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This Book Is Full of Spiders: Seriously, Dude, Don't Touch It (John Dies at the End) Paperback – October 8, 2013
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“Kevin Smith's Clerks meets H.P. Lovecraft in this exceptional thriller that makes zombies relevant again… From the dialogue to the descriptions, lines are delivered with faultless timing and wit. Wong never has to reach for comedy, it flows naturally with nary a stumble… the most pertinent story of the genre since George Romero's Dawn of the Dead… a tighter, more concentrated read than John Dies at the End… David Wong (Jason Pargin) is a fantastic author with a supernatural talent for humor. If you want a poignant, laugh-out-loud funny, disturbing, ridiculous, self-aware, socially relevant horror novel than This Book is Full of Spiders: Seriously Dude, Don't Touch It is the one and only book for you.” ―SF Signal
“The comedic and crackling dialogue also brings a whimsical flair to the story, making it seem like an episode of AMC's "The Walking Dead" written by Douglas Adams of "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy." …Imagine a mentally ill narrator describing the zombie apocalypse while drunk, and the end result is unlike any other book of the genre. Seriously, dude, touch it and read it.” ―Washington Post
“[A] phantasmagoria of horror, humor--and even insight into the nature of paranoia, perception, and identity.” ―Publishers Weekly, starred review
“Violence, soy sauce and zombie survivalists abound in this clever and funny sequel to John Dies at the End (2009). One of the great things about discovering new writers, especially in the narrow range of hybrid-genre comedic novels, is realizing that they're having just as much fun making this stuff up as you are reading it. Sitting squarely with the likes of S.G. Browne and Christopher Moore, the pseudonymous Wong (Cracked editor Jason Pargin) must be pissing himself laughing at his own writing, even as he's giving fans an even funnier, tighter and justifiably insane entry in the series.... The humor here is unforced and good-naturedly gory. Anyone who enjoyed the recent films The Cabin in the Woods or Tucker & Dale vs. Evil will find themselves right at home. An upcoming (cult?) film adaptation of John Dies at the End promises to lure new readers. A joyful return to the paroxysms of laughter lurking in the American Midwest.” ―Kirkus
“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 on John Dies at the End
“…strikes enough of a balance between hilarity, horror, and surrealism here to keep anyone glued to the story.” ―Booklist on John Dies at the End
“You can (and will want to) read JOHN DIES AT THE END in one sitting.” ―BookReporter.com on John Dies at the End
“Wong blends horror and suspense with comedy--a tricky combination--and pulls it off effortlessly.” ―FashionAddict.com on John Dies at the End
“It’s interesting, compelling, engaging, arresting and--yes--sometimes even horrifying. And when it’s not being any of those things, it’s funny. Very, very funny.” ―January Magazine on John Dies at the End
“This is one of the most entertaining and addictive novels I've ever read.” ―Jacob Kier, publisher, Permuted Press, on John Dies at the End
“The rare genre novel that manages to keep its sense of humor strong without ever diminishing the scares; David is a consistently hilarious narrator whose one-liners and running commentary are sincere in a way that makes the horrors he confronts even more unsettling.” ―The Onion AV Club on John Dies at the End
“A loopy buddy-movie of a book with deadpan humor and great turns of phrase...Just plain fun.” ―Library Journal on John Dies at the End
“John Dies at the End is like an H.P. Lovecraft tale if Lovecraft were into poop and fart jokes.” ―Fangoria on John Dies at the End
“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 on John Dies at the End
About the Author
DAVID WONG is the pseudonym of Jason Pargin, Senior Editor and columnist for humor megasite Cracked.com. He is the author of John Dies at the End and This Book Is Full of Spiders.
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You can definitely tell this book was written with more direction and coherency, the entire book focusing on one storyline and sticking with it until the very end, as opposed to his first book which had two or three different stories within it. Personally, I preferred this one. It separates the three main characters of the last book, Amy, John and (Monster)Dave, for a portion of the book and their individual character really comes through in these segments. John especially gains some kind of depth beyond a spastic lunatic, there's much more explanation of Amy's internal processing, and Dave is.
still Dave. Which is fine. I love Dave the way he is. Hopelessly flawed and a horrid person, but still endearing somehow.
There's also a short preview to Wong's next, unrelated, book, Futuristic Violence and Fancy Suits. I read this five chapter preview and have already ordered it. It looks to be Wong's best book yet.
Reader Nick Poedehl does an unnervingly good job of handling both male and female voices, even in action sequences that require shouting or frantic fear. I could tell characters apart easily from his inflections, which matters because in some places voices intrude on a conversation and it matters how long it takes you to realize who's talking.
The plot might not be bulletproof but it was clearly written by a guy who is familiar with TVTropes and worked to anticipate objections on the grounds of plausibility or consistency. Horror stories often just take it for granted that you'll turn off your critical faculties; Wong will let you get away with doing so, but he rewards you if you don't.
Having just finished "This Book Is Full of Spiders" at 2 AM this morning, I'm happy to report Wong has ironed out the kinks without losing the charm.
Somewhere between these two books, I think Wong must have taken a class on story structure, or maybe sold his soul to the devil or something. In either case, Spiders is a polished, carefully-crafted piece of storytelling, and it shows. Though Wong hits the gas on the scares and action pretty early, he's now smart enough not to keep his foot on the pedal the whole time. John Dies was comedy-horror fired out of a shotgun. Spiders cuts like a surgeon's scalpel.
Starting within the framework of your basic "zombie outbreak / city on lockdown" story, Wong slowly layers on the sense of mystery and dread. This IS a Wong book, though, so we always know that it's just a matter of time until something horrible and otherworldly explodes out of someone's ass, and the story takes its next sharp left turn into deeper weirdness, more dire straits, broader humor, bigger action, higher stakes, and even tighter tension. Wong shoves the reader into one bats***crazy scenario after another -- and then before the reader even has time to orient, he shakes the hell out of them, cackles gleefully in their face, makes a dick joke, and shoves them on to the next one.
The characters are deeper, the jokes are more relevant (if less frequent), the scares are bigger (and darker, and loom larger), and Wong even has a thing or two to say about the nature of mass hysteria.
Spiders comes highly recommended.
The familiar characters are back, with some great new additions. The book has some truly terrifying imagery that will satisfy your horror bent; but before you can ever get too entirely grossed out, you'll be giggling at sophomoroic counter-humor.
And yes, this book is full of spiders. FULL. Not even regular scary earth spiders; these are creepy horror story spiders that have tongues. Gross piled on top of horrific. I can't stand spiders, and the whole first quarter of the book made my skin crawl.
Audiobook note: The audiobook is read by Nick Podehl, who is absolutely fantastic.