John dies at the end…or does he?
Have you ever pondered the vast meaning of existence? How utterly unsubstantial humans are in the great scope of the universe? Have you ever wondered what lurks in the corners of your room, what that moment was in the peripheries of your vision right as you turn off the light? Have you ever, within your darkest hours, dreamt up the possibility of talking to your best friend through a three-dollar hot dog?
“John Dies at the End” is one of the most mind-bogglingly intense and hilarious books I have ever read. The book started out as a writing experiment for David Wong (the pen name of Jason Pargin) and eventually gained enough popularity to be made into a book.
The book is very well-written; even in first person, there’s a way that Wong connects the words that makes the story flow, even as it begins getting crazy. Though the book is highly implausible (and in some parts, completely ridiculous), there are certain concepts that really end up staying with you. Most notably, the shadow men that can erase your existence and the various monsters that cloak themselves in the darkness will make you think twice about writing off the things that you see when you turn your head too fast at night, or the reflection in the mirror of something not quite human when you off the lights.
With all of its insanity, it’s a little hard to keep up with the book at times. Written in segments, the story can sometimes seem disjointed. The story line unraveling in the beginning is not the same as the one that you will be following in the end. On top of that, the book doesn’t take itself very seriously, coming from the perspective of an angry, cynical man (David Wong) and his hilariously obtuse, borderline- insane best friend (John Cheese). For those who only enjoy reading serious literature, this book might not be for you. Those who can’t appreciate surprisingly well-placed and almost classy toilet humor probably won’t like some of the content of this book.
Overall, the book is worth reading, if only because it has enough comedic value to make a bad day good. Both David Wong and John Cheese are based on real people and for anyone who is interested, David Wong—the writer and narrator of the book itself— is the editor-in-chief for humor site Cracked.com.
Much of the humor throughout his articles is very similar to the way the book is written. On top of that, John Cheese is also on Cracked, and his articles hold all of the ridiculous humor that he seems to have throughout the book.
A film version of “John Dies at the End” is currently in production and stars newcomers Chase Williamson and Rob Mayes as John and Dave respectively, while familiar faces Paul Giamatti and Clancy Brown round out the cast. Until that comes out, you can catch up on the book and revel in its twisted sense of humor.