STOP. You should not have touched this flyer with your bare hands. NO, don't put it down. It's too late. They're watching you. My name is David Wong. My best friend is John. Those names are fake. You might want to change yours. You may not want to know about the things you'll read on these pages, about the sauce, about Korrok, about the invasion, and the future. But it's too late. You touched the book. You're in the game. You're under the eye. The only defense is knowledge. You need to read this book, to the end. Even the part with the bratwurst. Why? You just have to trust me. The important thing is this: The drug is called Soy Sauce and it gives users a window into another dimension. John and I never had the chance to say no. You still do. I'm sorry to have involved you in this, I really am. But as you read about these terrible events and the very dark epoch the world is about to enter as a result, it is crucial you keep one thing in mind: None of this was my fault.
©2007 David Wong and Permuted Press. All rights reserved. (P)2011 BBC Audiobooks America
I'm actually a day old tart, filled with maple custard. Perhaps, this reads as a rational introduction to others, and you are deliberately misreading it, because, come on, maple custard.
This author has a certain fixation with bodily fluids, and human extremities. So while this book IS hilarious, expect many of the funny moments to involve poop jokes. Seriously. Yes, it's very funny, but there is so much vulgarity. And it all seems to be centered around profanity, and gross-out horror. It didn't really bother me, but this book's bad guys are bad because they are so morally alien to our values, and like to manifest as obscenely deviant as possible. Hopefully that doesn't give too much away, but I feel like you should be warned.
Stephen R. Thorne does a great job at narration, his pacing and delivery are perfect.
There is more then one book in this series.
I focus on fiction, sci-fi, fantasy, science, history, politics and read a lot. I try to review everything I read.
This book does a few things very well. The narration is really excellent, the off-beat humor is entertaining, and the story has some interesting elements, but it lacks quite a bit as well. Much of the humor is scatological (which is ok in small doses unless you are under fifteen), the characterizations are weak, and the story is so unbounded it became silly. I found this book lacks the underlying spirit that makes Hitchhikers Guide and most Koontz books really compelling.
I imagine that if I were a tween boy this might be hilarious and even a little scary, but as it is, I found myself laughing occasionally, but mostly waiting for it to end.
John Dies is an entertaining and mind-bending horror-comedy novel. The horror is high on gross-out factor, not really particularly scary (despite what other reviewers have said--maybe they actually believe in shadow people, I don't know...). The humor is great. I don't know how quite to put my finger on it but I feel like it's very 21st century. Something about naming a drug that opens the doors of your perception to the supernatural and beyond "Soy Sauce" just sounds like something you'd find on the internet. Maybe that and the frequent video game references. I'd recommend this book if you're the type of person who laughs their way through most monster flicks. You'll find a kindred spirit in this writer. As for the narrator, I thought he did a great job. Good voices for most of the characters, other than perhaps Amy whom I thought sounded a bit bland. I look forward to the movie and the sequel.
Honestly, it's hard to explain or describe. It's a fantastic book. I think what I loved best was the humor in the face of darkness/evil/fear.
The scene where we finally find out why, exactly, David was in trouble in high school. I won't go into more detail, but man, it's amazing. Especially when placed in context with the surrounding discussion with Amy.
Amy. Loved her development and her humanity. How lost David was until her.
I will say this, it is really, really weird. I mean so weird it may turn listeners off. Some may call it juvenile but, for me, Wong writes in a style that closely relates to myself and people I know. It's like reading a book that tracks how my buddies and I would have reacted if we were in John and David's position. I loved it.
A lover of contemporary, character driven sci-fi.
This is hands-down my favorite audio book ever. EVER. It is scary and funny (I had to pause it a few times just so I could finish laughing at a joke), and Stephen Thorne is the _perfect_ narrator for this, his performance was flawless. When you start reading, the story seems all over the place, and even when you finish it the first time it seems like someone just threw a dozen books at you at once, but the more you think about it the more everything makes sense. Then, when you go back and read/listen again, you realize that as insane as this book is, it's actually a whole and real story that obeys its own rules.
I've listened to this book more than any other audio book, and if I could rate it any higher I would.
What a disaster this book is. Really interesting premise, and several of the chapters were fascinating and fun, but everything else was a confusing mish mash of too much crap, all balled together with no reason.
The author obviously has a lot of creativity and can write well, but he can't string a meaningful plot along. There are so many diversions in this book, so many incidents that have nothing to do with anything else - it's impossible to follow this book. I found my mind wandering during 75% of the reading.
And the ending? Complete garbage. A real non-ending.
The narrator however was excellent.
Gen-Xer, software engineer, and lifelong avid reader. Soft spots for sci-fi, fantasy, and history, but I'll read anything good.
Part of me is eternally 14 years old, so I spent the first few chapters snorting with laughter at David Wong’s over-the-top slacker humor parody of horror movies, buddy stories, and various aspects of American society. Our hero, David, is a not-especially-heroic everydude who works at a video story, and constantly gets roped into his irrepressible doofus friend John’s schemes. A series of bizarre events leads to John being infected by a strange substance called “soy sauce”, which opens a gateway to another reality and enables the duo to see, hear, and experience weird things they previously couldn’t.
Part of me is also an adult, so the hilarity wore off a little once I’d gotten used to the schtick, but the story was creative enough to keep me entertained. Rather than just cranking out a predictable riff on horror movies, Wong (not his real name) comes up with a pretty imaginative, creepy universe of his own, one that probably would have been fun in the hands of a more “serious” writer, too. There are twists and turns to the story, as the soy sauce (and the dark beings behind it) bend the laws of time and space, and David reveals himself to be a less than totally reliable narrator. The author, it seems, had a grand old time anticipating the reader’s anticipation and trying to stay ahead of it. Does John really die in the end? Oh, you’ll just have to find out.
I can see where the Hitchhiker's Guide comparisons are coming from, even though Wong’s sense of humor is a lot crasser than Douglas Adams. Like that classic, John Dies is essentially a fistful of spitballs flung at the wall, and many don’t stick, but it has the same spirit of inventiveness and rambunctious fun. And there are some trenchant social observations -- towards the end, the plot used videogames in a way that made my mind go "whoah".
I'm glad I listened to the audio version. Smart-stupid wit often works best when it harkens back to its ancient oral tradition and, in this case, Stephen Thorne's conspiratorial tone and impeccable delivery are a perfect fit for the material.
The narrator was excellent and delivered the story well, but I found that the plot was confusing and overall lacked continuity. The style of writing was very enjoyable and funny, but I found that the details were unnecessarily crass and didn't add anything to the story (lots of references to fecal matter and urine and genitals). The characters weren't believable, especially their reactions in the story. It was a wild tale, and I think for me it was difficult to enjoy because it didn't have any firm footing in plot. The brotherly-like duo reminds me of Supernatural, but with less character development and all of the absurdity and randomness of hitchhikers guide to the Galaxy.
The story seemed to have an ending that wrapped up nicely, but then it kept going and dropped off a cliff, quite abruptly. I was left with many questions, and overall wishing that the plot had been carried out differently. Overall, it left me feeling unsatisfied.
The humor and style reminded me a bit of Douglas Adams, and I would like to see more from David Wong. I'd read his books again with hopes for more continuity and less graphic humor.
Reader And Listener
Every decade has its twist on the various genres. This is very new-gen. I suspect it is better than I can appreciate in my older-than-I-feel 50's, but it's a nice insight into the future of horror! Or should that be fantasy? Or maybe comic suspense? I guess that's the whole point.
Quirky, yes. Suspenseful? Sort of. It's so over-the-top I never really worried about any of the characters, first because I could not relate to them and second because I never once thought of them as real people. That doesn't mean they weren't sympathetic, in their own way (think nephew you don't much like but have to be nice to cause your sister's their mom).
There are no cliches in this book, at least not yet. There are plenty of didn't-see-it-coming. I'm not sure if I'll read more from this author, but I sure won't rule it out!
My favorite genres are absurdist humor, Sci-fi & modern fantasy, but, as you can see, I'll read just about anything. Don't mind the typos.
I like this book quite a bit. I had to re-listen to a few parts when I didn't pay close enough attention and found myself totally lost and it got a little Stephen king weird about 2 chapters in. All and all this was a good first book for the author and I'll watch for more from him.
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