Book Review: John Dies at the End

By Cher Cabula-Mendoza - Wednesday, January 11, 2012

I learned of this book through my friend Nicole’s blog entry which told of how much one shouldn’t read this book at night. I was immediately curious. I’m not fond of the horror genre in general although I’ve read quite a number of Stephen King books in the past. Nicole’s blog entry made me curious and I immediately looked the book - John Dies in the End- up at GoodReads. It was tagged into the horror and humor genre which I thought was very interesting. So I gave in.

Here’s what it says on the back of the book:

It's a drug that promises an out-of-body experience with each hit. On the street they call it Soy Sauce, and users drift across time and dimensions. But some who come back are no longer human. Suddenly a silent otherworldly invasion is underway, and mankind needs a hero. What it gets instead is John and David, a pair of college dropouts who can barely hold down jobs. Can these two stop the oncoming horror in time to save humanity? No. No, they can't.
What followed after the first chapter was me getting hooked. It WAS creepy and gory but I loved that it was so much like a sci-fi show that I really liked (Fringe). Coincidentally, the author used the pseudonym David Wong for this book and it’s also the name of one of the main characters in the book. My officemate is also named the very same and seated beside him is Jan (which I take to spell sometimes as John). I found this amusing.

There’s a certain uninhibited quality to the writing style of the author in this book. There’s a lot of profanity and references to sex and private body parts but I didn’t mind. It added to the overall comical relief in the book. The characters’ personalities were simply that, sometimes hyperactive, cynical and weird altogether. The story of David and John just draws you in, making you want to read more and see what happens next and if by some miracle they can really pull through with ridding the world of such evil. Not surprisingly, I have an affection for Maggie, the red Irish Setter that’s mentioned several times in the story. She offered such a hilarious means of escape at one point in the adventure that I found myself laughing out loud (this does not happen very often when I read).

I gave this book a very high rating at GoodReads and I’m really glad that I took the chance and read it. It was a surprise when I learned that it’s going to be made into a movie. Woohoo! I’m definitely going to watch this. I hope it doesn’t ruin the expectations of fans who loved the book as much as I did.
The movie stars Paul Giamatti as Arnie, Rob Mayes as John and Chase Williamson as Dave.

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