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John Dies at the End

by David Wong

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: John Dies At The End (1)

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3,2701663,572 (3.76)141
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)

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» See also 141 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 166 (next | show all)
This book is pretty humorous throughout but it is also way too long. For me, this is one of those rare instances where the movie was better than the book. The film told the same basic story much more succinctly. ( )
  ScoLgo | Feb 3, 2023 |
Wong, David. John Dies at the End. Permuted Press, 2007. John Dies at the End 1.
I heard a movie critic say that if the film Everything, Everywhere, All at Once had been made in the 1960s, most of the audience would have been on acid. The same might be said about David Wong’s John Dies at the End. On one level, it is a sendup of Lovecraftian horror, but it is also a sendup of postmodern style and pop culture with artistic pretensions. John and his friend David wander through a series of bizarre drug-induced horrors whose connection with reality becomes ever more tenuous. It’s flashy stuff but in the end, it seems as empty as the culture it parodies. David Wong, a.k.a. Jason Pargin, was once the editor of cracked.com, whose articles, with titles like “Five Metal-As-Hell Burial Sites You Can Actually Visit,” offer the same sort of put-on parody as the novel. Since I lived through the 1960s, it all seems a bit passé. 4 stars. ( )
  Tom-e | Jan 27, 2023 |
1.5 stars

So happy to be done I haven't been so happy to finish a book in a long time. The concept is really interesting and I wanted to care but the constant penis jokes/taunts/fascination, use of the word "retarded" as a descriptor for people or situations, and, well, the author's voice and style all combined to make this a painful read. I wouldn't have finished it at all if I didn't need a book starting with "J" for an A-Z title challenge.

I'm sure I would have enjoyed it much more if I were a teen-aged boy. ( )
  amcheri | Jan 5, 2023 |
This book is FAR better than the already pretty good movie. There is so much that goes on in the book and while reading through it my brain kept switching my perception of what might actually be going on. It's a fun read and a fairly quick one despite it being a rather thick book. So packed with craziness, adventure, and wacky action, I couldn't put it down. I definitely do not recommend it to everyone, but to those that like the weirder stuff. Approach it with an open mind and strap in for a weird ride. ( )
  HazeyRecollect | Dec 8, 2022 |
Maybe David Wong is hilarious but his writing is tedious. Where was the editor? If something could be said in 10 words, Wong used 25 for good measure. This didn't help with the plot, the humor, or description.

Want someone who CAN write a humorous horror or science fiction story? Try Grady Hendrix, Barry Hutchinson, or Alexander C. Kane.
  paroof | Nov 29, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 166 (next | show all)
John Dies at the End is a novel written by David Wong (Pseudonym for Jason Parguin) that was first published 2007 by Permuted Press.
The book really cannot be described as horror, nor is it really a thriller. There are elements of Sci Fi, Noir, Hard Boiled Detective, Comedy and a few other genres. The book in turns reminds me of Raymond Chandler, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, Charles Burn’s comic books, The work of the Church of Subgenus, Jack Chick Tracts, The Outer Limits TV show and more. There are times when the work has stupid dick jokes and quips that make me roll my eyes, other times I’m pasting post it notes to mark a poignant passage. This is possibly the most mixed up and ADHD work I have ever read. (I have ADHD so I can say that.)
I enjoyed the work immensely as I have all of this authors other works. I can’t say I am a rabid fan, but I liked this author’s works enough to seek it out and read it all so that speaks, Pun unintended- Volumes.
I had some times where I was impatient with the book, but eventually these parts always paid off. I was dismayed as the long list of racial slurs that litter this work, some more than others. This book may offend some people, so warning. I don’t mean just a few but some racial slurs I won’t repeat are said so often it made me take pause. I don’t believe that the work is racist in any obvious sense, but there is something there when the words are used so often that it starts to make me feel uncomfortable. Some of Wong’s fans may say I’m making too much of it, but if you have not read the book I want you to know about that beforehand. The fact that a non-Chinese man uses a Chinese name as a kind of fun Pseudonym may offend others as well so that’s something to ponder. I’ve wondered why this author continues to keep the Pseudonym. Only he can say.
I do recommend this work to anyone, it’s very well written and fun. I enjoyed it immensely.
“Scientists talk about dark matter, the invisible, mysterious substance that occupies the space between stars. Dark matter makes up 99.99 percent of the universe, and they don't know what it is. Well I do. It's apathy. That's the truth of it; pile together everything we know and care about in the universe and it will still be nothing more than a tiny speck in the middle of a vast black ocean of Who Gives a Fuck.”
― David Wong, John Dies at the End
The book was followed by a sequel, This Book Is Full of Spiders, in 2012.
added by deanjonesshow | editmy own view, Dean Jones (May 25, 2018)
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 editionscalculated
Arnold, RichDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Grom, RobCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Spear, GeoffCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Solving the following riddle will reveal the awful secret behind the universe, assuming you do not go utterly mad in the attempt.
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 (3)

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."

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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.
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Average: (3.76)
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