- Series: John Dies at the End (Book 1)
- Paperback: 480 pages
- Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; Reprint edition (September 14, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9780312659141
- ISBN-13: 978-0312659141
- ASIN: 0312659148
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.3 x 8.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 1,413 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #34,445 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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John Dies at the End Paperback – September 14, 2010
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“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
“The book takes every pop culture trend of the past twenty years, peppers it with 14-year-old dick and fart humor, and blends it all together with a huge heaping of splatterpunk gore…. Successfully blend[s] laugh-out-loud humor with legitimate horror.” ―i09.com
About the Author
DAVID WONG is the pseudonym of Jason Pargin, Senior Editor and columnist for humor megasite Cracked.com.
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If you're coming to this via the movie? The movie is pretty much an entirely different creature; if you're given the choice, read the book first, see the movie second.
This incredibly entertaining, suspenseful, eerie, funny genre-buster avoids the cliches and set-pieces of most horror-SF, and manages to be transcendentally creepy without the dragging dreariness and archaic stilted prose of Lovecraft, but echoing his elements of *truly* otherworldly strangeness that, although entirely alien, hang together as individually-glimpsed facets of an underlying connecting horror that is all the more chilling for being only murkily outlined... but here, full of weird and cutting comedy, driven by characters you badly want to know personally.
Think, the Hardy Boys explore Lovecraftian horror, but the Hardy Boys are young Hunter S. Thompson and Johnny Knoxville.
This is that rare book that will get raves both from people that are devoted, sophisticated readers, and from people that hate to read and haven't cracked a book since high school. Got a kid who can handle adult themes and won't crack a book? Give 'em this.
Further: Wong is (in terms of what I've stumbled across, I'm not an expert) kind of a ringleader in a band of writers that are destroying boundaries and cliches in SF/horror/superhero/action/noir genres. If you like this book, and Wong's others, and start biting your nails anticipating his next, you'll certainly also like Robert Brockway's superb "The Unnoticeables." (Max Landis, who wrote "American Ultra," "Chronicle" and "Superman: American Alien" is another guy writing some fresh-direction takes on established tropes.)
David Wong is sui generi -- and you'll enjoy his work whether you know what that means or not, which is saying something in terms of wide appeal.
Eleven stars on a scale of one to ten.
In the book David and his friend John are roped into a series of horrifying events around town, as people die or go missing in gruesome ways. The events are traced back to a drug called soy sauce, sold to the citzens of Undisclosed by Robert Marley. From there, the plot unfolds not unlike an HP Lovecraft novel, with dark cosmic powers unleashing misery and dick jokes on the world.
The best thing about the book is the humor. John and David are fun people, and Wong can certainly write well. Most of the jokes are admittedly crude toilet humor, but if that's your style of humor, you can't do much better. The horror is also well done, capturing the hopelessness and shock of the characters well.
The books only real problem is how it was released. This book was released piecemeal online, and it shows, with the narrative getting more and more lost as the book goes on. This makes the end result very confusing and makes a decent chunk of the book seem meandering in retrospect. Still, it's a fun novel, one I would recommend to anyone of college age.