team fucking at the fucking Tour de FuckHowever, other than a few understandable meltdowns like when confronted by cockroach man assassins , they simply attend to the matters at hand no matter how batshit crazy things getThere was a sound like a garbage bag of pudding dropped off a tall building onto a sidewalk Robert had erupted, chunks slapping off the walls in every directionUH, I did say it was gross didn t I My advice for this book is to be like John and David and just run with it Don t try too hard to keep up with the plot and just let the story take you from page to page I laughed out loud throughout the book and had a blast o matic reading it For those of you still haven t come to appreciate the wit and tone of the book from my previous excerpts, here is my final attempt to win you over the emphasis is mine Somebody said my name, asked if I was okay I didn t answer, the sound of the commotion dying around me as the heavy monkey of sleep rested its warm, furry ass on my eyelids Come on, now that is just funny In summary, this book is wonderful and strange, has a lot of juvenile humor, a couple of great main characters, and an original story in both plot and tone that I thought was brilliant again is a stupid sorta way Highly Recommended 4.5 to 5.0 stars. This book is not for everyone but it is certainly for me.We all know that I have the sense of humor of a twelve year old boy I can t help it Just yesterday my manager was talking to my coworkers and I about her new job at Whole Foods, explaining what she would be doing which is working behind the specialty cheese counter and she spoke this little gem that slipped passed everyone s attention but mine basically I ll be cutting the cheese all day I slapped my hand to my mouth and trying to hide my giggles only made them come even fitfully.I m laughing right now just thinking about it That s not really an important point, but I am a big fan of dick and fart jokes in all facets of life, and this books cup runneth over with them, much to my enjoyment My potential favorite Every man is blessed with his gifts from the Lord One of mine happens to be a penis large enough that, if it had a penis of its own, my penis s penis would be larger than your penis 2nd place I want to pause for a moment to talk about my penis and the ensuing section comparing sex to Disney World Verrry close 3rd place John s whole I d show my penis right now, to everybody here If we had time speech.It s not a perfect book, but I don t care Fuck the kind of pretension that doesn t allow a person to just sit back and enjoy this story The whole thing was a riot I totally loved it, if for no other reason than it came to me when I needed it most, a la the sword of Gryffindor I have been reading Tolkien since the end of last summer, and it has been wonderful, really, but it s so dense and demanding that lately I have been really feeling the need to take a break and read something a little less serious I found this at the bookstore, popped it open to see what I was in for, then wouldn t put it down If I believed in the power of prayer, I would say that finding this book when I did was the answer to one Thanks, universe I owe you one Addendum I m sorry to all of the ladies out there in the world, but this book helped me to realize that, as much as I long to be taken seriously as a woman of thought and value, I am never going to be able to stop thinking that farts are funny I m just not Books like this will always have a special place in my heart, even if they don t make me any smarter I just have to accept that part of myself. Put this book down and go read Wong s work at cracked.com, particularly his piece 6 Things Rich People Need to Stop Saying, a brilliant piece of humor, psychology and economics toJohn DiesYes, like the book blurb says, in some ways it resembles The Hitchhiker s Guide to the Galaxy it s that strange blend of humor that occurs partially because of stacking two incongruencies in a slice of bread and calling it a sandwich The heroes are similar and somehwhat unlikeable the rather boring Arthur Dent and 20 something slacker, David, a video store clerk Both plots involve the end of the world as we know it, and time travel or alternate realities may or may not be involved However, there are critical, fun diminishing differences Adams envisioned an entire universe for his absurdity while Wong plays around in modern America, where we ve navel gazed at absurdity so long, the commentary is hardly unique Adams managed to turn the entire SF genre sideways with is originality, John Diesmostly feels like an unfinished stew of popular culture references and genre mashup Why Hitchhiker s works Vogon poetry To appreciate the humor, he built a race entirely absent in emotional expression and vulnerability and then provided an example of their self expression, and the appropriate screams of horror from the audience.Why John Dies doesn t two pages of random girlish chatroom transcript, complete with chat shorthand and exclamation points With characters we haven t met or know nothing about but view spoiler appear to be taken over by aliens by the end of chat hide spoiler this is possibly the worst published book i have ever read i m sad to admit it was my ex boyfriend s favorite book, so i read it to placate him it took me all of about five minutes to get sick of the author s trite internet meme style wannabe funny bullshit, which is sad because i believe he is the editor of cracked.com where the writing, though sub par at times, at least typically makes sense and is somewhat enjoyable to read at first i thought i wasn t reading it closely enough to follow the plot, then i realized 1 there is no plot to follow.2 the guy couldn t sustain one storyline for longer than 50 pages, so he throws in like, 50 sorta connected ones and still calls this shitrag a NOVEL um, what so, barf in this dude s attempt to righteously blow my mind, he really just blew i can t believe the positive ratings this crapathon has accrued on i 100% don t understand its cult internet following wait, no, i amend that i DO understand it it s most likely comprised of people who don t fucking read anything but born digital internet slop on forums and pseudo journalistic and or fan fiction sites in the guernsey literary and potato peel pie society not a mindblowing read, but at least it s written well there s a line about reading good books ruining you for reading bad oneswell, here s that sentiment ringing glaringly true in my own life ha do yourselves a favor and stay away, far, far away from this one just read the original lovecraft instead. Have you ever played that game when one person starts a story and then another person takes it over, and then another, and thenuntil the story gets to where you can t even remember how it started John Dies at the End is a little bit like that game.Now picture Howard Philip Lovecraft and Robert E Howard playing this game around a campfire after a crazy party Now picture Howard Philip Lovecraft and Robert E Howard smoking pot and drinking cheap booze as they play the game And then they are joined by their good friends Joss Whedon and Todd Phillips.John Dies at the End is what they might come up with I wanted to like this book Really, really, really, wanted to like it And maybe that was part of the problem I went in with too high of expectations Shrug But honestly it just wasn t for me Recommended to readers who still laugh at the jokes they thought were funny when they were twelve Fans of urban fantasy horror that does not involve sparkly vampires And for anyone who thought Cabin In the Woods was one of the best movies of the year.As for the title view spoiler The cake is a lie hide spoiler This book is about shit And insects And humanity.A peculiar combination, you may think I agree But this is a great story that may not have worked in the hands of any other author.My most amazing cousin Danielle has been asking me to read this book for about a year now, and I m really glad I finally picked it up It s packed with meat monsters, immortal dogs, exploding eyeballs with a fake Jamaican cherry on top While all these aspects make for some top level ridiculousness, I think it s important not to let them totally distract from the messages that are present.The writing is what really brought the story to life It s told from the perspective of David, who is incredibly witty has a lot of insightful things to say about why humans behave the way they do Sure, he is disparaging crude in his commentary, but there s a ribbon of raw truth beneath it all that makes David an intensely relatable character.It s almost uncomfortable how Wong forces his audience to face the juxtaposition of deeply relevant ideas next to a black, self depreciating humor a consistent stream of stomach churning violence But it s cleverly constructed mostly positive experience The plot of this one is strange Like, super strange. There were a couple times where it lost my complete attention I would catch myself sort of glossing over some of the filler details of the scenario, but on the whole I still found it enjoyable Also I must say I m relieved to read an Epilogue that I won t have to spend the rest of my life pretending doesn t exist Lookin at you Rowling.One other thing I didn t love about this book was it s use of offensive language I can tell that it was used to characterize set a tone of cynicism, but it was a little too liberally applied for my tastes I wanted to add this as of a caution for others because truthfully there s a ton of offensive stuff in this book, but the language in particular made me grit my teeth a couple of times I was still able to enjoy the story, but it s worth mentioning This is going to be a novel I will recommend with a discerning eye No doubt this story will be too contemptuous for some to swallow that one s for you John , but if a bizarre horror comedy mystery with a dash of philosophical genius sprinkling of extra fucking weird sounds up your alley then this is a book for you Juvenile humor was only a feature of this novel, not a bug There were plenty of bugs, tho That being said, it was a light hearted frolic in the woods of shit narnia, and I felt like getting a tattoo of the Pi symbol on my toe Strangely enough, I agreed with the idea of the last dead guy that first person shooter games are training us for something but I just can t figure out what it was better game playing That s probably it This is a Fun Book, ya ll, even if I was expecting something SCARY Not scary, but quite imaginative with plot holes than a termite could cope with That s OK, you know, as long as you have a good time But like I said, that s a feature, not a bug But oh my god The Bugs The Bugs STOP You Should Not Have Touched This Flyer With Your Bare Hands NO, Don T Put It Down It S Too Late They Re Watching You My Name Is David Wong My Best Friend Is John Those Names Are Fake You Might Want To Change Yours You May Not Want To Know About The Things You Ll Read On These Pages, About The Sauce, About Korrok, About The Invasion, And The Future But It S Too Late You Touched The Book You Re In The Game You Re Under The Eye The Only Defense Is Knowledge You Need To Read This Book, To The End Even The Part With The Bratwurst Why You Just Have To Trust MeThe Important Thing Is This The Drug Is Called Soy Sauce And It Gives Users A Window Into Another Dimension John And I Never Had The Chance To Say No You Still Do I M Sorry To Have Involved You In This, I Really Am But As You Read About These Terrible Events And The Very Dark Epoch The World Is About To Enter As A Result, It Is Crucial You Keep One Thing In Mind None Of This Was My Fault The man shaped arrangement of meat rose up, as if functioning as one body It pushed itself up on two arms made of game hens and country bacon, planting two hands with sausage link fingers on the floor The phrase sodomized by a bratwurst poltergeist suddenly flew through my mind Finally it stood fully upright, looking like the mascot for a butcher shop whose profits went entirely to support the owner s acid habit The above quote from the prologue sets the tone very nicely for John Dies at the End It really is a wild ride of a book I became interested in this book a few years ago when I heard it was being adapted into a movie back in 2012 The title alone is quite intriguing here is a book that seems to spoil its own ending from the title, that is something new Of course, the title does not really spoil the book but it is a damn good hook I added it on my TBR and it languished there for several years I think it was priced quite expensively at the time, something over USD 10 for a 376 pages book, so I put it on the backburner A couple of weeks ago offered the e book for a limited time at USD 2.76 so I was quite happy to snap it up John Dies at the End is about David Wong the character, not the author than it is about John Dave and John are besties in the grand Excellenttradition of Bill and Ted.David Wong, in spite of the name, is not Chinese, he prefers to use a pseudonym for the sake of anonymity At the beginning of the book, it seems that John and Dave are some kind of Ghostbusters who are called to investigate or exorcise spirits, demons or any kind of supernatural entities As a pair of paranormal investigators, they are similar to Sam and Dean Winchester from the CW series Supernatural than the Ghostbusters team or The X Files Mulder and Scully After the encounter with the Meat Monster in the prologue, the narrative rewinds to the beginning of their paranormal investigation career John and Dave are exposed to a weird substance nicknamed Soy Sauce that enables them to see supernatural or pandimensional beings from other dimensions Immediately they become embroiled in a plot by shadowy beings to corrupt and take over our reality John Dies at the End is basically the story of the duo s struggle to save the world.The main body of the narrative is nested inside a frame story where Dave is being interviewed by a reporter who specializes in paranormal stories From beginning to end it is a very fast paced narrative, and never really slow down to take a breather I usually enjoy fast paced page turners but I feel it is overdone here Incident piles upon incident in rapid succession, not much time is spent on expositions or character development I felt like I was hanging on to the narrative by the skin of my teeth This has the ironic effect of the book becoming a little monotonous toward the end On the plus side there are quite a lot of bizarre sights to see wig monsters, gigantic blobby monsters, flying parasites, ghosts, clones, exploding dogs and policemen, copious amount of blood and poo etc Wig Monsters by FlammablePersonThere is also an unpleasant parallel dimension our heroes amusingly name Shit Narnia There is plenty to keep me interested, but not a lot to care about I think it comes down to characterization John and Dave are likable enough duo with their bantering, flippant attitude, defiance of authority and penis jokes However, I feel that there is insufficient depth to them to carry almost 400 pages of narrative Thankfully there is a little bit of romance between Dave and a girl called Amy which provides a nice bit of light and shade to the inexorable narrative It also gives Dave an opportunity to become a hero instead of a smartass.The prose style seems to be aimed at teenaged boys, however, the often NSFW adolescent humour did make me chuckle quite a few times The author writes a bit like Andy Weir on speed, though, for me, the humour here works better than The Martian My only complaint is the relentless pacing which sometimes makes the narrative feel overly chaotic and even a bit of a mess It becomes oddly exhausting toward the end of the book Even the epilogue seems excessively long and the pacing is still not winding down While reading the last twenty or so pages I felt the book outstayed it s welcome a little I suspect 300 pages would have been just right Having said all that I don t want to give the impression that John Dies at the End is bad or dull It is a fun book, possibly ideal for readers with short attention span, or those looking for nonstop thrills I don t think I am on board for the sequel This Book Is Full of Spiders Seriously, Dude, Don t Touch It, but it has a higher GR rating than this book so I may change my mind later if I fancy reading something wild Certainly, I have no regret reading this book If you are looking for a funny, wild, and anarchic sci fi horror adventure this could do very well If you are cautious perhaps you can try a sample chapter from , the book does start with a bang, and the prologue is quite representative of the entire book The author s use of the David Wong pen name lends his first person narration an air of verisimilitude, and a meta feel His real name, Jason Pargin, is no secret, it is mentioned in the introduction to the book, written by eccentric filmmaker, Don Coscarelli, who directed the film adaptation and also a few weird movies like Phantasm and Bubba Ho Tep.Quotes If I had known what was about to happen at work I wouldn t have gone, of course I would also have taken off my pants.Something coming back from the dead was almost always bad news Movies taught me that For every one Jesus you get a million zombies You have tormented me six times Now prepare to meat your doom I have no way of knowing that it actually said meat instead of meet but I ll give it the benefit of the doubt I ran Good Anyway, Amy is missing and the scene is weird as shit The situation has a real Lovecraft feel to it Though, you know, if you come over it ll be of an Anne Rice situation If you know what I mean Because you re gay Dave It s me Amy s missing and we got what looks like a bag full of fat here It s weird And I mean bad weird, not clown weird.There was a time when I would have found the idea of certain death a little comforting, like being on the last day of a job I hated.The Meat Monster from the movie adaptation This stopped me The cops called us What, they got a ghost they want us to check out Like we re fucking Scooby DooPremise David Wong and his friend John are kind of ghost busters, they see things that others can t This is because of a drug that they have consumed which is named soya sauce for the lack of a better name and it does look a bit like that apparently I liked it at the start I really did The jokes, the way the horror and humor were combined made me keep on turning the pages There were lots of action scenes and the story reached it s climax I thought we are done and it would have been a good ending but then the author decidedThe Part 2 of the book commenced The story started feeling disjointed and I was losing track as to how all this is connected to the first part It started getting frustrating, the jokes got old, the action scene started getting dis interesting And finally when I thought this book is going to get overWe started with the Part 3 This was the part where I actually thought of DNFing the book but some perverse sense of self torture made me continue reading this I had completed around 60% of the book and did not want to abandon this I also really wanted to know how the author is going to wrap up this trainwreck of a story The Epilogue itself was soo big that I just wanted it to be over Skimming through the book made even less sense of what I was reading as the story just jumped around and I had to read everything like a good little girl.Did the ending make sense Yes, yes it did.Will I be picking up the next book of this series
Dies at the End was adapted into a feature film and debuted at the Sundance film festival in 2012.
- 362 pages
- John Dies at the End
- David Wong
- 18 January 2018 David Wong