“A reasonably funny book, however, it was let down by the somewhat needless ridiculousness of the descriptions of things. It has pretensions at being a Hitchhiker's Guide for the internet age, and while it's one liners are relatively strong the long running gags don't ever pack anything like the same punch.”Gary McCluskey wrote this review Saturday, July 6, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I lost my original copy in some very strange and suspicious circumstances. Considering it was a ream of yellowing paper, liberally spattered with blood and dark stains I tried not to think about, that's probably for the best. My brand new copy came in smelling like fresh books and decaying fish. It also screamed every Tuesday night for about half an hour. I think it was just trying to get used to its new home, because its only recently taken to scuttling around the house when my back is turned.
Anyway, love this book. It's not for everyone, but that's ok. They can continue to live their life in ignorance. It'll save them one day. If you don't plan on living a long and unpainful life then I'd highly recommend this book. Let David tell you the truth so that you will one day know why you are going to I SERVE NONE BUT KORROK”
“Awesome!”Maria W wrote this review Thursday, June 13, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“A fantastic story with a rather confusing ending. "John Dies at the End" is a fantastic genre-bending story incorporating humor, parody, sci-fi, and horror into a hilariously strange adventure featuring two young men and their experiences with the mysterious extra-dimensional drug "Soy Sauce". Divided into three parts, the the book chronicles the misadventures of David Wong and his friend John as they fight against extra-dimensional incursions into our world, although usually not willingly. Gifted with heightened senses and perceptions courtesy of the aforementioned Soy Sauce, David and John defeat one obstacle after another, although usually due more to luck than to skill.
The question posed in the prologue - is an ax still the same ax when you've replaced both the handle and the blade - accurately foreshadows the paradoxes and philosophical questions posted by this novel. Ultimately, however, the weird is a good weird and, while confusing, is intriguing enough to make the reader want to continue the book, if only to see how on Earth everything is going to tie together.
However, the ending leaves something to be the desired. When David and John come face-to-face with their extra-dimensional adversary, there is still a lot left unanswered. Perhaps the author's goal was to leave some questions unanswered, as our (humans') limited ability to perceive the universe is a common theme throughout the book, but to me the ending came off as more confusing than mysterious.
A four star rating is out of respect for the first 3/4 of the book, and as I read the last 100 pages rather quickly, I'll admit that my confusion regarding the conclusion may have been my own fault rather than the author's. Regardless, I look forward to the film adaptation, the sequel ("This Book Is Full of Spiders: Seriously, Dude, Don't Touch It"), and an eventual re-read. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone, but I can certainly see it as possessing a love-it-or-hate it quality. It may not be for everyone, but if you're into the weird (perhaps think "Scott Pilgrim vs. the World"), this book is definitely for you.”
“Liked it at the start but got bored.”Bobbi S wrote this review Wednesday, June 5, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I read it as a .pdf a few years ago, and have since purchased and enjoyed it again and again.”Cameron wrote this review Sunday, June 2, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“This book is the king of unreliable narration. Presumably, this book is about David and John, two friends in a Midwestern town who need to fight off evil forces when a new drug (soy sauce) opens a door to a parallel universe. Although it's clear that David exaggerates a good deal for the sake of story-telling, it is up to interpretation whether David and John are really kicking the EF from PU butt, or if they're hallucinating. Either way, it's a wild, crazy, and very humorous ride. The humor is very dark, dry, and sometimes witty. It was my favorite part of the book. The plot was fairly non-existent, though. The book was more about action and weirdness - the story was just too wild to actually have a coherent plot. During the middle of the book, I was starting to regret that it was so long because I'm more of a plot-driven than situational-driven reader. But I'm glad I hung in there, because I got some great laughs and may view the world a tiny bit differently after listening to this book.
You wouldn't think this book would lend itself well to audio format, but Stephen R. Thorne did an amazing job. His delivery of the dry humor and action was spot on. I'm happy that I took the risk on audio. ”
“Admittedly compelling despite being very repetitive, far too long and annoyingly dumb. Contains two or three points that verge on genuine depth and druggy intrigue that too soon disappear amongst yet another "surprise" appearance of another stupid monster that has nothing at all to do with what comes before or after it. It's as if the author came up with vaguely inspiring ideas but then threw in some childish humour to escape the risk of being called pretentious or pseudo-intellectual, almost afraid to really dive into his own ideas. For example, the concept of time being fluid and cyclical, a great, open-ended concept for a book, especially the bit where Dave influences the production of a faulty bullet that ends up being fired at him, but ends up being an idea only touched upon for about 5 pages of the book before being abandoned. Same with the Jamaican's painted bedroom, a great visual image rendered effectively through the prose, but one that has absolutely no bearing on the rest of the story; just a "cool idea".
Also, in hindsight, the opening of the book tries to construct a philosophical paradox that if answered would reveal the "terrible secret behind the universe" or something or other, but if you ask me, there's absolutely no depth to the question at all, and the simple answer is that: "No. It is not the same axe". No loopholes, no chicken and egg quandry, nothing.
Having said all this, the book was quite a bit of fun and did make me laugh aloud on numerous occasions. Great if you don't think too much. Or at all.”
“A book that is quite original in format and voice; it is hilarious at times, thoughtful at others and sometimes both at once. Sadly, the narrative pace and quality of humour both seem to diminish towards the centre, so I did lose interest a little. The ending makes up for this, and the humour resumes with full force while the story reaches its rewarding and creative final pages. There are more penis jokes than you could shake a penis at, and the narrative is filled with completely ridiculous occurrences, but these are for the most part great and help develop believable characters. It's only when the writing gets tied up in describing action piece after action piece that it tends to trip up. The character work is great, and the voyages into the surreal are mostly vivid and amusing. From the first chapter I thought I'd love every second of this book, the style and irreverent tone of humour immediately connected with me. As it turned out, I didn't love every second, but it is still brilliant in places, and if you stick with it there are some passages towards the end that really glue everything together nicely.”Andrew wrote this review Wednesday, May 8, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“This was one of the dumbest books I have ever read -- and I liked it. Not too keen on juvenile body humor and this novel was full of it (in more ways than one) -- yet, like an idiot, I kept reading. And did I mention I liked it? The penis jokes and crude allusions are on 150 or so pages of this 480-page tome. But they are so blatantly dumb that they were somewhat amusing. (And no one is more surprised than I to be writing the latter statement.) The monsters were repetitious and banal, but somehow I kept reading. So why, despite my general prejudices against this type of literature, was I so engaged? I just gotta say there was something almost innocent and original (not the monsters, but the story itself) about this work that was refreshing and fun. And it made me laugh out loud. And I absolutely *loved* the cover. (The one with the hand thumbing to the end and all the pen markings on it -- GENIUS!) There was nothing politically correct about the way this story was written. I imagine lots of people could take offense at many remarks and words used. It reminds me quite a bit of Ghost Busters, I guess. Escape literature at its most mindless -- and amusing. Boy was this book dumb. But boy did I like it!”cha2cha wrote this review Wednesday, May 1, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No