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John Dies at the End: Horrifying and educational

john dies at the end book cover

“WARNING: You may have a huge, invisible spider living in your skull. This is not a metaphor.”

This is the first line and premise of This Book is Full of Spiders: Seriously Don’t Touch It, which is part of the John Dies at the End series. It captures the insanity of the series that continues into the third book titled: What The Hell Did I Just Read?, which hit book shelves in October.

The stories revolve around David Wong, which is also the pseudonym of Jason Pargin, the executive editor at Cracked.com. Wong is a cynical individual who is introverted, self-deprecating and pessimistic. He has a dark sense of humour and sees himself as better than everyone but hates himself. He is the perfect, relatable protagonist for a lot of people.

Wong hangs out and teams up with his best friend John, who never takes anything seriously. To John, everything is overly dramatic and a dick joke. John takes everything to its extreme, is reckless and never takes things seriously. Together they come across a drug called Soy Sauce. After taking the Soy Sauce, the characters start seeing the horrors that lurk in the dark.

The books are a hilarious blend of Lovecraftian cosmic horror, science-fiction and Douglas Adams style humour. The series has taken the standard horror trope of “something horrifying is watching, plotting, destroying” and flips it on its head.

The first book opens with the characters setting out to stop a woman from being haunted by her dead boyfriend. They bring along a ghetto blaster loaded with Whitesnake’s “Here I go again on my own” and get tangled up fighting a meat demon.

That is only a taste of what’s in the first chapter. It only gets more absurd and wonderful the more you read it.

While absolutely bizarre, the book is grounded like a proper science fiction novel. It’s inspired by this wonderful crazy world we live in. The second book revolves around a giant invisible spider that lives in your skull. It is based on the Cymothoa Exigua, also known as the tongue eating louse. It bites off a fish’s tongue and takes its place. It’s gruesome, horrifying and educational.

The third book was released on Oct. 3 and if you’re looking for something to laugh and be disturbed by over the break or on your transit ride to and from NAIT, I absolutely recommend the John Dies at The End series. You’ll laugh, be terrified of things you see from the corner of your eye and go on the weirdest book trip you’ve ever been on.

– Steven Smith, Entertainment Co-Editor

Image via feihongbo.com

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