Friday, January 12, 2018

Horror List Book Review: John Dies at the End

I'm reading through three lists of best horror with two friends (DeAnna Knippling and M.B. Partlow), posting reviews as we go. (For more information, including a list of the books, see this post.)

This week I'm reviewing John Dies at the End, by David Wong.

This is going to be another brief review, because I actually read the book months ago, forgetting it was on my list, and gave it away at a Halloween book exchange, so I can't even reference it. Whoops!

"John Dies at the End" is an oddball journey with Lovecraftian themes. There are some real creepy moments, but also a lot of humor. This was originally published online, if I'm remembering right, and the spelling and grammar shows it, but the voice of the author is enjoyable enough to ignore that (for the most part). David Wong is not only the author (a pen name), but the main character, and he's relating to you in first person what occurred when he and his friend John got dosed with soy sauce, a drug that does insane things to their brains. Suddenly, they're seeing things in a whole new way, things that others can't.

It's juvenile and raunchy at times, but still funny. It's crazy and random. I figure it's worth a read for the fact that it's different than other books out there, though you won't come away feeling like you've read great literature.

As I've changed my ratings to only keep a Top Ten, nothing has changed this week. My Top Ten are still:

My Top Ten:

1. The Handmaid's Tale (Margaret Atwood)
2. The Girl Next Door (Jack Ketchum)
3. The Bottoms (Joe R. Lansdale)
4. Coraline (Neil Gaiman)
5. A Choir of Ill Children (Tom Piccirilli)
6. Needful Things (Stephen King)
7. 1Q84 (Haruki Murakami)
8. Those Who Hunt the Night (Barbara Hambly)
9. 20th Century Ghosts (Joe Hill)
10. Rebecca (Daphne DuMaurier)

Not sure what I'm reading next, but I've got a stack, so yay!

Have you read this or seen the movie? What did you think? Will you be reading the sequels?

May you find your Muse.


  1. I knew it was a movie but I haven't seen it yet.

    1. I saw it when it hit Netflix (may still be on there, but I'm not sure).

  2. I kind of want to see the movie, but I have no interest in the book.

    1. It's hard to read for those of us who can't stand grammatical errors all over the place.

  3. I saw the movie. Loved the axe intro. I've flipped through the book and think maybe I would dig the style (and also the "Spiders" book that is a sequel or something). Haven'ty done it yet, though.

    1. I have the third one, I think, but not the second one. I won the third one at a party. Deciding if maybe the second one is edited well enough to give it a try.

  4. Hey Shannon,

    I've not read it or seen the movie. Seems like it might be a well crazy read and movie.

    Take care, my nice friend.


    1. It is pretty crazy! Take care of yourself, as well.

  5. There must some kind of virus going around with this title. I just read They Both Die in the End, a Cybil's award finalist. I'm not sure I'm a fan of spoiler titles, but the book was good.

    1. Interesting. I hadn't heard of that one. I'm not fond of the spoilers either.