Author: David Wong, 2009
Genre: Comedy-Horror. Lad-Lit
Other Details: Paperback. 469 pages.
STOP.You should not have touched this flyer with your bare hands. NO, don't put it down. It's too late. They're watching you. My name is David Wong. My best friend is John. Those names are fake. You might want to change yours. You may not want to know about the things you'll read on these pages, about the sauce, about Korrok, about the invasion, and the future. But it's too late. You touched the book. You're in the game. You're under the eye. The only defense is knowledge. You need to read this book, to the end. Even the part with the bratwurst. Why? You just have to trust me. - publicity blurb.
Dave and his best mate John live in an undisclosed town in the Midwestern USA. The novel features Dave telling Arnie, a reporter, about the strange events that he and his friend experienced when their band played at a local party. There they encountered a Jamaican dealing a drug nicknamed 'Soy Sauce' that opens users up to unusual experiences involving demonic beings that seek to end the world.
This novel began its life as a web serial in 2001 before being self-published in 2007 and later picked up and published with additional material in 2009. Given the quirky cover art and blurb citing Stephen King, Douglas Adams and H. P. Lovecraft, three writers whose work I have long appreciated, I had expected to enjoy it. Instead found it disjointed, pointless and just not scoring with me at all. I did read 300 of its 469 pages before thinking 'life is too short' and skimmed the rest.
There are a lot of positive reviews for it on Amazon and Goodreads so it is a novel that obviously does have an appeal for a fair few readers but just not me. It seemed like the author was trying to write something along the lines of 'Supernatural' crossed with the gross-out humour of Kevin Smith's Jay and Silent Bob films. I enjoy those films but I guess in print prefer humour that is more subtle than this laddish mix of toilet and penis jokes. It reminded me a little of my response to 'Todd and the Book of Pure Evil', which I quite liked but then after week after week the gross-out factor just outweighed the pleasure.
John Dies at the End official website - details of film adaptation, etc.