Wednesday, February 19, 2014
Surprisingly hilarious horror
I read Cracked.com all the time. I think it's funny and full of factoids and written by interesting people. Cracked is the reason that I asked for this book on my Amazon wishlist (and thanks and major props to Fito user AliBear for sending it to me) and the reason that I was willing to give it a chance. I'm not usually open to too many new books, I don't have the patience to buy something only to discover that it's utter shit thirty pages in. Websites like Cracked offer me a pretty decent protection - I'm familiar (to an extent) with the authors on the site before I make an investment in their books. Several of the Cracked columnists have published books recently and I know that I'll probably be happy reading some of them. That didn't keep me from being utterly floored by how much I enjoyed David Wong's John Dies at the End. In fact I'm having a little bit of trouble being patient enough to get through work so that I can watch the movie adapted from the book when I get home. And I've had to fight to stop myself from running out and buying the sequel immediately (I'm trying to work through my "unread" pile before buying more books). This book was AMAZINGLY good.
The novel was a bit more dense than I was expecting, considering that it was written by someone who makes dick jokes for a living. That doesn't mean that there were no dick jokes in the book (there were SO many dick jokes, all of them hilarious) just that the dick jokes took place in an interestingly gradated moral universe that pauses frequently to seriously consider identity, justice, free will, and whether you really need a flamethrower if you're going to fight otherworldly evil (the answer to that is yes. Obviously yes).
I'm a sucker for horror - I was raised on a steady diet of Stephen King books and John Carpenter movies so it's just always kind of been in the background for me. But I'm a REAL sucker for horror with a sense of humor - things like Evil Dead and American Werewolf in London, where you're scared shitless but still giggling like a maniac. When I was reading John Dies at the End I kept laughing out loud and reading the funniest passages aloud to my husband. There was one point when I read for three pages straight because the funny just kept happening. Then I finished the book and tried to go to sleep and couldn't because that shit was fucking scary and it was still tumbling around in my head.
I'm so excited about this book. I'm excited to have read it, I'm excited that there's a sequel, I'm excited that there's a movie, and I'm excited that I'm going to get to experience these things again and again because some nutjob on the internet went out and made something awesome and shared it with all of us. This is SO RAD and I hope you have the chance to be excited by a book like this at some point in the near future. Or you could go read John Dies at the End and be excited about it with me. Either way.
Wong, David. John Dies at the End. Permuted Press. 2012. OP 2007.