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‘John Dies At The End’ might just make you insane

January 31, 2013
By Amy Phelps (letters@graffitiwv.com) , Graffiti

Telling you one of the main characters dies in the end isn't really a spoiler - considering practically everyone dies/comes back/dies again in the intensely crazy "John Dies At The End" by David Wong (pseudonym of senior editor of Cracked.com and National Lampoon contributor Jason Pargin.)

Originally self-published online, then published by a small press and now a movie and reprint edition, this story of two everyday slackers mixed up in the apocalypse will bend and warp your mind at its will, all the while making you laugh, cringe and feel vaguely paranoid.

David Wong (not the character's real name either, but one he took because Wong is the most popular last name) and his best friend, John, are slackers working at video store who get caught up in extraordinary adventures. When they met a strange man at a party who gives them what they think is a new drug called "Soy Sauce" the two discover it's a mind-altering drug that allows its users to see into other dimensions.

And what they see may drive them mad. There's monsterous looking creatures wearing wigs, a floating jellyfish that really loves electricity, bugs that bore into you and take over your body, a childish would-be god and invaders from a parallel dimension sending body-snatcher duplicates. There's also an incredibly smart dog who also dies and comes back, a group of friends that may not make it until the end, and a journalist who doesn't know if David is crazy or sane.

The book is told from David's point-of-view, reliving the stories of what has happened to him to Arnie, the journalist. And while they all do go together, the book feels like it is about three stories all put together in one anthology. People die, people come back, a lot of time passes, and just when you think, "Well, surely this is the end, right?" It ISN'T.

This is a crazy head-trip of a novel that is funny and will keep you reading. It might take your sanity with it (evil gods from other dimensions like to do that) but at least you'll go with a smile on your face.

 
 

 

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