Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Mini book review: John Dies at the End by "David Wong"

On the book jacket, Don Coscarelli, director of Phantasm I-IV (I've seen the first one and quite liked it) and Bubba Ho-Tep (my review here), described the author of  John Dies at the End as a "mash-up of Douglas Adams and Stephen King." I'd say that's right on the money. This horror/humor hybrid is a lot of fun, moving readily from LOL guffaws ("jockstrappery" - you'll just have to read it) to squeemish squirming, sometimes in the course of the same sentence. I read it quickly over the weekend between Christmas and New Year's, perhaps too quickly because it sometimes seemed a little disjointed, but as the framework is an "autobiographical" account, written by author David Wong (a pseudonym), recalling a meeting with a reporter to discuss recent strange events - in other words, a story within a story within a story - I guess it's supposed to be a little disjointed. Also, Dave purports to have been under the influence of some otherworldly substance that allows him, along with his buddy John, to access dimensions other than our own. Also, they drink a lot. I'm not even going to try to explain the plot, but Dave and John are sort of the Ghostbusters crossed with Mulder and Scully (minus the government funding and personal hygiene). Very weird things are happening in their town and they seem to be about the only ones who can do anything about it. There's been a movie made of JDatE - apparently fairly well received at Sundance in their Midnight Movies series and it's supposed to be coming out in wide(-ish) release soon. I'm not sure how they filmed it without cutting out a ton of stuff - they would have to cut a TON of stuff - but I'm likely to see it. Also, there's a sequel, This Book is Full of Spiders - Seriously, Dude, Don't Touch It, and I've just picked that up from the library.

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