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Publisher's Summary

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

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.1 out of 5.0
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Performance

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
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Story

  • 4.0 out of 5.0
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  • Story

Vulgar Funny. 4.95 Sale Win.

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.

142 of 154 people found this review helpful

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  • Michael
  • Walnut Creek, CA, United States
  • 09-18-12

Funny but unfulfilling

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.

69 of 81 people found this review helpful

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Made me feel old

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!

36 of 43 people found this review helpful

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  • Alex
  • DALLAS, TX, United States
  • 05-21-12

Good fun, good narrator

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.

35 of 42 people found this review helpful

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  • Ryan
  • Somerville, MA, United States
  • 01-30-13

The mutant love child of “Clerks”, H.P. Lovecraft

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.

38 of 46 people found this review helpful

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  • Natalie
  • N Miami, FL, United States
  • 01-31-13

So very, very disappointed.

Would you try another book from David Wong and/or Stephen R. Thorne?

Let me start by saying that this book is impeccably written, it truly could have been an amazing novel... but the ending was pretty terrible. I understand that it was originally written as a serial which may be why it falls off the way it does. I just can't understand why the author would leave so many questions unanswered? I was literally haunted by the graphic/realistic imagery, the protagonist was just the kind of bitter investigator a reader can really get behind, but the book just apprubtly ends. I can scarcely explain my surprise and (really) horror when the audible credits began. WTF?REALLY, if there are any readers/listeners who felt differently, please let me know. Maybe I just need some further explainantion? Also, what's up with the title?

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

He could have given the ending just the slightest bit of closure and changed the title.

What does Stephen R. Thorne bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

He had a way of keeping me glued to my ear-buds. Even when the story got slow, I felt very much entrenched in what was going on.

11 of 13 people found this review helpful

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  • Jennifer
  • GRAND HAVEN, MI, United States
  • 10-15-12

Funny but unorganized and crass

Where does John Dies at the End rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

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.

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

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.

Any additional comments?

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.

22 of 27 people found this review helpful

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  • Shaun
  • Milpitas, CA, United States
  • 07-28-12

Funniest book in years.

Where does John Dies at the End rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This is by far in my top 5, I will listen to this again and again. Funny, fantastic narrator just plain wrong in all the best ways.

What did you like best about this story?

The screw ball comedy, the most absurd and unexpected things happening and the great personality of the characters (outstanding writing) makes this funny, perfectly paced and keeps you smiling; when it doesn't have you looking over your shoulder for a floating jellyfish)

What about Stephen R. Thorne’s performance did you like?

Great range, I felt like his character was talking to me directly. His performance accentuates the humor and is what made this one of the best audio books I have ever listened to.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I laughed a LOT. Very funny if you can appreciate the humor

Any additional comments?

GET THIS BOOK! You won't be disappointed...

20 of 25 people found this review helpful

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Funny, Vulgar, Suspensful

It’s really hard to come up with a good summary to this story, but what I can tell you is that it’s a funny sci-fi off-beat story. After listening to the first few chapters, I told my boyfriend about it, and we both pretty much raced through listening to it because it was so entertaining. I’d strongly suggest this book to anyone with a sense of humor, who doesn’t mind some good ol’ fashion poop jokes.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Chris
  • Dorchester, MA, United States
  • 08-06-14

It's an aquired taste...

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

Less bathroom humor and a more serious treatment of the horror element.

What could David Wong have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Stop trying to push limits just to see how long someone will listen. (At one point the author describes a sequence of numbers that went on for 2 minutes....0, 9, 10, 7, 8, 4, 3, 2, 11, 18, 27....and so on.) It wasn't clever. It was obnoxious.The online chat dialog was a close second. (Mustache girl, Evil Nymph, Fairy Dust)

What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

I liked the narrator. The performance was what originally attracted me to the audiobook.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Disappointment

Any additional comments?

I think the author is very talented and enjoyed some of the creative descriptive writing, but overall the hyper-silly tone kept me from following the key points to the plot and thinking the whole story was just a bad trip.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful