Review: This Book is Full of Spiders Seriously Dude Don’t Read It by David Wong

Apparently I wrote this but never posted it here. The format is a bit different that usual since I wrote this for work. If you haven’t already check out the awesome trailer for This Book is Full of Spiders followed by atypically brief review.

Continue reading “Review: This Book is Full of Spiders Seriously Dude Don’t Read It by David Wong”

Review: John Dies at the End (the movie)

John Dies at the End

In case you haven’t heard John Dies at the End is a movie now. This is a good thing since it lets me talk about John Dies at the End for a third time. Based on the book of the same that reviewed here, and mentioned here John Dies at the End is a low-budget project help brought to fruition by legendary horror director Don Coscarelli (Phantasm, Bubba-ho-tep) and the enthusiasm of Paul Giamatti. There are only two directors I can think of who could stay true to the anythings-goes batshit insanity of JDatE and Coscarelli is one of those names, and Phantasm remains one of the best horror/fantasy flicks of any era (James Gunn is the other name I’m thinking of).

JDatE, for those too lazy to google, or click on one of the links above, is a wacked out send up to crazy and wonderful horror films of the 80s. A delightful and frenetic mashup of horror, fantasy, science fiction that revels in its own insanity to such a degree that when you’re a finished reading the novel your very mind is altered by the experience. If it wasn’t apparent let me say so now: I’m a fan. JDatE, both film and book, defies the expectations of genre and format to be its own thing. It is a novel born on the internet and film that both understands and revels in its own madness.

Continue reading “Review: John Dies at the End (the movie)”

JDATE- It’s not what you think

JDATE, or John Dies At the End, is the wonderfully awesome web-book by author David Wong.  Unfortunately, as of 9/30/2008 it is no longer available for free!  The print version, released by the awesome fellows over at Permuted Press, has skyrocketed to a startling $200 in value.  It turns out that Mr. Wong has also been picked up by Thomas Dunne Books and the publisher (a division of St. Martin’s Press) will be re-releasing the book to the masses sometime in 2009.  I admit I’m catching the news a bit late and kicking myself for not finishing reading the sequel; though it looks like it might still be here.

I’m also a bit distressed that the Permuted Press edition, seemingly worth $200, is sitting on the shelves here at the library.

If you’re curious you can check out my review.  My preffered sound byte: “John Dies at the End was a fun read, reminding me of that first magical time I saw Hellraiser.”

Also keep on eye on the JDATE homepage as some sort of big reveal on Halloween.

I really do think that JDATE is something special and hope Mr. Wong has tons of success with Thomas Dunne and inevitable big marketing push behind the new edition.

BONUS HALLOWEEN REVIEW: John Dies At the End by David Wong

John Dies at the End

John Dies at the End by David Wong

Permuted Press, 2007

Review: If you like gory horror with a twisted sense of humor stop reading now and order this book. Seriously. If you don’t like jokes about genitalia, feces, and any number of things that wouldn’t be considered acceptable in polite company than stay the hell away.Seriously. I have to wonder if something is wrong with me for having enjoyed this book. Sure it doesn’t feature nearly the same level of disturbing imagery as Conrad William’s Unblemished (the amputee stuff in particular *shudder*) but still. Having spent just under twelve hours watching horror movies this weekend I realized that this book is endearing  because it is similar in tone to those great schlocky horror movies that persisted throughout the 70s and 80s; and I mean that in a good way.

The plot centers around two guys, David and (the titular) John, who after an encounter with a crazy Jamaican named Robert Marley (get it?) get suckered into taking a reality altering drug called Soy Sauce and are forever changed. Soy Sauce reveals to the two the hidden horrors of our world (and others) that everyone else cannot see or percieve.  Various and sundry hijinks ensue.

The story is narrated by David and pays homage to untrustworthy narrator of Poe’s “The Tell-Tale Heart.” David’s credibility is further thrown into question by his partner John (a compulsive liar and general wacko) and the strange effects of Soy Sauce itself. All-in-all David’s dry wit adds a certain brevity to a story that, without it, might have wallowed too much in its own seriousness. The fact that David is also the actual name of the author serves the same purpose of Horace Walpole’s prefaced claims that The Castle of Otranto was based on an obscure italian manuscript.  This device allows the reader to get closer to the horror (Danielewski’s House of Leaves is another good, more modern, example of this technique) through the attempt to ground fiction elements in our own reality.

Permuted Press is a small publisher so if you really want John Dies at the End you’ll have to either order from Amazon or (a local B&N could also special order it for you if you’re not down with the whole online thing). For the computer junkies out there is the place to go. The novel was originally an online thing (similar to Wellington’s Monster series) that is slowly being reposted (they’re up to Chapter 8 as of 11/1). If you’ve already read the book you can also go there to check out the sequel. John Dies at the End was a fun read, reminding me of that first magical time I saw Hellraiser. Horror fans (film and fiction) should check it out now.

Final Grade: A