Monday, January 30, 2012

review: John Dies At the End (book)

This book has been recommended to me numerous times... all of them by the same person actually. And I have to say, it was a trip. I don't think I've ever read a more... crazy book. It's literally like a giant acid trip... But the acid happens to be this even more crazy drug called Soy Sauce - no joke. This drug lets them see the world behind our world. Or parallel. Or demons....

The story opens with our protagonist, Dave, talking to a reporter in the wee hours of the morning in a Mexican restaurant in "Undisclosed" - a mid-western town. Dave begins the arduous process of telling the reporter his story.

It all starts at a party. Dave is approach by a Jamaican who makes a bet with Dave that if he can guess what his dream was about last night then Dave has to buy him a beer. Dave refuses to take the bet but the Rasta just steam rolls over him telling him exactly how his dream went last night. Perturbed Dave walks off. Well, he actually goes chasing after a dog he sees. Later his friend John says that he's going to drinks with a bunch of friend and the Rasta, Dave declines to go with them.

In the middle of the night Dave gets a call from John who is tripping out of his mind. Dave rushes over there only to find John is even worse off then any of his previous trips. Dave decides to take John to the hospital but somehow they get sidetracked and decide to take the dog home. From here they find out that everyone who went to the party is either missing or gruesomely dead.

Although I was initially very keen to read this book, I found that the more I pushed through it the more difficult it become. It was very compelling through the first "chapter" of the book I found myself getting a little, err - disgusting if only for the extremely graphic macabre and grotesque imagery. Sometimes it was very funny and other times I found it unsettling and disturbing.

I really wanted to like this book more than I did. I think it had great bones, but I found that it just didn't agree with me. However, my friend might vehemently disagree with me. You can read his review here. I give John Dies at the End 2.5 stars out of 5. Sorry Jesse!


  1. "Extremely graphic macabre and grotesque imagery"? Hahaha, you've got to be kidding me. You're making it sound like it's "Human Centipede", when in fact it's a mere "Gremlins 2".

    For the record, I didn't write that review. You can tell because I mention that fact twice. I only edited it.

    But you are correct that I do indeed vehemently disagree with you. If only because judging from this review I'd almost swear you read a different book than me. All the things about it that I loved about it go completely unmentioned. Things like the manic storylines meshing perfectly with the unreliable narrator or all the interesting metaphors that lie behind its take on monsters.

    1. My sincerest apologies for miss attributing credit. In the future I shall triple check before giving you any more credit.

      But as for the gore, oh come on! The Ronald McDonald clown? That was disgusting... I guess I just picture it with more gore then Gremlins 2.

      I did like the humor and the puns (loved the puns), but I hated the disjointed plot lines.

      Anyways, I did read it. It wasn't horrible, but I wouldn't want to read it again... Unless I was paid.