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on 11 September 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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on 6 September 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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on 6 September 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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on 5 September 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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on 4 March 2010
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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on 25 September 2012
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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on 11 January 2011
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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on 7 June 2010
While it may seem like yr going a little insane while reading... it's incredibly enjoyable. A whirl wind story that you can't put down while you stare at the pages slightly gob smacked. Characters you can really relate to especially if you've ever been 20-30 and wondered if there was something hidden behind the veil that we see as life!!! In truth a very difficult book to explain but one you definately won't regret buying.
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on 23 January 2012
I'm gonna start with saying that when I got to this end of this book I was genuinely sad, I didn't want it to end that much. Yeah I'm really that sad.

With the benefit of hindsight (having actually read the book), I can say that this isn't usually the type of book I'd normally go for. I'm more of a mystery/historical fiction type of gal but being a bit of a book-whore I'm up for anything and have recently extended further into fantasy (got the Game of Thrones knocking about somewhere). That's actually how I stumbled upon John Dies at the End.

John Dies the End. The title was what first grabbed my attention, then my friend pointed out that there was a chopped off arm on the cover. That did it for me, I had to read it. The writing style is good - not the best in a literary sense but who really wants Dostoevsky anyway? The characters are extremely lovable and I found myself fantasying that John was my best friend. Rather than give us numerous really developed and likable characters David Wong seems quite content to leave us with two epic ones. Three if you count the Korrok. That's fine by me.

Often with a good book there's always the tagline "Once you get into it..." But John Dies at the End has none of this - first page and BAM! you're in there.

From meat monsters, frisky man-o-wars and magical healing kittens to cockroaches, spiders and fart jokes, John Dies at the End had my skin crawling on one page then crying with laughter on the next. (Note: I've never actually read a book that made me literally laugh out loud before). Pure gold. David Wong is - in my eyes - a master at what he does; how anyone can come up with a plot like this whilst still sober is beyond me. The man is genius. Not a genius. He is genius.

I can see myself returning to this book again and again. In fact I loved this book so much that if I didn't have a pile of other books waiting to be read I'd pick this back up and immediately read it again. This is the type of book that will stay with you for weeks (maybe months) after you finish it.

Bring on the film.

None but Korrok.
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on 21 November 2015
I may have discovered this book in a rather unconventional way. I had heard whispers about this book for years, on the Internet, on TV and constant recommendations from friends but it was not until years later when I would finally come to my senses and read the book.
I had watched the movie and was blown away by this amazing story that I felt wasn't shown and was hiding behind the crappy cgi and the "short" running time (seriously this movie could have been an hour longer). I wanted to learn more. It wasn't until about 2014 when I saw a little girl on the train probably about 8 years old reading this book when I decided that I probably should read this book.
After reading a couple of pages, I realised something. THIS BOOK IS NOT FOR EIGHT YEAR OLD GIRLS. Or eight years old boys. Or adult girls. Or adult boys. Or anyone for that matter. I didn't find this book, this book found me which I feel is very fitting considering the subject matter. This book is very disgusting and graphic and makes you like a piece of gum stuck to the bottom of your shoe or like a a fresh pile of dog crap which already has someone's boot print in it.
I would break it down on the positive and negatives of the story but it doesn't matter. The story bounces around so much that if you get lost, the book doesn't care and will just bring you back in.
In the end this this book will stay with you foreve- PRAISE BE TO KORROK.
PS. John dies in the middle
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