‘John Dies at the End’: An Almighty Mind Trip of a Scifi/Horror Novel

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Movie-Review-John-Dies-at-the-EndSTOP.  You should not have touched this flyer 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.   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 was my fault.

A few months ago, I wrote a review of ‘This Book is Full of Spiders’ which is actually the prequel to ‘John Dies at the End’. I ended up doing a little bit of a reverse all around for these books. I also watched the movie before I read the book (which is another one of those things that I don’t typically do). I needed to see how different the book was as compared to the book. While I did enjoy the movie, I’m a firm believer that the written word has so much more to offer.

I was correct.

This book is what I would like to call “an acid trip of a good time”. The story moves in so many different directions that you have to wonder how it is all going to tie together; and yet, it does all come together. From a walking, talking, possessed meat suit to shadow men, this book offers a plethora of horror, sci-fi, and fantasy all tied up into one book. David Wong (the pen name for Jason Pargin), wrote a very entertaining book that you just have to turn the next page so that you may marvel over where the hell his mind is going next.

If you have watched the movie, you only see about half of the book. There is whole additional story line in the book that covers even more insanity.  You learn more about the why’s and how’s about the Soy Sauce and why it effects people the way it does. You also get to learn about the history between Dave and Amy. Or is this really Dave? Or the real Amy? And did Molly really explode? What is John really doing? Ever?

How many realities are there?

Here’s the other reason why this book is great: it is funny. There are plenty tongue-in-cheek moments that make this story resonant with sarcastic folks who don’t take themselves all that serious. John and Dave’s reactions to the giant leeches, spiders with bad wigs, and other assorted critters are really believable. I can easily imagine people I know reacting the same. From a sullen acceptance to a stunned disbelief, the main character’s reactions run the gamut. These two are both endearing and deplorable at the same time when it comes to the personal beliefs and reactions.

What else is there to say? Not much unless I would want to give away key parts of the story.

If you enjoy your books just a little bit off, a little bit crazy, you should definitely check out John Dies at the End. When it comes to the weird and the insane, I think we should all look toward David Wong (Jason Pargin) for direction.

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