Friday, 13 April 2012

John Dies at the End by David Wong

John Dies at the End David WongSummary - STOP. 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. -GoodReads

4 Things you should know about John Dies at the End

Since David Wong, the author of John Dies at the End, is also the senior editor of, I could think of no better way to honor this book than to put the review in their format. I've even split it up into two pages to make it closer to the real thing.

I should start off by saying that although the four things you should know about this book all contain some level of criticism, I did enjoy the book to a certain extent. But you should know what you’re getting into, so without further ado, here are the four things you should know about John Dies at the End:

#4. They’re making it into a movie…

….which is probably a better format than a book for the kind of story it’s telling. One of the book club participants called it a “series of short vignettes.” Not surprising, since the book is already divided into four sections: a prologue (which it is not), Book I, Book II and an epilogue. The four sections are related, but sometimes not clearly so, and the visuals of a movie will probably tie things together a bit better. 

The biggest problem with the format is that while the first book “They China Food” is an enjoyable read, the second, “Korrok” isn’t. It suffers from strange pacing and a plot that careens wildly from scene to scene. By the time it reaches a conclusion, you are not entirely sure what really happened.

#3. It’s a sloooooow read.

I’ll admit it. I love to crash through a book as quickly as I can to get to the ending. That’s why I can’t ever solve the puzzle in an Agatha Christie novel – I missed some clue on an early page that would have tipped me off. But I do appreciate a complex book, so long as I feel like I’m not getting hampered in getting to the ending.

John Dies at the End throws up roadblocks constantly. It skips around in time and in place. Crucial characters are intoxicated often. Descriptions are given and then taken back by the characters as they discover what is and is not real. The entire story is set as a story being told to someone - and at one point the storyteller tells a story that someone else told him that is embellished to the point of hilarity. But the use of these devices add up and it makes the book very dense and difficult to wade through.

(What's after the jump contains both NSFW references and a spoiler. You've been warned.)