John Dies At the End is that book your friends keep nagging you to read, explaining that it is really awesome and that YOU would really love it, as it's just the sort of thing you should read, but you've never gotten around to reading it because of reasons. Guess what? It actually is really awesome and you would actually love it. Follow my lead and go apologize to your friends for not reading it sooner. I'll wait.
John Dies at the End is weird. Like, really weird. Sometimes it is quirky weird, mentioning pop culture references, giving snarky commentary, and the banter of good friends who may partake in more drugs than the average person. At other times it is batshit weird, David Cronenberg weird. It's weird like something spewed up your most awkward nightmares and then injected that spew into some sort of insectoid frame so that it can crawl all over you.
It's also fucking funny.
John Dies at the end is written by David Wong, the pen name of Jason Pargin. The book is narrated by a character called David Wong, also not his real name. He lives in a town whose name is not disclosed, referred to as Undisclosed, a city which has a higher per capita rate of weird shit than any other town in the US. He is an early twenty something who works in a video store, can't get up the courage to talk to girls he likes, and isn't doing anything with his life. His best friend John is the id in the relationship to David's superego. If you consider David having a stick up his ass, John is the one who uses the stick to beat monsters with while making cock jokes.
John and David get involved with a strange black substance they dub Soy Sauce. Sort of a drug, anyone who takes it finds their brain overclocked to strange levels, are able to push the boundaries of consciousness, almost slow down time, and make amazing mental connections of probability and causality. But the sauce's effects are short lived. Unfortunately, its after effects are far more significant and long lasting. Anyone who has taken the soy sauce will find that even after they come down, they can see strange things other people can't. Ghosts, monsters, phantom doors, and more. For the rest of their lives.
But this isn't some drug-focused novel; that's just one element. At its essence, this book is a weird horror novel. Don't focus on its humor to avoid the fact that it is a novel about horrible things, ghosts, extraworldly entities, and two men who decide to fight them. It's got strange creatures, weird twists, and abnormal reactions to familiar things made wildly unfamiliar. There are ghosts, but as the book echoes, they don't haunt places, they haunt minds. This makes for epic strangeness.
You want monsters made of meat? Got it. Horribly racist versions of eighties pop songs injected into people's heads by demons? Check. Deadly monsters wearing tiny wigs? Yup. Strange weapons, such as bibles tied to bats, boom boxes, and religious candy? Oh yeah. John Dies at the End is a novel that keeps escalating. It takes twists you are not going to expect, so it's really best if you just sit back and enjoy the ride.
If you like weird books, sarcastic humor, horror novels, and modern conversational narration, John Dies at the End is a slam dunk. Read it. Love it. If only one of those elements interests you, I still recommend checking it out. It's a novel unlike any other, but not in that jackass way other people say it's a novel unlike any other. There really is something special here and I recommend that you read it. At the very least, it will get your friends to shut the hell up about finally reading it.
John Dies at the End on Amazon
John Dies At the End Official Website