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John Dies at the End [Hardcover]

David Wong
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (108 customer reviews)

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Book Description

8 Oct 2009
It's a drug that promises an out-of-body experience with each hit. On the street they call it Soy Sauce, and users drift across time and dimensions. But some who come back are no longer human. Suddenly, a silent otherworldly invasion is underway, and mankind needs a hero. What it gets instead is John and David, a pair of college dropouts who can barely hold down jobs. Can these two stop the oncoming horror in time to save humanity? No. No, they can't. "John Dies at the End" has been described as a 'Horrortacular', an epic of 'spectacular' horror that combines the laugh out loud humor of the best R-rated comedy, with the darkest terror of H.P. Lovecraft. Hilarious, terrifying, engaging and wrenching, "John Dies at the End" takes us for a wild ride with two slackers from the Midwest who really have better things to do with their time than prevent the apocalypse.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books (8 Oct 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 031255513X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312555139
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 16.3 x 3.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (108 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 535,995 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


""John Dies at the End"...[is] a case of the author trying to depict actual, soul-sucking lunacy, and succeeding with flying colors." -"Fangoria ""David Wong is like a mash-up of Douglas Adams and Stephen King . . . 'page-turner' is an understatement." --Don Coscarelli, director, "Phantasm I"-"V "and "Bubba Ho-tep""David Wong has managed to write that rarest of things---a genuinely scary story." --David Wellington, author of "Monster"" Island" and" Vampire Zero""The rare genre novel that manages to keep its sense of humor strong without ever diminishing the scares." --"The Onion AV Club ""Sure to please the "Fangoria" set while appealing to a wider audience, the book's smart take on fear manages to tap into readers' existential dread on one page, then have them laughing the next." -"Publishers Weekly ""When it's funny, it's laugh-out-loud funny, yet when the situation calls for chills, it provides them in spades."-"-Kirkus Reviews"

About the Author

David Wong is the pseudonym of Jason Pargin, online humorist, "National Lampoon" contributor, and editor in chief of

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A rare treat 11 Sep 2007
David Wong's first novel is a rare treat: a comedy horror that is both genuinely funny and genuinely horrifying. Written in the first person, the novel relates the adventures of the author and his friend John, whose ordinary small town existence comes to an end when they are exposed to the drug known as "soy sauce". Now they can see the true nature of the world they live in: where demons can alter reality, anyone can be erased from history, and nobody is who, or what, they seem.

The novel was originally written as a series of episodes for the author's web site, and this origin still shows in the printed version. The tone of the story ranges from slapstick comedy to metaphysical horror, which will leave you wondering if you yourself might end up like the unfortunate woodchuck.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Now a favourite 5 Sep 2007
I love this book; I love it for its grimy protagonists, its nebulous yet unflinchingly retarded bad guys, the awesome concepts David Wong calls into play and its beautifully profound penis jokes.

I would recommend this book to anyone even vaguely interested in horror books or science fiction. It will make you laugh and it will make you think.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
By O. Lee
I don't think i've ever been this excited to read a book for the third time through. It is simply a captivating and utterly entertaining read. I read it at night in bed, constantly checking the dark room to make sure those creaks I heard were normal - and then the next moment chuckling to myself like a fool. Not because I was checking the shadows, that is of course simply logical, but because of the brilliant humour in the writing that can catch you off guard. The horror, thrills, adventure and comedy is all intertwined harmoniously - with never a dull moment.
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36 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Review 6 Sep 2007
As soon as you see the title you pretty much know you're not about to read an average horror tale. John Dies At The End is as funny as it is scary, and vice versa, skipping effortlessly from talking hot dogs and magic healing kittens to disturbing passages about what the narrator thinks Hell might be like, and the idea of never having existed. Straight back to John's special demon-killing weapon- a baseball bat with a Bible taped to it. The story itself seems to unfold as a series of episodes (it was, after all, originally written in instalments) bound together by the author's "present day" interview with a skeptical journalist. Every character is well-written, believable and likeable, but the strength of the story really is the way it's written- the humour and horror often overlap but never feel jarring or uncomfortable together. In that sense, it reminds me less of classic horror authors like King and Koontz, and classic comedy authors like Douglas Adams, than it reminds me of Brit zombie movie Shaun Of The Dead. Both that film and this book manage this balance of gags and real, honest horror, and if you liked Shaun you'll love John and Dave.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Despite the 'pre-conditions" I can't help loving this book! The pre-conditions I was aware of before I bought it were:
1) I don't like graphic horror in movies and novels and this book is full of it; some of the images will probably stay with me for a long time.
2) It also has 'heroes' of the Jackass/Jay & Silent Bob calibre - another big turn-off for me.
3) Finally, it's probably targeted towards 15-25 year olds (I am past fifty).
Three good reasons to ignore this novel, but still I bought it. Why? No idea, but I prefer to call it a lucky hunch. Though seemingly a first novel that started story by story in a blog, the print version is very well written (not to say the electronic version wasn't as good, I just never saw it). The writer avoids the use of the lingo of the above mentioned type of protagonists, the narrative flows nicely, there are no tedious or slow parts and even the newly created frame for the story does not feel artificial but ties nicely into the story. It's very funny, often thrilling and entertaining throughout.
I finished the book within two days, wholeheartedly recommend it and eagerly loo(c)k forward to next Dave & John novel.
PS: I have become very suspicious of soy sauce.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars book good: tight-fisted man reaches for wallet 6 Sep 2007
JDatE is a genuinely deft blend of great humour, scabrous vulgarity and actual, proper horror. The story benefits from being a-bristle with the unconventional ideas and enthusiasm inherent in a writer's first "proper" book, whilst being coupled to writing skills honed over a ton of fiercely intelligent and funny web articles on pointlesswasteoftime.

Watch out for Bill Paxton's cameo as a small pile of rocks.

I'm buying it despite having already read it twice online, and I'm legendarily tight-fisted. It gets one thumbs up, my highest rating.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars That rare thing 25 Sep 2012
By M. King
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A comedy horror that delivers on both fronts.

Probably one of the coolest books I've read in a long time and an absolute joy to read.

You'll laugh, you'll cringe and you'll have an exceedingly good time.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A modern day drugged up Ghostbusters 4 Mar 2010
By Papa P
I Really enjoyed the book,it read much like a movie with a very visual narrative and snappy dialogue. It also made me laugh out lound a couple of times with some geat moments of dry wit. I hope Mr Wong n co have many more books worth of shenanigans to come.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars 10/10 would definitely recommend!
What an amazingly unpredictable trip!
This book will make you laugh uncontrollably, and question the very nature of reality. Read more
Published 16 days ago by Aimee Richards-Davies
5.0 out of 5 stars great book, an easy to read page turner from ...
great book, an easy to read page turner from start to finish. Think J and silent bob meets david cronenberg and you'll be in the right area. Read more
Published 20 days ago by M J Ritzema
5.0 out of 5 stars My desert island book series.
I could quite happily read this and its follow up, and nothing else, for the rest of my life. Which I will admit is very personal and subjective, and not really helpful in a... Read more
Published 29 days ago by Melon.Face
1.0 out of 5 stars You will wish John dies at the start
This novel is the literary equivalent of a blockbuster movie adorned with impressive special effects but ruined by a moronic script. Read more
Published 1 month ago by jane alexander
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
Will recommend to everyone! Everyone in my house has gone out and brought a copy which is rare for a messy house of 8 tight fisted students. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Kristina
5.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious and a touch scary!
A great book, I'd recommend it to anyone, and everyone! Actually, I do recommend it to anyone and everyone.

"Do you read?"
"Yes... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Diminisher616
5.0 out of 5 stars i loved this book.
It starts rather fast paced and slows down very soon after. Still i was gripped and loved the humour and story in this book. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Blue Card
4.0 out of 5 stars Beware of the Soy sauce!
This is perhaps one of the best books I read in 2013. It was inventive, original and unlike anything I ever read before. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Robyn K
2.0 out of 5 stars author got bored at the end
i feel quite let down... first 2 3rds were very entertaining but then it seems the author just got bored and gave up.. quite supprised it has such high ratings.
Published 3 months ago by james tarry
4.0 out of 5 stars Bill and Ted meets Men in Black
Bill and Ted meets Men in Black with copious amounts of Soy sauce. Weird, wacky and wicked journey into another realm!
Published 3 months ago by caz o'gorman
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