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Jess Haines

I'm an author, a dreamer, a paperback reader...

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Hunter's Moon (Tales of the Sazi, Book 1)
'C. T. Adams', 'Cathy Clamp'
John Dies at the End  - David Wong Where to begin?

This book is crazysauce. CRAZYSAUCE, people. I mean that both literally and figuratively.

It is impossible for me to sum up the plot without spoilering to one degree or another–and this is a book best read without knowing what you’re getting into beforehand. I’ll do my best to keep those spoilers to a minimum but, before anything else, let me say this:

If you were to read only one book this year (other than mine!), let it be JOHN DIES AT THE END.

Funny, gross, scary, chilling, surreal—all of these words and more could be used to describe John and Dave’s story.

The book opens with a reporter meeting Dave to hear about some of the strange and unbelievable adventures that he and John had. From consuming an apparently sentient and self-propelling black liquid called Soy Sauce to levitating dogs to battling meat monsters (yes, a monster made out of deli meats), John and Dave have had some pretty goddamn weird stuff on their plate. Turns out they need to save the world, too. And, no, none of this is a figment of another one of John’s 3AM drunken or drug-fueled binges.

The book is broken down into three sections or stories. They aren’t independent of each other. Each one ties into the last, culminating in a shocking, disgusting, and bizarre ending, which, of course, is par for the course with this book. Their adventures take them from Undisclosed, a town in the Midwest, to the Luxor Hotel in Las Vegas, to other dimensions. I admit to giggling a little when they stepped through a tear in the fabric of space/time to play basketball in another dimension.

I seriously could not stop cackling like a madwoman over this book–when I wasn’t gripping the screen (as I read the ebook version) in sweaty palms, needing to know what was going on and what the heck was coming next. It’s one of the most irreverent and politically incorrect stories I’ve ever read, with a horror plot to do classic Stephen King proud, and a host of dick and poop jokes that will leave your jaw dropping wondering—“wait, did I read that right? Did they really say that?!” Oh yes, they went there. Oh, yes.

This novel is not for the faint of heart. While it is genuinely funny, it is also genuinely terrifying at times. It’s like Kevin Smith movies and Stephen King books got thrown together in a blender and were then left to ferment in some dark cellar somewhere to create a terrifying lovechild out of the heaping morass. The narration is so good, you can picture everything Dave is talking about, and then some. You’re right there with him, going “what the hell, man?!” and “OH SHIT OH NOES” and “Wait, wut. WUT.” And “Wat. No, really. Wat.”

Kudos to David Wong / Jason Pargin. You hit this one out of the park, sir. I’m eagerly awaiting the sequel, and the movie due out in 2012!