This is sort of a book review, sort of not. But how can that be?! Easy. I read John Dies at the End by David Wong (who is Cracked.com editor Jason Pargin’s alter ego) and couldn’t believe I had never stumbled across it before, so now I’m sharing its existence with you. Sort of like a review, but not that in depth. Incidentally, I blame you. All of you. You let me down. Nobody told me what an insane, profanity-riddled, violent, psychotic, trippy and TOTALLY AWESOME book this is. Not just the book, either, the whole online… THING that it is! (Which is awesome.)
Here’s the problem though: I don’t want to really review it and try to break it down into understandable chunks because it would ruin the whole idea. Plus, I’m not claiming this is a book you should read, I’m not claiming this is fabulous fiction, I’m not telling you that you’ll even enjoy it. Like I said, it’s profane and psychotic, like following someone through an epic acid trip full of monsters, demons, other dimensions, possibly heaven and hell and lots of dead bodies. A third of the way through, I felt like I’d already read an entire novel.
THE POINT IS, I liked the book. I highlighted a ton of things that made me laugh out loud, or chortle quietly, or agree wholeheartedly and I’ve decided to share some of them with you! Mostly, I’m doing this in the hopes that you will pick a book and share some of your favorite quotes with the rest of us. Or pick up multiple books and share your favorite parts! Why be picky? (My problem is, if I tried to pick multiple books it’d just degenerate into a million words, so! For now, I’m going to stick with this one.)
OKAY! Ready? Here we go. David Wong is the main character, his best friend is named John and the whole thing is told from David’s first person perspective. So, that’s your setup. Here are a few of the things I found amusing.
– “I didn’t want to tell this story, the story of me and John and what’s happening in Undisclosed (and everywhere else, I guess). I can’t tell the story without sounding as nuts as a… a nut bush, or — whatever nuts grow from.”
– “Welcome to freakdom, Dave. It’ll be time to start a Web site soon, where you’ll type out everything in one huge paragraph.”
– “Dark matter makes up 99.99 percent of the universe, and they don’t know what it is. Well I know. It’s apathy. That’s the truth of it; pile together everything we know and care about in the universe and it will still be nothing more than a tiny speck in the middle of a vast black ocean of Who Gives A Fuck.”
– “Fuck that. Fuck that idea like the fucking captain of the Thai Fuck Team fucking at the fucking Tour de Fuck.”
This is the entirety of Chapter 11, which is called By the way…
“Looking back, if I had gone in and seen what was in the toolshed, I would have put a bullet in my own skull one minute later.”
And that’s it. The story continues on, getting back to the toolshed at a far later date. There’s also a chapter called Shit Narnia. But I digress…
“And watch out for Molly. See if she does anything unusual. There’s something I don’t trust about the way she exploded and then came back from the dead like that.”
“‘Are you thinking what I’m thinking?’ asked John.
‘That if Franz Kafka were here his head would explode?’
So, yeah. That’s that. Just a very select few of the 46 I apparently highlighted while reading on my Kindle (where’s your iPad, nerd?!) and I think before purchasing this book I had maybe a dozen highlights total, ever, on said Kindle. Hence the inspiration for getting you to share your most quotable books! This is definitely up there for me.
Let me reiterate this point though: I’m not telling you to read this. It’s laced with penis jokes, awesomeness, crazy monsters and lots of swearing. If you enjoy that sort of thing, as I so obviously do sometimes, then by all means! Pick it up. Go to the website, bask in the awesomeness, become engulfed in the whole thing that might leave you feeling slightly paranoid and afraid when it’s finished. (Or maybe hopeful if you’re a deranged bastard…)
Image: St. Martin’s Griffin