by Gretchen Neal/Campus and Features Editor
“John Dies at the End” starts with a riddle and ends with an uneasy feeling in the stomach of its reader. This book, first published in 2007, presents a strange mixture of hilarious comic relief mixed with depressing satire and just enough of crushing reality to make it a read-worthy book. The author, David Wong – also the senior editor of comedy-news site Cracked.com – started the book as a webseries in 2001, and has, since its publication, also written a sequel called “This Book is Full of Spiders,” (published in 2012) that has earned Wong the title of New York Times bestselling author. The book was made into a motion picture adaptation in 2012.
In “John Dies at the End,” Wong plays a surrogate author, with his best friend and real-life colleague John Cheese playing his sidekick in the novel. In the book, the two live unremarkable lives until one fateful night when they accidentally ingest a drug called Soy Sauce. The Sauce, it ends up, gives its user the uncanny ability to hone into otherworldly beings taking up residence on Earth – considering that it doesn’t brutally murder them first. Every other person who takes the Sauce is found viciously massacred, and the boys are soon under suspicion of cult activity and ritual sacrifice. After being pursued by the police, they are subjected to meetings with tentacled, flying lamp fornicators, frozen-meat monsters and the strange doings of an evil entity called Korrok. They discover the existence of an alternate dimension and an army of Shadow Men – beings that are not bound to any law of space or time and possess the terrifying ability to undo the future or past. With this knowledge, the unlikely heroes (and their dog) are thrown into an adventure to save an ungrateful world that may never know of their existence.
“John Dies at the End” is written in a witty and relatable way, and is perfect for readers of any preference. It doesn’t cater specifically to any one type of reader, and the entertaining storyline will keep even the most reluctant of readers hooked until the very end.