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What the Hell Did I Just Read (John Dies at the End) Paperback – 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
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--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
About the Author
David Wong is the pseudonym of Jason Pargin, online humorist, National Lampoon contributor, and editor-in-chief of Cracked.com.
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It's still very enjoyable, but the only time I think that's really funny is the references of joy Park and John's narration, other than that it's a wierd horror novel that has protagonists seeing different things and having a more realistic ending than the rest of the series...
What the Hell did I just Read is very aptly titled, and the perfect name for the book because you do ask that question in many different ways through out the book, but never in disapproval (the second book was very aptly titled too as the book was full of what could arguably be spiders)
It's still a very enjoyable read, but it's very depressing, and after reading this and all but his first novel, I think David Wong really wants to write a more serious novel about poverty and the mental toll on it. I think he has a story he's begging to tell but is afraid that people won't read it unless it has dick jokes. I'm not saying stop with the dick jokes as the guy can obviously write them, but he's got a fantastic dramatic novel he's dying to get on the page but he spurts it out in sci-fi and horror novels... he can easily write the best novel with poverty and it's views in mind...
I was listening to a Tim Ferriss interview with TIm O'Reilly and O'Reilly said something beautiful and very true about fictional books and history: He said that history books are written looking back, but if you really want the mindset of the people back then and how it happens, you read the fiction written during that time. This is a vote of confidence to the novel that David Wong (real name Jason Pargin) wants to write, and how it could have more of an impact than he'd expect at the time, but it might take a few years.
If you're still reading this, buy the book, I went loopy a bit but it's a great weekend read and while you're at it read the rest of his novels... also there's an issue with the kindle book and hardback book where it gets swallowed up in hell when you read it (even the kindle version, Amazon said the warranty wasn't covered), and you'll want to read it a few times so buy three or four copies.
Other than that, a terrific book, and I quite loved it. Book 4 can't get here fast enough to suit me.
I would suggest reading at least the first book in the series, and then this one twice, just so things start to make sortof sense.
I'm going to keep this short and say that if you like the previous two novels then you will like this one as well. It was a well crafted horror story with some surprisingly insightful depictions of the human condition and depression.
As for the tension and horror aspect I think his second novel 'This Book is Full of Spiders' was more successful in a more of a horror/action movie sort of way. I remember being glued to that book because of the sense of danger, whereas this horror here was more psychological.
Either way, a great read and very entertaining. I hope he works on a sequel for 'Futuristic Violence and Fancy Suits' next.
Excellent book if you like cosmic horror and humor. I'd recommend to any Lovecraftian fan.
I felt a bit disappointed by the ending of this book, the story had a lot of energy for most of the book, then really diminished at the end. Things didn't feel very resolved, but not in a good/mysterious way. Also, at times, it felt like the author was struggling to pad out the length of the book to hit their deadline. There are several instances where references to old Cracked articles were pulled in, and didn't seem like they fit very well. Much like a rose wilting in the desert heat, they seemed like strained and forced analogies.
Those complaints aside, I did overall enjoy the book.