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Publisher's Summary

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.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • 4.5 out of 5.0
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  • Ryan
  • Somerville, MA, United States
  • 12-24-13

Stupid/smart Gen-Y horror/satire

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.

16 of 16 people found this review helpful

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If You're Considering This... Go Ahead!

My title is really how I feel: If you read the summary or looked at the cover and thought, "I might like this," then go ahead and buy it. You will NOT regret it. Now, it is just as strange as it sounds, but it is also extremely entertaining. I jumped at the opportunity to listen to this book because I enjoyed John Dies at the End (paper, audio, and movie). As always in cases like this, I feared disappointment, but Wong's second book is even stronger than John because it is more tightly plotted. While I would have been hesitant to recommend John to just anyone, this book is more traditional without losing any of the edge or insanity that made John so fun. I was also concerned that the narrator had changed, but Nick Pedehl does an outstanding job, and I really could not choose which narrator I prefer.

If you like crazy fun, comedy, random insanity, or just hate spiders, I highly recommend this book to you.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • Kris
  • Helena, MT, United States
  • 10-17-12

Gory Good Fun

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.

17 of 18 people found this review helpful

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Holy Velvet Jesus Painting, My Jimmies Are Rustled

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.

46 of 51 people found this review helpful

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David Wong in nuts!!

Outstanding horror comedy. David Wong delivers another outstanding novel. I can't wait for his next project to be released. I need one more word to submit this. 6 over, cool.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Arianna
  • Sherman Oaks, CA, United States
  • 11-19-13

Douglas Adams and H.P. Lovecraft had a baby.

Where does This Book Is Full of Spiders rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This is one of my favorite audiobooks I've listened to so far. I listened to it alone, at night while at work, and while I was was quite freaked out the entire time, I couldn't stop listening. It was often the highlight of my day.

What did you like best about this story?

I thought this book was far more cohesive as a novel than the first book, John Dies at the End. But the characters were still vivid and entertaining. My favorite part of this book was that I never once stopped rooting for the characters. I had no flippin' clue where the story was headed, which Wong is fantastic at, but I had to keep listening.

Have you listened to any of Nick Podehl’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I really enjoyed the reader, and even went through some of his other books, but none stood out to me quite as much as this one.

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

I always laugh out loud at David Wong. He has an easy, flippant way with words. I did cry at the end, again...while at work...like a crazy person. Like I said, he gets you rooting for everyone.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • Ryan
  • CA, United States
  • 05-27-13

Love this book. As good as the first, 'John Dies'


...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.

14 of 16 people found this review helpful

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Just what it's supposed to be

What does Nick Podehl bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

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.

Any additional comments?

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.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Why no Stephen Thorne

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.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • James
  • Somerville, MA, United States
  • 09-12-13

Characters Aren't the Same as in JDatE

Would you try another book from David Wong and/or Nick Podehl?

I look forward to David Wong's next book.

What other book might you compare This Book Is Full of Spiders to and why?

This book must be compared to the first in the series, John Dies at the End, and while I found the second in the series enjoyable, it lacked several things from that book. The characters seemed to have changed: they are less funny and more scared. The narration, while perfectly fine, also affects the way the characters come off. Stephen Thorne's narration was excellent and is missed. I'm very tempted to read this off the page to see how much of the difference between the two books is the narrator; it must be at least a small part of it. But there is no doubt that these aren't the same David and John we saw the first time around. They are too serious, to scared and too conventional.

What three words best describe Nick Podehl’s performance?

Not Stephen Thorne.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

Yes. It might actually be an excellent movie.

Any additional comments?

Despite my 3 star review, I think this is a good listen. If you are coming from John Dies at the End, and loved it as much as I did, nothing I can say will stop you from listening anyway, so dig in, and I hope you like it more than I did.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Caroline
  • 11-22-12

awsome

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

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Lora
  • 09-25-15

favourite book of all time!

I have listened to this book about 4 times and read it myself about 3 times also. It is such a great book, well written, enjoyable and funny. highly recommend if you enjoy fantasy horror comedy.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Kentoski
  • 09-09-16

hugely entertaining sci-fi-ish romp

A rollercoaster ride of occult, conspiracy, infection and spider, set in the sleepy town of UNDISCLOSED.

Highly recommended.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Louis Zaidman
  • 05-06-16

Fantastic book

I've read it five times and listened to it once. Can't recommend it higher. In one word, awesome!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Paul
  • 08-31-15

Brilliant story, Brilliant Narrator

Really enjoyed this. made me laugh, cry, and shiver. Did enjoy John dies at the end, but thought this was better. Highly recommended.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • leighisking77@hotmail.com
  • 11-07-16

Great fun

This book is really great fun and an excellent companion for driving, engaging but not taxing.

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  • Kelly Doak
  • 08-01-16

Velvet Jesus

Absolutely hilarious and absurd, occasionally scary, or at least disgusting. This is my second listen through and I loved it as much as the first go around.

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  • jonathan
  • 01-27-16

Good, gory intelligent fun.

This is just the kind if book I would have loved during adolescents. A hell of a lot of blood and guts.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • clare
  • 04-13-16

a stoner flick book

if you like stoners dlicks such as pinnapple express and dude where is my car and of course the 1st book "john dies at the end" i totally recommend this book. it is funny surreal crude and has more brains and charater development than many literary dramas.

low stake writting at its best

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • paul
  • 01-15-16

a frisky funny jaunt that provokes thought.

This book will make you laugh. The best thing though is it does it with good interesting material

1 of 1 people found this review helpful