Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ Free Shipping
John Dies at the End Hardcover – September 29, 2009
|New from||Used from|
Inspire a love of reading with Amazon Book Box for Kids
Discover delightful children's books with Amazon Book Box, a subscription that delivers new books every 1, 2, or 3 months — new Amazon Book Box Prime customers receive 15% off your first box. Learn more.
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Frequently bought together
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
“John Dies at the End…[is] a case of the author trying to depict actual, soul-sucking lunacy, and succeeding with flying colors.” ―Fangoria
“David Wong is like a mash-up of Douglas Adams and Stephen King . . . ‘page-turner' is an understatement.” ―Don Coscarelli, director, Phantasm I–V and Bubba Ho-tep
“David Wong has managed to write that rarest of things---a genuinely scary story.” ―David Wellington, author of Monster Island and Vampire Zero
“The rare genre novel that manages to keep its sense of humor strong without ever diminishing the scares.” ―The Onion AV Club
“Sure to please the Fangoria set while appealing to a wider audience, the book's smart take on fear manages to tap into readers' existential dread on one page, then have them laughing the next.” ―Publishers Weekly
“When it's funny, it's laugh-out-loud funny, yet when the situation calls for chills, it provides them in spades.” ―Kirkus Reviews
- Publisher : Thomas Dunne Books; 1st Printing edition (September 29, 2009)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 384 pages
- ISBN-10 : 031255513X
- ISBN-13 : 978-0312555139
- Item Weight : 1.55 pounds
- Dimensions : 6 x 1 x 9 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #184,536 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Character development was non-existent, dialog was ridiculous, the humor centered around fart jokes, and the plot was meandering and non-sensical. There was a lot to not like here...
But "retarded?" I mean, I stopped using that word when I was a teenager and realized it's just crass and offensive. The medical profession that gave rise to the word has recognized it's an outdated term and discontinued its usage. How an "executive editor at Cracked.com" thinks this is an appropriate and indispensable element of his writing is beyond me.
When I first heard about the film (which, as of this writing. I still have not yet watched) I thought, “Heck Yeah! Horror, sci-fi, and comedy all mashed into one ... those are my favorite genres, so this should be awesome!” And when I discovered it was based on a book, I got super excited at the prospect that someone had mashed up those genres as a novel first, which made me practically salivate with excitement. Again, like I mentioned and as you can see, I definitely overburdened this whole thing with far too unrealistic expectations.
As I worked through the first chapter, I quickly began to sense that this was, in fact, not going to become a favorite book of mine. The author’s sense of humor, for me, was a complete misfire from the get-go, and the confusing storyline, mixed with ill-defined characters really made this a challenging read. From there, things didn’t get much better, as the plot was all over the place, and the primary conflict didn’t seem to emerge until more than halfway through book, which is a major writing no-no. For most of the book, I’m thinking, what in the tarnation is going on and why does it even matter (yes, I turned into a Yosemite Sam-like rage monster)?
That being said, once the final picture began to emerge in the final chapter (facepalm) I did begin to enjoy what I was reading. The true villain was finally revealed, and boy howdy, it’s incredible and the book, at long last, became the page-turner I had hoped for. Sadly, 1 fairly okay chapter with a brilliant flourish here and there hasn’t been enough to change my opinion of this book. However, I am now hopeful that because the last quarter of the book was fairly good, the sequel might have continued that momentum and be a decent or good read. I’m not hopeful enough to tackle it just yet, but may do so in the future after a taking a substantial break from this author and his style.
As for a recommendation, I can’t do so heartily, but this book does have many fans, so I’m wondering if I might be an anomaly of sorts. I recommend that those who are curious about this book sample the first chapter; it is very indicative of the quality of most of this book. If you read it and are blown away, the odds are fairly good that you will love this book. On the other hand, if you read it and are unimpressed, I recommend you find something else to spend your time on.
I actually slowed the speed of the audiobook to 95% to try to help. Unfortunately, that only partially mitigated the problem when he speaks to fast but then made it painful when he speaks too slow. Do yourself a favor and read the book instead of listening to it. It really is a great story with hilarious dialogue and descriptions. The narrator just ruins it.
Top reviews from other countries
I CAN believe there are people who would hate this book. In fact, I'm probably married to one of them. That doesn't matter, just try not to let them read it. It's better if most people don't know the truth anyway. Hell is all around us but we just can't see it. Lucky us. Stay off the sauce (but you don't take the sauce...the sauce takes you...)
I won't synopsize, others already have. The ideas are wild, dazzlingly crazy, bold and confident. It's "horrible" and undeniably "horror", but not horrifying (unless you're offended by frequent references to genitalia, usually in the form of improbable boasting or implausible threats). I probably wouldn't encourage a (human) 8yo to read it but anyone over about 13 could do worse than have a look.
I'll start with the negatives. I found the humour more consistently present than ever actually capable of producing a laugh. I appreciate Wong's commitment lack of embarrassment with juvenile humour, as it should be, but his particular brand just never really hit home for me. Particularly the titular John, who is clearly meant to be a zany dude who's a laugh a minute to be around, I found no more interesting or funny than any of the rest of the cast.
Another slight disappointment for me (which comes with a mild spoiler warning for anyone who wants to start reading with as little known about the plot as possible) was how the start of the book suggested the main characters might actually just be insane and that the paranormal goings on are all imagined. However, that idea is quickly brushed aside in favour of a plot with a much larger scale. It's not without its twists and turns but the implied ambiguity was intriguing.
The characters are also somewhat weak. Aside from the protagonist, characters seem to exist solely to serve a purpose and have very basic objectives of their own. Other characters are introduced and disappear again almost without any input to the story at all. While that fits somewhat with the somewhat dream-like quality much of the book has, it feels very much inorganic.
The plot was interesting, easily enough to hold my attention to the finish, though I think it was a little too explicit towards the end, explaining things that would have been more terrifying if they remained a mystery. It is also a bit meandery (is that even a word?), and you can almost tell that it was written and released in pieces. I strongly suspect Wong mostly made it up as he went along, or something close to it. It's the mysteries, though, that are the driving force behind the story that will push you to the last page, even if a few too many of them are demystified, in my opinion.
The best part of this book, as far as I'm concerned, is the horror. Wong crafts tension quite well in several places but it's more the creative, terrifying ideas that really sell it. Sure, some of Wong's influences are obvious but all the best horror plays on anxieties hard coded into the human psyche that are thousands of years old. Some almost familiar moments are to be expected.
Overall, I don't feel I wasted my time reading this book but at the same time I would hesitate to recommend it. For horror genre fans, it's definitely worth a look at least. For everyone else, there are likely more enjoyable reads out there for you to discover.
But as a literary work, it doesn’t entirely work for me. The ideas and plot just don’t flow, and often you get lost in the narrative, not entirely sure what the characters are working towards or why they are going where they are going. There are also some interesting set pieces, and technically the premise COULD work, but doesn’t, because the writing isn’t strong enough.
This was a struggle to rate between a 2 and a 3 star, I’d probably settle on 2.5, so generously rounded it up to three. This book will be for some people, but certainly not for all, and I think I fall in the latter camp.
I want to break the story down into every scene and how brilliant it is. But i don't want to spoil the many surprises the story has.
Just buy it!