This book is a hot mess. And I mean that in the best possible sense.
There’s a dog that wanted half its body shaved so that it could steal food easier. She figured she wouldn’t be recognized that way. Ronald McDonald eats his own intestines. Jennifer Lopez, Morgan Freeman, and (maybe) Fred Durst are in this book – but not really. The main character, Dave, is bitten by a drug named “Soy Sauce” that John, Dave’s friend, got from a mysterious Jamaican. The Soy Sauce gives the user special powers (like being able to distract a man manufacturing bullets, which leads to the bullet not getting enough gun powder, which will one day save his life from “Morgan Freeman”, the homicidal police detective). There’s a car chase with a man made of cockroaches. This man is not related to another man made of deli meats.
This books appears to have been written by Christopher Moore having a bad acid trip in the midst of a David Lynch binge-watch. With a soupçon of Ready Player One (without the references to ’80s gaming culture) thrown in for fun.
And I loved it.
But….it was all a bit much, at times. You ever read when you’re tired or otherwise distracted? You know how you can read the same paragraph over and over and over and have no idea what’s happening in the story? There were parts of this book like that, for me. It was good – don’t get me wrong – and I liked the characters, but sometimes my mind just had to turn off from the narrative.
I read Wong’s most recent book – Futuristic Violence and Fancy Suits – last year, and absolutely loved it. That book was a lot more straight forward and….I guess “typical” is the word I’m looking for, here. John Dies at the End jumps all over the place and is just cuckoo bananas, so its impossible to really compare it to anything else.
Though I really enjoyed this book, I can’t in good conscience give it a broad recommendation. Read Futuristic Violence and Fancy Suits, first, and see if you like David Wong’s writing style. He’s witty, and frequently insightful. There’s a lot there to enjoy. If you get into it, then double back and check out John Dies at the End. Jumping into this one first may not work for everyone.