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What the Hell Did I Just Read: A Novel of Cosmic Horror (John Dies at the End) Hardcover – October 3, 2017
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Praise for What the Hell Did I Just Read:
"Wong’s wildly mind-bending third installment (after This Book Is Full of Spiders) of the adventures of protagonist David Wong is filled with the humorous horror readers have come to expect.... While the story gleefully wallows in absurdity, thoughtful themes of addiction, perception, and the drive to do the right thing quickly emerge beneath the vivid and convoluted imagery. The plot’s rapid pace holds the reader’s attention to the truly bitter end." ―Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"Wong―in reality, Cracked.com executive editor Jason Pargin―burst onto the horror-comedy scene with his phantasmagorical novel John Dies at the End and has been steadily ratcheting up the madness ever since.... A frenetic, welcome return to Dave and John's grotesque but funny grindhouse nightmare." ―Kirkus Reviews
"Introduced in John Dies at the End and last seen in This Book Is Full of Spiders, Wong's (pen name of Jason Pargin) irreverent protagonists return in another action-packed horror adventure full of crude but effective humor. For fans of the humor website Cracked.com, of which Pargin is executive editor." ―Library Journal
"What the Hell Did I Just Read is reminiscent of Douglas Adams’s work, stuffed with layers of absurd pastiche." ―Washington Post
Praise for This Book is Full of Spiders:
“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... 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)
“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.” ―Kirkus
Praise for 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
“John Dies at the End is like an H.P. Lovecraft tale if Lovecraft were into poop and fart jokes. ” ―Fangoria
“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
“...strikes enough of a balance between hilarity, horror, and surrealism here to keep anyone glued to the story. ” ―Booklist
“A loopy buddy-movie of a book with deadpan humor and great turns of phrase...Just plain fun.” ―Library Journal
“You can (and will want to) read JOHN DIES AT THE END in one sitting.” ―BookReporter.com
“Wong blends horror and suspense with comedy--a tricky combination--and pulls it off effortlessly.” ―FashionAddict.com
“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
“This is one of the most entertaining and addictive novels I've ever read.” ―Jacob Kier, publisher, Permuted Press
About the Author
DAVID WONG is the pseudonym of Jason Pargin, New York Times bestselling author and executive editor at the hugely popular comedy site Cracked.com. His first book, John Dies at the End, lives forever as a cult-classic movie directed by Don Coscarelli, and his second, This Book is Full of Spiders, scares people on a daily basis.
Top customer reviews
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If it's too late for you, and you foolishly thought you could simply read the first two novels, and you'd just 'sleep it off,' think again. The only way to silence the egg mcmuffin screaming your darkest sins over the breakfast table is to finish what you started.
So, buy this already. Why are you still reading? You're already here, reading reviews. You must have some interest. I'm a mentally impaired random internet person, so I'm likely the most trustworthy opinion a sea of puckered sphincters. You showed me your lunch on instagram, remember? We're like best friends. Buy the book. I have never given you bad advice, ever. You weren't going to spend the money on anything better. If you don't buy it, your next facebook status had better read 'Hey guys,my twelve bucks is what finally cured cancer! We did it!' or we are so not friends any more. Buy it.
It's good. It's filled with all of the things that made me love the other books. However, this one veers in a more open ended direction. This is why my rating is a bit low. I enjoy vague or interpretive endings, but there are so many instances in WtHDIJR that conflict with the ending that it just leaves me feeling a bit disappointed in the final pages. This novel is definitely an example of the journey being more satisfying than the destination.
I'm hoping it isn't as vague as it initially appears and that when I eventually re-read this book things will clear up at least a little.
I don't want to spoil anything from the book so I won't go into detail about the conflicting instances I take issue with.
It isn't the first time the ending to one of these books didn't tie everything up in a neat little bow. The first book in the series actually has a huge plot hole that was left dangling that I hoped would maybe be cleared up in this one. It's possible that it was, but because of the vagueness of what actually occurred in the story it's hard to say.
Overall I loved this book and upon a second reading my rating may change. There is nothing wrong with a story adding clarity on a second or third read. The damage here is that there was too much left in the wind, too many questions left without answers, and the questions themselves being trivialized a bit by the ending.
It's just as funny, exciting, and horrifying as the other books, but the overall plot isn't as well executed as This Book is Full of Spiders.
I look forward to whatever David Wong's next project is. He is my favorite modern author and an inspiration in my own writing.
This book is for anyone who read the first two. Although it is readable as a standalone, you really should read the first two books before jumping into this one. For anyone wondering if they'll enjoy the first book, you'll like it if you enjoy meat monsters, crude humor, and a lingering existential dread that at any moment you could cease to exist in any capacity, not even being a memory in the hearts and minds of your loved ones.
If you read the reviews of this book and found that each review has mentioned the story differently even though we have read the same book, please just don't close the page and thought we are just crazy reviewers.
Because, frankly, I 'm not sure what I have been reading.
I'm sincerely not sure the story I read is the same with other readers's.
We each might have seen or read a different version of story.
It's up to what's your fear or desire ?!?
Really, even after finishing the book, I still can't tell what John and Dave have seen, and what Amy has seen, which one was 'Real'.
It seems both real at the same time.
I tried to root with John and Dave's because of the sauce effect, but I still had some doubt.
Like.. what if...
Well, it's really a mind game situations.
This book is full of chaos, confusions, hallucinations, etc...
Not much of humor as the first 2 books as I would like, but hey, it's a horror book.
The story goes in every direction at the same moment you may feel sick...but it's written so beautifully.
I love how David Wong created this world (town?) and was able to drag us, readers, into this world
and made us believe somewhere in our hearts that, the place really exists.
If you like book that has its ending very clear, you might found this one's not your expectation.
But well, that's the version I've read.
It may be different from yours.
John, Dave, and Amy head thirtywards in their new adventure, making do in [Undisclosed]'s dying economy. Amy's dropped out of college and works a phone services job, John makes some bank selling merchandise based on their adventures and has developed a drug habit, and Dave...Dave can't keep a job and it is wearing on him like an itchy hat he can't take off because of the spike holding it onto his skull. Thank goodness they still have that soul-draining supernatural work that pays absolutely nothing to fall back on.
This time Dave and John are called in to investigate what should be an ordinary missing child case. Not their thing, you say? You're totally right. Nevertheless we are soon hip-deep in angry parents with firearms, a Christian biker cult, a Korean porn star, and endless rain about to hit its 40-day mark. All that aside...something ain't right.
What the Hell Did I Just Read also features the best homemade weapon of the series. Fight me.