John Dies at the End

26 Sep

John Dies at the End by David Wong, 2009

... or does he?John said the thing was as tall as the truck and walked on six legs that looked horned and armoured, like something seen at a seafood buffet. But there was a part that had the feel of a mammal, too, fur and arms. Please remember that from John’s distance the beast would have been the size of a dime, so I won’t criticize his crab-riding monkey description even though we all know it’s retarded.

That passage sums up David Wong’s John Dies at the End pretty well. There’s the horror element of the weird monster thing, and there’s the humour of a guy talking crap about his best mate. And if I were to sum up the book in two words, ‘horror’ and ‘humour’ would be the ones I’d use.

But that would be a ridiculously short review, and we all know I like to go on about these books. So too bad – get ready for more words!

So yeah, horror. I love horror movies and used to devour whatever Stephen King books I could get my hands on (now, I’m not such a fan of his work – sadly, Mr King lost me a while ago). I very rarely get spooked by scary movies, but this book gave me the creeps, y’all. Even now, days after I finished it, some of the images pop into my head when I walk into my bedroom without turning the light on first. I just know there’s something crouching in the dark with a hideous half animal/half human face, ready to attack me… and that’s just my sister! (Couldn’t resist, sorry.)

It’s all based around a drug called soy sauce, which opens users’ minds to other levels of consciousness. But then there are flying wig-monsters with baby hands, scorpion tails and a handful of eyes, as well as beings that gather in the shadows, a monster made of meat, and an ancient evil named Korrok which is trying to take over the world. And it’s up to the protagonist and his friend John to save us all.

It’s as crazy as that sounds, but it actually works. There are monsters galore, love and lust, a trip to Vegas, time/multidimensional travel, beer drinking, computer games, and a dog that just can’t die.

And the writing! Oh my, the writing. David Wong is a freaking genius. He’s a senior editor at Cracked, one of my favourite humour sites, so it’s not surprising that he can bring the funny. (Interested parties should read the background of the book – it was first written as an internet series, and is now being turned into a movie starring Paul Giamatti.) But he can also create amazingly accurate and clever images for the reader. As such:

And so, feeling like men trying to work a jigsaw puzzle blindfolded and using only our butt cheeks to grip the pieces, we left.

Sometimes it’s not so G-rated, but still manages to be quite eloquent:

Fuck that. Fuck that idea like the fucking captain of the Thai Fuck Team fucking at the Fucking Tour de Fuck.

Oh, and the next time you go to sleep, try NOT to think about this image:

Somebody said my name, asked if I was okay. I didn’t answer, the sound of the commotion dying around me as the heavy monkey of sleep rested its warm, furry ass on my eyelids.

Heavy monkey of sleep and his warm, furry ass, indeed.

This was another installment in my MS Novel Challenge. Sponsor me?

 

Advertisements

4 Responses to “John Dies at the End”

  1. nae September 26, 2011 at 11:05 pm #

    What did you think of the trailer? Is it going to make a difference to your enjoyment of the book?

  2. M.J. Hearle September 27, 2011 at 10:07 am #

    Glad you enjoyed the book. I’ve heard great things and its apparently being developed as a movie by one of my favourite filmmakers, Don Coscarelli. He made the similarly quirky Bubba Ho-Tep which has Elvis in an retirement village fighting a mummy.

  3. Em September 28, 2011 at 12:08 am #

    The ‘my sister’ joke made me laugh so loud Jose next door actually stopped yelling for a few, precious moments. I think he was wondering what was so hysterical but he will never know because my Spanish is not very good.

  4. Wil September 28, 2011 at 8:46 pm #

    This sounds like an awesome movie (and book). “Apparently” scarier than centipede!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: