Book Review: John Dies at the End

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I am known to give interesting gifts. I don’t want that gift sitting in some corner of a basement, gathering dust, like those socks given out at last year’s prom. That’s why I give books. Books aren’t immediately practical like a pair of scissors or a new fleece jacket but are much more rewarding in the long term. Fortunately for me, most of my friends are readers and are patient enough to put up with me. Most people probably don’t want a book as a gift, but I believe that a book takes way more effort to pick out based on the receiver’s interests than any Amazon gift card. I’ve given mysteries like Agatha Christie’s Five Little Pigs, humor like the webcomic XKCD’s What If?, and L.A. Noir like Joe Gores’s Cases, but one book stands out.

One of the hardest parts of reading David Wong’s John Dies at the End is explaining it to others. It’s not all humor, it’s nothing like what I think of as science-fiction, and the horror isn’t pervasive enough to define it. The story isn’t confined by time either. John and David, the main characters, slump through the present, the past, and the inconceivable future. John and David are high school drop-outs (what a great beginning to a story I am recommending to high schoolers) who, despite their apathy, are forced to save the universe from invisible, otherworldly spider-things, themselves, and whatever is sitting in David’s garden shed. What’s amazing is that a plot bursting at the seams with irony, humor, insanity, and terror can build such an engaging plot.

I highly recommend John Dies at the End by David Wong for readers that want to think deeply about reality but don’t have the time to take Mr. Micciche’s Reading Reality class.



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Book Review: John Dies at the End