Book review: David Wong’s John Dies at the End, and This Book is Full of Spiders

I’m not sure how you resist a book titled “John dies at the end”; I obviously couldn’t. David Wong’s John Dies at the End and its sequel, This Book is Full of Spiders are funny and horrifying takes on the horror genre. I vacillated between consternated laughing and going “Euck” to myself. It’s solid entertainment and I finished both books inside a week with days to spare.

The novels follow the capers of directionless friends David and John, residents of an unnamed Mid-Western US city. Following a brush with the world’s worst party drug, they start seeing things and become embroiled, through bad luck and sheer stupidity, into an interdimensional conspiracy where a lot of things go bump in the night.

So, what’s the verdict?

Titles: John Dies at the End (2009); This Book is Full of Spiders (2012).
Author: David Wong
Publisher: Thomas Dunne
Rating: 4/5 (Goodreads rating, for comparison: 3.92 & 4.26/5)
The best feature of the books: They don’t take themselves too seriously.
The worst feature of the books: The narrator wears on you after a while, although it’s better by the second novel.
Trigger warnings: Grossness, prepubescent humour, monsters, evil, canine death (second novel) (well, in the first novel too, but—you’ll see.)
You’ll like this if… This is the punk rock version of horror, so if you don’t like your horror too studious you’ll love the series.

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One thought on “Book review: David Wong’s John Dies at the End, and This Book is Full of Spiders

  1. I love how ridiculous and entertaining this series is; one of the highlights for me is when John is beating down monsters with a folding chair while making chair puns. The third book comes out this October and I haven’t been this excited about a new release for a few years. Great review and remember to keep away from the sauce!

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