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John Dies at the End by David Wong
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John Dies at the End (edition 2007)

by David Wong

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1,627874,452 (3.84)76
Member:ajhackwith
Title:John Dies at the End
Authors:David Wong
Info:Permuted Press (2007), Paperback, 376 pages
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John Dies at the End by David Wong

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Showing 1-5 of 87 (next | show all)
My take: 3.5 stars
This is the weirdest, craziest, oddest book I have ever read. And that's saying a lot. It is weird, yes, but oh so entertaining.

Warning: Do not read this if you are at all offended by the "F" word, kittens being kicked and dogs being blown up, penis envy and adoration, or gratuitous blood and gore.

However, if you can breeze past these things, you are in for one wild ride.

John and David are modern day heroes. They are borderline slacker-college-drop-out-losers, but step up to the plate when they see that their way of life, heck-probably the very planet, is in danger. Armed with a drug called "soy sauce" and very little fear, they jump with both feet into saving the world.

At 658 pages as an iBook, but was about 200 pages too long for me, but to persist is to benefit from a crazy, made-up ending and a taste for the sequel. This has been made into a movie, set to release in January 2013. I don't know how they made this into a movie, but I thought that about "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy", too. Like that one, I will probably skip it on the big screen in favor of the images in my head. The book is always better.

Recommended. ( )
  CarmenMilligan | Jan 18, 2016 |
This is hard to rate. There were moments when I laughed out loud, and other points where I struggled to keep turning the pages. The action felt nonsensical, like it was written with a random-word generator. Like(my words, not his), "we ran into a room, and there were huge bat-things flying around. They had snake-like heads. They opened their mouths, and eggplants fell out. The eggplants turned into turtles with six feet..." It's all fun for a paragraph or so, but brutal when it goes on for pages and pages. Like listening to a kid describe his dream for two hours.

However, points to Wong for coming up with a way to counter all accusations of plot holes: "Oh, that was an alternate timeline." There were some loose threads left hanging that really bothered me, but, hey, alternate timeline, what're you gonna do?

The concepts of time and space were both fascinating and horrifying. And he created two great characters. No matter what happened, I found John and Dave to be completely appealing. They'd come up with these terrible plans, and they'd fail horribly and hilariously. (Needs to work on his female characters, though, as I found myself thinking of them as Girlfriend A and Girlfriend B.)

It was a mixed bag, but it's rare to find a book this bizarre. I'm willing to forgive a lot when I'm getting something that celebrates weirdness. I can feel the vibe of "I wrote this for fun, and I'm not overly concerned with what other people think of it." If the alternative is over-processed story product, then I'd rather listen to some kid's crazy dream.

Favorite quotes:

Page 10 (hardcover):
I reached for the knob. At the same moment it began to melt and transform, turning pink and finally taking the shape of a flaccid penis. It flopped softly against the door, like a man was cramming it through the knob hole from the other side.

I turned back to John and said, "That door cannot be opened."

Page 128:
The beast was batted away by a folding chair, wielded by John.

He screamed "YEAH!" in a dead-on impersonation of pro wrestler "Macho Man" Randy Savage, grasping the folded chair by two legs. He swung again and flattened another of the beasts, screaming, "Have a seat, bitch!"


P. 134:
Folding chairs were flying through the air as if propelled by dozens of invisible Bobby Knights.

P. 333:
And with that, everything snapped into place for me. All the pieces of the puzzle. If you figured it out before now, well, go win a Nobel Prize, Mr. Genius. ( )
  Malora | Jan 18, 2016 |
Gave up halfway through. Too random, too episodic.
  Skribe | Jan 15, 2016 |
When a levitating Jamaican offers you a drug called Soy Sauce then explodes in his trailer, you know something bad's going to happen. Suddenly, you can see ghosts and monsters and it's now your job to get rid of them. That's how David Wong and his best friend John found themselves fighting the paranormal. But it got worse. An ancient Evil named Korrok is now after the duo, hurling monsters and shadow people their way, possessing people and making dogs explode. Ya, I said it. A dog explodes, then reappears as if nothing has happened. That's only because Evil Korrok and his minions can duplicate lifeforms, possess them and make them explode. You think that sounds strange? Well, you just have to read this book. Then you start to wonder first, why you even picked up this book, and second, what drug was the author on when he wrote this book! Believe me, never having done hallucinogenic drugs, this is the closest I'm going to get to the experience. I don't know that there was a point to this book. There were comedic moments, the whole relationship between David and John is hilarious, but most of it was the author outdoing one weird thing with another. If anything, it was entertaining. ( )
  bouldermimi | Jan 13, 2016 |
I haven't read anything this funny since my serendipitous meeting with Christopher Moore's You Suck: A Love Story a few years ago.

The narrator is also named David Wong (startling nom de plume, I know). He works at a video rental joint and has somehow developed a friendship with John, who is literally the craziest bastard I have ever read about. Seriously, the stuff that happens doesn't even faze him. I never saw anyone else kill a monster made out of meat slabs while yelling really bad puns.

I was terrified and laughing my ass off at the exact same things. Case in point, one freaky thing is described as wearing a blonde wig and is thereafter referred to as a wig monster. Jaws, teeth, wings, talons... and, we can only assume, a desire to star in Some Like It Hot.

JD@E has some truly unexpected gems - "Molly's furry ass rolled across my face" was my favorite - and the creepy factor does not go down a notch. Pee from terror, pee from laughter, it's all warm.

For the record, Molly is a dog. Don't look at me like that. If your car rolled over and your dog fell on you, I'm pretty sure its furry *something* could roll across your face. Yeah, that's a visual. You're welcome.

Gave this one an A, as in "and you're going to release a sequel when?" ( )
  grammarchick | Jan 5, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 87 (next | show all)
JDATE is 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. Plot-wise, for a good two-thirds of the book, it seems like Wong is more interested in piling on weirder and weirder threats than fitting the pieces together, and while his invention never flags, the accumulation of horrors eventually threatens to turn the narrative into a breathless series of “And then?”s. Still, the tone and white-knuckle pacing cover up a lot of sins, and Wong manages to pull everything together for a finale that’s both stomach-churningly freaky and oddly moving. It’s the sort of thing that leaves readers breathless and nauseous, but surprisingly hungry for more.
 

» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
David Wongprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Arnold, RichDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Grom, RobCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Spear, GeoffCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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First words
Solving the following riddle will reveal the awful secret behind the universe, assuming you do not go utterly mad in the attempt.
Quotations
Something coming back from the dead was almost always bad news. Movies taught me that. For every one Jesus you get a million zombies.
Let's say you have an ax. Just a cheap one, from Home Depot. On one bitter winter day, you use said ax to behead a man. Don't worry, the man was already dead. Or maybe you should worry, because you're the one who shot him.
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Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
STOP.You should not have touched this book with your bare hands.NO, don’t put it down. It’s too late.They’re watching you.My name is David Wong. My best friend is John. Those names are fake. You might want to change yours.You may not want to know about the things you’ll read on these pages, about the sauce, about Korrok, about the invasion, and the future. But it’s too late. You touched the book. You’re in the game. You’re under the eye.The only defense is knowledge. You need to read this book, to the end. Even the part with the bratwurst. Why? You just have to trust me. The important thing is this:The drug is called Soy Sauce and it gives users a window into another dimension. John and I never had the chance to say no. You still do.Unfortunately for us, if you make the right choice, we’ll have a much harder time explaining how to fight off the otherworldly invasion currently threatening to enslave humanity.I’m sorry to have involved you in this, I really am. But as you read about these terrible events and the very dark epoch the world is about to enter as a result, it is crucial you keep one thing in mind: None of this is was my fault.

In this reissue of an Internet phenomenon originally slapped between two covers in 2007 by indie Permutus Press, Wong—Cracked.com editor Jason Pargin's alter ego—adroitly spoofs the horror genre while simultaneously offering up a genuinely horrifying story. The terror is rooted in a substance known as “soy sauce,” a paranormal psychoactive that opens video store clerk Wong's—and his penis-obsessed friend John's—minds to higher levels of consciousness. Or is it just hell seeping into the unnamed Midwestern town where Wong and the others live? Meat monsters, wig-wearing scorpion aberrations and wingless white flies that burrow into human skin threaten to kill Wong and his crew before infesting the rest of the world. A multidimensional plot unfolds as the unlikely heroes drink lots of beer and battle the paradoxes of time and space, as well as the clichés of first-person-shooter video games and fantasy gore films. 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. 

David Wong is the pseudonym of Jason Pargin, online humorist, National Lampoon contributor, and editor-in-chief of Cracked.com.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0312659148, Paperback)

NOW A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE

STOP.

You should not have touched this book with your bare hands.

NO, don’t put it down. It’s too late.

They’re watching you.

My name is David Wong. My best friend is John. Those names are fake. You might want to change yours.

You may not want to know about the things you’ll read on these pages, about the sauce, about Korrok, about the invasion, and the future. But it’s too late. You touched the book. You’re in the game. You’re under the eye.

The only defense is knowledge. You need to read this book, to the end. Even the part with the bratwurst. Why? You just have to trust me.

 

The important thing is this:

The drug is called Soy Sauce and it gives users a window into another dimension. 

John and I never had the chance to say no. 

You still do.

Unfortunately for us, if you make the right choice, we’ll have a much harder time explaining how to fight off the otherworldly invasion currently threatening to enslave humanity.

            I’m sorry to have involved you in this, I really am. But as you read about these terrible events and the very dark epoch the world is about to enter as a result, it is crucial you keep one thing in mind:

 

None of this is was my fault.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:28 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

This may be the story of John and David, a drug called soy sauce, and other-worldly beings invading the planet. Or, it may be the story of two beer-drinking friends who live in an unnamed Midwestern town and only think something horrific is going on. But the important thing is, according to the narrator, "None of this is my fault.".… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 5 descriptions

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