John Dies at the End  - David Wong

The bathroom door burst open, and Molly came trotting out. The left half of her body had been shaved almost down to the skin. The right half was as shaggy as before. John emerged after her, brushing a layer of dog hair off his clothes.

John said, "Well, that's done... It was Molly's idea. She wants to look like two different dogs when she's coming and going. She thinks it will make it easier for her to steal food... That's one complicated dog, Dave. Have you started on the bomb?”




John Dies at the End

Do I Own a Copy? - My original copy is currently in the same situation that my fiance's copy of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas is in - grabbed by my sister and "lost" to time.

Originally read: June-July of this year

I am sick, so sick of all of the dead seriousness of everything in my life nowadays.  Work, school - and even my entertainment - is unsmiling lately.  Even the comedy seems to be afraid of coming off as carefree and, I suppose by extension, in their minds, as being a little pointless.  Silly.

To ward off the freeze of an emotional winter, it would be wonderful to reminence about one of the greatest - and, yes, silliest - experiences that I have had in a good, long while.

I was given this particular copy of the book from my fiance, who insisted I join him and his friend, who had read the book and who had become almost immediate fans of it. I have since borrowed this copy to the worthless sack of crap that got my sister pregnant and then ditched her, and I suspect that I will never see it again, like the copy of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas that she rather quickly "lost" at my biological father's house.  Well, shit.

Being the rotten asshole that I am, I put off on reading it, instead trying to finish the first book in the Wheel of Time series. That book did not pan out well for me - and I supposed that the series would not have panned out so well, either - and so I finally meandered my way into the book.  I began reading this book, with the promise that this was the result of a contributor to the comedy site, Cracked, writing a dark version of a paranormal adventure in the spirit of the television show, Supernatural.  

I was a little bit hesitant - really, the only time someone I cared about romantically tried to get me to read his reading material was that period in my life where I was dating a guy who bought me a copy of the first Twilight book and had the entirety of the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants books in his dorm.  I think I may have more testosterone than he did, or maybe he simply lacked any brains.  If he asked nicely, the Wizard likely could have given him a shitty diploma or something.  But I digress.



Well, not at all unlike the ensuing relationship that has come out of the last relationship that I have become involved with, my experience with this book has also proven to be quite a positive experience.

It's fast-paced, incredibly wacky, ranging in humor from actually at times sweet, hardcore dark, and just bizarre. Taking a guess at what will happen next in the book is a fruitless exercise in futility, and it's better to come into the book with the attitude of a person looking to just enjoy the ride and to keep a keen eye out for the many many many Easter eggs that "Wong" has scattered throughout the book.  A fun experience, with no lack on intelligent wit layered heavily on top of ACTUALLY laugh out loud moments, and with characters who stand out as living, breathing people with their own drives, emotions, and relationships while not delving too far out of bizarro, macabre humor with a dash of Cthulhu-like horror thrown in for great measure.

Basically, the television show Supernatural, if it was dosed in a cocktail of psycho-active drugs.  In other words, awesome beyond all description.  And, yes, in many instances, you may find yourself scratching your head in bemused confusion over what is happening and for what reason - but here's the kicker - that is fully intentional.  This is a book that is meant to be read more than once, and read a little bit slowly, so as not to miss out on either the comedy or the cleverly hidden description that Wong has layered within the construct of the story.    You should likely plan to have the best reading experience of this book by reading it while not reading other books at the same time, and reading it as much as in one go as possible.

So get slightly buzzed on your favorite mood-enhancer of choice, be it chocolate, tea, alcohol or whatever else, kick your feet up, and remember that you can always loan your copy out once you've finished reading it, so you don't have to fully explain what it was that made you burst out laughing hysterically whenever someone inquires about your strange reading behavior.

A word on the movie that was adapted from the book - if you're certain that you don't want to read this at some point, or you HAVE already read this, then by all means, go out and buy it.  Don't rent it - although it has its flaws, which I will discuss in another post some other time in the future, and it is different in a good deal of respects from the book - I cringe to imagine how watching the adaptation must trample the fun of reading the book on a virgin run through.  And, also, come on, David Wong wrote pure, chocolate-covered gold when he wrote this book - it would have been impossible to do much of any kind of justice to the original material, especially when it memeant the complete erasure of Big Jim from the script and the transformation of Molly the Car Driving Dog into "Bark Lee" - the movie simply isn't as much of an amazing experience as reading the book is.  But by no means is it a "failure" - it is the same as if it had missed being on the Dean's List by making more B's than A's in its classes.   Coming from a life long C student, this is better than I likely could have pulled off, so congratulations, guys.