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John Dies at the End (John Dies at the End #1)

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  48,664 Ratings  ·  5,081 Reviews
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 t ...more
Kindle Edition, 479 pages
Published September 29th 2009 by Macmillan, Thomas Dunne Books (first published 2007)
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Jordan Wk I'm not trying to be rude to you either, but it seems like you managed to pick the single adjective that in absolutely no way describes this book. Hm.…moreI'm not trying to be rude to you either, but it seems like you managed to pick the single adjective that in absolutely no way describes this book. Hm. It's a lot of things and the things it is, it is extremely.

Meandering? Yes
Self-aware? Self-indulgent
Sophomoric? Definitely
Convoluted? Surely

But in spite of all of that, I really enjoyed it and think you should give it a chance. You will also probably enjoy the sequel more if your complaint is about the narrative flow. The sequel is far more cohesive, sober and focuses on a single story in the universe rather than following two deadbeats for over a year.(less)

Community Reviews

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Wil Wheaton
Feb 09, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
I really loved this book. I didn't know anything going into it, other than that it was weird, so that's all I'll give you.

I think it's worth your time.

I read a lot... I read everyday and go through a number of books every week. Reading as much as I do, I get a real jolly on when I come across a book like this because it is so different from the usual fare. I'm not sure I can adequately describe the book, but the phrase that seems most apt is "brilliantly stupid"…with "surreal,” "incredibly funny" and "dude that’s gross" close behind.
Put this book down and go read Wong's work at, particularly his piece "6 Things Rich People Need to Stop Saying," a brilliant piece of humor, psychology and economics.

Back to John Dies. Yes, like the book blurb says, in some ways it resembles The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy--it's that strange blend of humor that occurs partially because of stacking two incongruencies in a slice of bread and calling it a sandwich. The heroes are similar
Nov 10, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
this is possibly the worst published book i have ever read. i'm sad to admit it was my ex-boyfriend's favorite book, so i read it to placate him. it took me all of about five minutes to get sick of the author's trite internet-meme-style wannabe-funny bullshit, which is sad because i believe he is the editor of (where the writing, though sub-par at times, at least typically makes sense and is somewhat enjoyable to read). at first i thought i wasn't reading it closely enough to follow ...more
Jan 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
This book is not for everyone but it is certainly for me.

We all know that I have the sense of humor of a twelve year-old boy. I can't help it. Just yesterday my manager was talking to my coworkers and I about her new job at Whole Foods, explaining what she would be doing (which is working behind the specialty cheese counter) and she spoke this little gem that slipped passed everyone's attention but mine: "...basically I'll be cutting the cheese all day." I slapped my hand to my mouth and trying
Nov 24, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: urban-fantasy
Have you ever played that game when one person starts a story and then another person takes it over, and then another, and then...until the story gets to where you can't even remember how it started?

John Dies at the End is a little bit like that game.

Now picture Howard Philip Lovecraft and Robert E. Howard playing this game around a campfire after a crazy party.

Now picture Howard Philip Lovecraft and Robert E. Howard smoking pot and drinking cheap booze as they play the game.

And then they are
Mary ~Ravager of Tomes~
Apr 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book is about shit. And insects. And humanity.

A peculiar combination, you may think? I agree. But this is a great story that may not have worked in the hands of any other author.

My most amazing cousin Danielle has been asking me to read this book for about a year now, and I'm really glad I finally picked it up.

It's packed with meat monsters, immortal dogs, & exploding eyeballs with a fake Jamaican cherry on top!

While all these aspects make for some top-level ridiculousness, I think it'
May 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, humor
Juvenile humor was only a feature of this novel, not a bug. There were plenty of bugs, tho. That being said, it was a light-hearted frolic in the woods of shit-narnia, and I felt like getting a tattoo of the Pi symbol on my toe. Strangely enough, I agreed with the idea of the last dead guy that first-person shooter games are training us for something... but I just can't figure out what it was... better game-playing? That's probably it.

This is a Fun Book, ya'll, even if I was expecting something
Dec 10, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, horror, fantasy
“The man-shaped arrangement of meat rose up, as if functioning as one body. It pushed itself up on two arms made of game hens and country bacon, planting two hands with sausage-link fingers on the floor. The phrase “sodomized by a bratwurst poltergeist” suddenly flew through my mind. Finally it stood fully upright, looking like the mascot for a butcher shop whose profits went entirely to support the owner’s acid habit.”

The above quote from the prologue sets the tone very nicely for John Dies at
Ruby  Tombstone [With A Vengeance]


#5. It's Literally Lough-Out-Loud Funny
I know it's not generally cool to slag off other people's book reviews. It's their subjective opinion, they're entitled, freedom of speech, blahdy blahdy blah. But the number of GR reviews for this book which contain the words "juvenile humour" and then proceed to dismiss the book's worth on that basis is jus
colleen the convivial curmudgeon

So... Um... Well, that was, erm, something all right...

So I suppose I should start off by saying it's not quite what I was expecting but, of course, the logical follow-up to that would be "well, what were you expecting?", and I'd have to say "I'm not really sure. But that wasn't it."

But I think one thing I was expecting was a different kind of humor. Maybe something more along the lines of A Dirty Job by Christopher Moore, or even 'Army of Darkness' with Bruce Campbell.

Not to say it didn't h
"This stopped me. The cops called us? What, they got a ghost they want us to check out? Like we're fucking Scooby-Doo?"

Premise: David Wong and his friend John are kind of ghost-busters, they see things that others can't. This is because of a drug that they have consumed which is named soya-sauce for the lack of a better name and it does look a bit like that (apparently).

I liked it at the start. I really did. The jokes, the way the horror and humor were combined made me keep on turning the pag
Aug 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing
5 Stars

This is a blast of a bizzaro piece of weird fiction. It is a blend of horror, new weird and psychological madness. David Wong is the name of the author, the name of the narrator, and the name of the main protagonist too (Not necessarily all the same!!!). This read is not for the faint of heart, nor is it intended for those that like things spelled out for them all nice and clear, and then drawn up with nothing but straight lines. The weirdness of this book can be challenging to read and t
Nov 08, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: unfinished
(WARNING: The following is not a well-balanced, conscientious review.)

John Dies at the End dies before it even reaches the first chapter.

The story - such as it is - revolves around the typical gross-out paranormal-type activity that made Kevin Smith's "Dogma" such a success (think "It's a shit monster!" and you've pretty much got the idea of what seems to have inspired this book). Within the first 20 pages, the reader is witness to blood, copious amounts of excrement, a flaccid - and gratuitous
Scott Woods
Apr 09, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
Simply put, I have never laughed harder at a horror book. This is less an attempt by "Wong" to write horror so much as it is for him to hone his humor chops on a genre that's been whipped to death by too much seriousness. It's appropriately gross, rolls out misadventure after misadventure, and ultimately satisfies on multiple levels. If you're into horror, you'll likely find it pretty smart. If you're into comedy, this on has great edge throughout. I don't know if I'd recommend it to anyone who ...more
JOHN DIES AT THE END, by David Wong is a book that genuinely has me at a loss for words! There's no question that this classifies as "bizarro" fiction, but other than that . . . I found it quite different (in a good way) in the beginning, especially. The only real complaint I had was that it seemed some scenes went on unnecessarily long. (This was more evident in the second half of the novel). A very original work, but one that defies--at least MY--attempts at a comprehensive review.
Crystal Starr Light
Bullet Review:

Bleh. I tried and I tried and I tried to like this disgusting, gory, weird little book, and it just isn't happening. I'm sure there's an audience for this type of book, but it sure as hell ain't me. And, as I've said before, life's too short to be wasted on books I'm not liking.

Full Review:

I have to write a review for this? Really? And a plot summary? How do I even begin to sort through the batsh!t weird that happens in this book into a cohesive, comprehensive summary? Do I even re
Edward Lorn
Jun 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"There's nothing new under the sun."

If you're an insecure creative person, you'll hear this phrase quite often. Friends will try to build you up, because there's no easy (or friendly) way for them to say, "Maybe storytelling isn't for you, you know? Perhaps take up model-building or lint-collecting?"

I used to agree with "There's nothing new under the sun." Really, I did. Hell, I'm even guilty of uttering it once or a dozen-hundred times. The truth is, that sentence is bullshit. "There's nothing
David - proud Gleeman in Branwen's adventuring party
Don't let the spoilerish title fool you... John Dies At The End is full of surprises!

Life is full of millions of choices. And while some are instantly recognized as "life-choices" (like getting married or picking a career path), others are deceptively innocent. But even the smallest of choices can have huge consequences. That's the hard lesson David Wong learned when he decided to challenge a hack street-magician at a concert. Had Wong simply rolled his eyes and kept walking, his life may not h
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
If Harold and Kumar swapped some DNA with The Ghostbusters and were birthed by Hunter S. Thompson on a Hitchhiker's Guide through the galaxy, you might end up with something kind of close to John Dies at the End. I had ZERO expectations going in to this book. I knew nothing except what I read on the book jacket and the fact that Wil Wheaton didn't think it sucked. I ended up on a full throttle, high octane, wild, grotesque, hilarious, vulgar, long, strange journey and I'm so glad I did.
Jan 09, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, fiction
The last quarter of this book deserves 4 stars, the first three quarters deserve 2.

Firstly, the dialogue in this book (and sometimes the internal monologue) is very wry and generally hilarious. Easily its best quality, and kept me reading past the slow parts.

Unfortunately, the dialogue is often eclipsed by TONS of gruesome and gory visual descriptions, and though they are perfectly tolerable at first they do drag on after a while. After the 50th or 60th person whose entrails explode into a rain
Feb 01, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Daniel by: Brian
Shelves: 2009
"'...And, well, that's my story,' I said. 'I'm sorry that it's so, you know. Retarded.'" -- David Wong, "John Dies at the End"

"John Dies at the End," originally published on the Internet, then self-published in book form by David Wong, and apparently being republished in September by St. Martin's Press, is kind of like "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies," but with five fewer Bennet sisters and six dozen more dick jokes. While "John" predates "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies" by several years, it l
David M
Apr 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Amazing, David Wong has created a fantastic book for the open minded. After reading it I then went out and got the Audible version so I could listen to it again on the way to work. The characters were original and engrossing. The story is a unique breath of fresh air that will make you say "WTF?!?!?" consistently as the plot progresses. If your in to seamless progression then this book will not appeal to you. If jumps, twists and turns in the air. Just when you think you have a handle on where t ...more
Jan 21, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of horror and science fiction who can handle lots of bathroom jokes.
Recommended to Bryant by: Chris Hall
There are few books that can cause me to laugh out loud in one paragraph, and later in the same chapter have me cringing in real fear or disgust. This book accomplished all of this and more.

John Dies at the End is not a literary masterpiece. Its plot has flaws. It needs some real face time with a legitimate editor - or at least someone likely to catch the numerous typos, misspellings and punctuation errors. The humor is abrupt and sophomoric.

But despite all that, this book is fun. It is thorough
Aug 10, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: the-big-letdown
I couldn't wait to get my hands on this; word-of-mouth promised a heady, hilarious horror romp. Unfortunately, it did not live up to the hype for me. Think Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure meets Ghostbusters (or depending on your frame of reference, maybe “Ghostfacers” a la Supernatural), with Lovecraftian-style monsters, a twist of Rod Serling and a dash of psychotropic drugs to really mess you up. Sounds promising, no? Brilliantly mad? Genius even? The only problem is it falls way short of s ...more
Jun 06, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Terrible. Positively dreadful.

The entire time I read it, with its typos and its tiny font (which means the book is probably a good fifty pages longer than it actually is), unwieldy plot and more uses of the word "retarded" than a book actually ABOUT retarded people I had a hunch something was amiss. After finishing it, I find it out it was started as a web serial and was originally self-published. It makes perfect sense, because clearly no editor's eyes have ever been laid on this piece of shit
Jan 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
HILARIOUS is probably the best word to describe this book. It actually had me laughing out loud at times because it is so bizarre. The narration is funny and at times will even acknowledge how effed up the scene is- basically saying "I can't actually think how to describe this so just imagine something weird." The entire time I was reading this, the story felt very simple and as straight forward as such a wacky story can be. When I reached the end I realised just how clever it actually was, ever ...more
Mike (the Paladin)
I finished this book a couple of nights ago. As a side note I'm almost halfway through a book titled The Rook. Reading these books back to back, I've got to I the only person left in the world who doesn't use the great English "f" word (f**k) as a common part of my vocabulary?

Oh well...on to the review.

Over all I like this book and I think it's well written. I can partially agree with another reader who said that they "laughed out loud". On occasion I did to. I'll be giving a sort of "g
Dec 19, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was on a list from which I pull many of my reading selections. Every time I noticed this title on that list, there was always a brief pause while I speculated about it. Is John the main character? Does he in fact die at the end of the book, or at the end of something else? Is it a physical death, a metaphorical death, or a spiritual death? Is it a complete lie? I had many, many other theories, but I knew absolutely nothing about the book itself. When the Kindle edition went on sale a m ...more
Díváte se na Supernatural?

Představte si epizodu, ve které v blíže neurčeném městečku řádí superagresivní plyšoví medvědi ovládaní temnou Pandou z jiné dimenze. Obyvatelé si ničeho nevšímají, dokud je nesežere jejich vlastní kebab a dokud se jejich pes nezačne chovat jako krab na LSD. Jo, a taky sem tam někdo exploduje.

Ta knížka je totálně šílená. A ani jeden odstavec se nesnaží tvářit, že by to snad mohlo být jinak. Je to vtipné, neskutečně střelené a mám pocit, že jediný způsob, jak se naladi
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David Wong is the pseudonym of Jason Pargin. He is the Executive Editor of, author of John Dies at the End and the New York Times bestseller This Book is Full of Spiders. His third novel, Futuristic Violence and Fancy Suits debuted on October 6 2015.

John Dies at the End was adapted into a feature film and debuted at the Sundance film festival in
More about David Wong...

Other Books in the Series

John Dies at the End (3 books)
  • This Book Is Full of Spiders (John Dies at the End, #2)
  • What the Hell Did I Just Read (John Dies at the End #3)
“Son, the greatest trick the Devil pulled was convincing the world there was only one of him.” 345 likes
“Scientists talk about dark matter, the invisible, mysterious substance that occupies the space between stars. Dark matter makes up 99.99 percent of the universe, and they don't know what it is. Well I do. It's apathy. That's the truth of it; pile together everything we know and care about in the universe and it will still be nothing more than a tiny speck in the middle of a vast black ocean of Who Gives a Fuck.” 275 likes
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