- Paperback: 480 pages
- Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; 3572nd edition (2011)
- Language: English
- ASIN: B007WN4MHK
- Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (1,278 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,808,455 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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John Dies at the End Paperback – 2011
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Top Customer Reviews
It's all about the soy sauce, a mysterious substance that "chooses" its takers and imbues them permanently with an ability to pick up on the doings of other dimensions. In the short term it can provide an insight into spacetime so profound as to tell them just where to go to get a large sum of cash, or how a chicken lived its life before becoming an entree. It's also the key to an invasion from the beyond, but it doesn't end there. The evil wants in, at any cost, and it's not above even cheap schoolyard-style bullying to get its way. Luckily, Dave and John know just how to handle that.
The bizarre thing about this book is that it is literally laugh-out-loud funny, but at the same time it's hide-under-the-bed scary. It is neither horror with comic relief nor comedy with a horror theme. It's both pure comedy and pure horror, two books coexisting in one, which should be impossible but somehow David Wong can pull it off. It kept me hooked right up to the end, for more reasons than just to find out how John dies.
That sounds like such a douchey comment, like, oh, now I'm an adult and I read "serious" literature, by guys who are only referred to by their last names, and I have no time for horror drivel.
Luckily, this isn't the case - I may be an adult, but I love all the horror drivel, good and bad, I can get my hands on. What I really mean is that, were I 16, I think I'd be a lot more likely to overlook the negatives of John Dies At The End in favor of all the good stuff.
And there is a lot of good stuff.
Above all, the book is insanely imaginative. So many fantastic monsters and creatures and creepy crawlies, so many fun worlds, and just when you think you've got it down, something comes along to completely surprise you.
John Dies At The End is also funny - really, really funny. Laugh out loud funny.
And the characters are simply fun to hang out with. Bill and Ted, Wayne and Garth, Dave and John. Anyone who doesn't enjoy spending a few hours with anyone on that list probably should stick to literature by guys who go by their last names.
The problems are in the storytelling. The book began as an installment penny dreadful sort of web ebook, and unfortunately, this continued into the final version. It's REALLY meandering and, worse, dragging. The first story is fine, but by story 2, you're really grasping for any sort of narrative direction to the whole thing, and by story 3...If I were reading on a weekly basis, it'd be fine, but something just kills it in a 400+ page book. Find a plot, go somewhere, make us feel like you're not just making this up as you go along.Read more ›
The horror aspect isn't really scary; I wouldn't personally call it horror because of that. More of a paranormal comedy, I guess. Even though a lot of the monsters sound ridiculous, at least they were creative and different from the typical werewolf/vampire stuff that seems to be plaguing stores. I liked David's tone; one thing I never got about first-person stories was that the narrator almost never talks like a real person--it's usually too well thought out to believe the person is talking to you. David definitely talks as if he's a real person. No fluff or overly thoughtful words... Just a lot of sarcasm and awkwardness.
The comedy... Was hit or miss. Several times I thought to myself that the book read like a 4chan thread because of how immature the jokes were. Some were funny, others were painful. If you like toilet humor, you'll probably enjoy this book. If you want something more sophisticated, you probably won't appreciate this much.
It was long. Too long. I don't have anything against novels being 400 pages, but JDatE seemed to drag on through parts. Some of the stuff could have been cut out or edited down when it was put into print. I do think that the story has potential to be good for the upcoming movie, though, so hopefully the director and screenwriters are able to take advantage of what is there without focusing too much on the superfluous parts.
If you want an easy read that has a sort of awkward, dirty sense of humor and a lot of WTF, you'll probably like this. If you want something deep and meaningful, you should probably look somewhere else.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I read this after David Wong's excellent "Futuristic Weapons & Fancy Suits". John Dies at the End doesn't read as fluently - but is still a lot of fun. Read morePublished 4 days ago by Andy Satterthwaite
Easily in the top three of best books I've ever read. Funny, gross, scary. Everything I want in a book.Published 5 days ago by holly
Hilarious. Immature. Great story of a little sci fi mixed with some action and comedy.Published 14 days ago by Xanatos
Wow, wow and WOW. What an amazing find..... This book opened my eyes to a whole new style of writing/reading. I laughed hysterically to myself throughout, and enjoyed every second. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Alisha Annandale
I wrote a review of this book shortly after it came out. It was up for a while, and then Amazon, in their infinite widsom, removed it. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Shelley
This book is now in the list of my favorites. David Wong created an insane tale full of dick jokes and horror. If that's not your cup of tea, this book is definitely not for you. Read morePublished 1 month ago by K.