Warning: You may have a huge, invisible spider living in your skull. This is not a metaphor.
You will dismiss this as ridiculous fearmongering. Dismissing things as ridiculous fearmongering is, in fact, the first symptom of parasitic spider infection - the creature secretes a chemical into the brain to stimulate skepticism, in order to prevent you from seeking a cure. That’s just as well, since the “cure” involves learning what a chain saw tastes like. You can’t feel the spider, because it controls your nerve endings. You can’t see it, because it decides what you see. You won’t even feel it when it breeds. And it will breed. So what happens when your family, friends, and neighbors get mind-controlling skull spiders? We’re all about to find out.
Just stay calm, and remember that telling you about the spider situation is not the same as having caused it. I’m just the messenger. Even if I did sort of cause it. Either way, I won’t hold it against you if you’re upset. I know that’s just the spider talking.
©2012 David Wong (P)2012 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
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 book is better written then David Wong's last novel, John Dies At The End. Which was a fun read. Unlike his last, when the plot ambles, it's more on purpose, concise, cleaner, and he doesn't use periods of gross out horror slapstick to cover weak points in the story. There's still gross out horror, but it's intuitive. I mean, it's a book about sentient spiders. Uggghhuuuhhuuherr Blahhhh, my skin is crawling!
I can't remember the last time I was wide awake at 4 AM glaring at shadows in my room, certain that they would suddenly move. Maybe when I was eight? Or since the last time I watched Army of Darkness?
Don't judge. It was scary. I normally don't like horror, but when you get midway through this book you almost have to keep listening, you have to have the narrator tell you that the spiders are taken care of, and that everything will be okay. It's that well written. This book was like a literary roller coaster, terrifying, with just the right kind of humor and humanity to make it exciting. There are some really good intuitions of the human condition, including Wong's take on the Babel Effect, without getting too preachy. The alternate point of views is really interesting, as you get to see situations from every perspective. I would definitely recommend this book.
Full of cringe worthy violence, and laugh-out-loud raunch, Book Full of Spiders is a dementedly good listen. I was sad not to hear Stephen Thorne narrate, since he did a wonderful job with the first book, John Dies at the End; but Nick Podehl sounds like he's actually closer in age to the characters. Podehl also did a wonderful job reading The King Killer Chronicles, so I was glad to listen to him take on a new world. Sadly, this book wasn't as good as John Dies at the End, it drags for a while, and the never-ending bizarreness factor that twisted the first book just wasn't up to speed here. Still, it's good to back in the hands of Mr. Wong and the weird encounters he can't stay away from.
Gen-Xer, software engineer, and lifelong avid reader. Soft spots for sci-fi, fantasy, and history, but I'll read anything good.
If you’re not familiar with David Wong (AKA Jason Pargin), he writes for the stupid-yet-brilliant website Cracked, which deconstructs movie plots, videogames, and commonly-held beliefs with ironic, profanity-laced Gen-Y snark. For better or worse, that’s pretty much what his novels are, too -- a marriage of the Evil Dead trilogy and witty commentary on different subjects.
This Book is Full of Spiders isn't quite as off-the-wall entertaining as its predecessor, but it's still a fun read, and mixes some maturity in with its signature goofball humor.
The plot riffs on standard horror movie tropes, in this case about evil spiders that invade their victims, turning them into flesh-eating monsters. Quickly, the government sets up a quarantine, trapping David on one side while the impulsive dumbass John and David's nerdily sweet, resourceful girlfriend Amy must find their way through the cordon of special agents, paranoid townspeople, and disgusting creatures. There are also appearances by a badass detective, a psychiatrist who’s a bit too rational, the sagely occult expert, Doctor Marconi, and David’s not-too-bright-but-faithful-in-her-own-way dog, Molly.
Wong's treatment of familiar conventions is clever, and raises the question of whether the zombies would really be the worst thing about a zombie outbreak. Perhaps the worst thing, Wong suggests, would actually be an outbreak of human nature, in the form of trigger-happy vigilantes and survivalists, zombie-movie-crazed man-children with hero fantasies, the internet, and good-hearted people trying to save their friends. The “villains” might simply be the people acting rationally. Definitely one of the more self-aware, ironic horror stories ever.
Unfortunately, the book is weaker in other departments. The narrative is often thin and jumpy, as though Wong is writing from a storyboard in his head, but neglecting to show clearly how events got from state A to state B. Readers who have seen their share of B-movies will probably picture where he’s going with it, everyone else will be confused. Of course, the first book probably filtered out most of the latter group. The ending, disappointingly, leaves loose ends dangling.
Still, I enjoyed this one nearly as much as John Dies at the End. We get to know the three lovable losers, David, John, and Amy (with Amy being the least loserly) better as characters, and their thought processes made me smile. Perhaps it helped that audiobook narrator Nick Podehl gave them each a bit of personality of his own.
...but I don't know that any review I can give will do it justice.
I left a brief review for the first book intending to update it later before I found out that's not possible. So here's a more detailed review that covers the overall story of both books.
It's about a pair of Gen Y underachievers who, through experiences I can't relate without ruining anything, are gifted with a sensitivity to the supernatural and extra-dimensional. Their new perceptions give them glances at, and make them targets of, cloak-and-dagger forces that are inimical to humankind and..... just effing weird.
One guy is the irresponsible friend, the other is the straight-man, slightly less irresponsible friend. You'll get to accompany them as they try and manage their slacker, workaday, part time crud job lives - and at the same time deal with secret, heinous powers. Without any proof, it's just them against the world.
It's a contradiction, but their ineptitude has great poise, and you forgive their ridiculousness because 1) they're good-natured dudes at heart and 2) they're friggin hilarious.
I highly recommend this book. However, I've seen from the other reviews that it's pretty polarizing; people either love it or are unimpressed. I use it as litmus paper to see if my tastes are calibrated to other reviewers' when looking for suggestions. I def suggest checking a reviewer's history before taking their word on this book just in case it isn't your lager colour. If it is though, I promise you'll be well-sated.
This guy has great ideas but his story flows like it would if written by a kid with ADHA after eating candy bars and drinking a big gulp. I wanted to like it. It had so much potential, but it fell soooo short of what it could have been. I probably should have followed the advice on the cover. David wong/Jason Pargin needs a better editor.
This book has it all, and I've never thought that about another book. It's romantic, and sweet, and just hilarious, and spooky, and very smart. It's full of surprises, yet easy to keep up with everything. It defies categorization, so don't miss out on this one by saying "oh, I don't like that type of book." It's long enough to be satisfying, and you are glad the editor kept it that way. Also, you don't have to read any other David Wong books to understand everything going on. You won't miss out on anything by jumping straight to this one. Just order it, you won't regret it.
The narrator does a good job of bringing out the characters in his delivery without going too over-the-top. Most importantly, he feels like a good fit for David Wong's narratorial voice.
If the title of the book is appealing to you, you'll most likely enjoy the novel. It seems to me that David Wong is accomplishing pretty much exactly what he sets out to do, which is an admirable feat. The story is entertaining, the core characters are likable, the blend of horror and comedy works remarkably well tonally, and the book is clever and insightful without seeming like it's trying too hard to be just that. A lot of the humor is kind of stupid, but there's a human touch to it that makes it work.
I liked this book. Am a huge fan of the previous novel (John Dies at the End). I don't know if I liked this one quite as much as the first but still very good. Recommend highly, I would recommend that you read/ listen to the first book. Not absolutely critical, but you would miss a lot, I think without it.
DSLR Film Noob
I don't normally take the time to sit down and write a review, but I felt it was needed in this case. The previous book (john dies at the end) was narrated superbly by Stephen Thorne. It was a surprise to me when I started listening to this book is full of spiders that the narrator had changed from an energized sound Thorne to a drab, slow sounding Nick Podehl.
It's always a little jarring when there are changes in narrators through a series of books, but this change was almost as bad as the change from Tim Curry to Lemony Snicket in A Series of unfortunate events. It really takes you out of the book.
As for the book itself, it feels like it's missing a lot of the crudeness that was added by John's character in the first novel. Some might have found that a little distasteful, but it's what gives John dies at the end a lot of it's charm. This book is full of spiders feels like it's been run through the filter press that's squeezed out most of the random banter and frantic jumping around that made the first novel great. There is hardly a mention of soy sauce in the entire novel.
This book is full of spiders is not the action packed sequel to John dies at the end. Instead it's more like a watered down episode of 24 with the word terrorists replaced with spiders. It takes awhile to get started and when if finally does, you're racing along on a bicycle instead of an awesome dirt bike.
After writing this review I realized I probably wouldn't.
The last book I listened to was "John Dies at the End" and I REALLY enjoyed that book. There were so many elements of it that just clicked for me. It was/is so fun, fresh, funny, odd ball, horrible (in a good way), surprizing and really well narrated.
So I guess that the bar had been set pretty high when I started this book. The greatest disappointment was the change in narrators. Stephen R. Thorne (narrator of John Dies at the End) was just excellent in his depiction of the characters - especially the character of John, whom he plays as a down key sort of guy, I really liked that. All his other character's voices are well defined and you are able to tell them apart and visualize them.
The narrator of this book, Nick Podehl, does exactly the opposite and John is more hyper and yells allot. It is extreemly jarring going from one book to the next. As well, many of his character voices sound the same so I sometimes was lost in what was happening in conversations - who is saying what. His female voices are straight out of a bad Saturday Night Live skit, just horrible and all the same.
Ok I get that maybe they might have had difficulty getting back the narrator of the first book - maybe it was life, schedules, whatever - but WHY chose a new narrator whose style is so very different and is just not as skilled? So VERY disappointing.
Also gone was allot of the humour and fun. I get that more serious things happen in this book, but I think it is at the forsaking of the characters personalities. Possibly the author was trying to end the series and show some growth in his characters - but it just felt wrong and fell flat for me. Sometimes I caught myself silently growning and wanting to smack my forehead.
There is a death at the end that was just completely unnecessary and made me very angry. Really angry. That was just bs. Just horrible. You know what? I’m still angry. If I can ever figure out a way of deleting it from my audio book I will. It however may not be necessary as I doubt I will ever be listening to it again. By the way, since buying John Dies at the End a few months ago, I have listened to it three times.
Ok what did I like. Some of the humor was ok. Some of the ideas were fun, interesting, refreshing.
To be honest I was sort of relived when it was over.
Also I waited at least a month after listening to this book so that I could have some time to really reflect on what I liked and what bothered me.
I would have replaced Nick Podehl with the narrator of the first book "John Dies at the End" - Stephen R. Thorne
Please be more considerate when choosing narrators.
Not your average book but a very very good listen. This goes in my top ten listens. Amazing how a gory blood scene can be transformed to laugh out loud by the descriptiveness.
It really is a laugh out loud book, i found myself chuckling, laughing out loud, giggling; It is also an engrossing story with well thought out characters. I am off to find more by this author
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