Written by: Vitina Molgaard
Here is another new author for me, one with quite a tale to tell. David Wong utilizes quite the interesting approach to storytelling, and his content is about as left field as some of Joe R. Lansdale’s finest concepts. After reading this story, I found myself watching out for things from the corner of my eye…when leaving a room…or entering a new place. You know, those things you maybe thought you saw move…or shadows that are not situated the way they should be. This book actually resonated with me, enough so that when alone, I still find myself double checking nooks and crannies from time to time.
Welcome to a town we come to know as “Undisclosed” (yes that’s the actual name). Here we come to spend our time with two slackers with little ambition and a lot of time to waste… and, be wasted in. Dave and John…yes, the titular John, spend their days working at a little old video shop. Well, I should probably rephrase and say Dave works there. For the most part, John just hangs out and calls it working. These are two men who consider each other friends but it’s only one half of this awkward duo who finds himself frequently tested.
Our key characters are a bit more unorthodox than most and become even more so after encountering a man involved with a new drug branded “Soy Sauce”. After too much abuse, that wacky Soy Sauce leads to some strange time shifts that send these characters in an assortment of different places…unknown and yet strangely familiar to both. Reality spins out of control, Dave becomes obsessed with zombies, and whether they’re real or not is something you’ll have to discover on your own. I’ll avoid touching down on that specific element of the story, and call a halt to dishing on too many fine details.
The point is, in John’s world, things are… changing. Our heroes find themselves lost in dark shadowy places …with increasingly darker beings surrounding them. The violence escalates, and the story takes on a tangible intensity. This is one imaginary, diverse tale loaded with humor, fear and honest horror. The novel’s finale merits promotion, as it’s rather compelling, but again, I wouldn’t even consider divulging too much. Just know full well that “David Wong” intentionally leaves this one open: we have not heard the last of these two… miscreants.
I recommend this story with high ratings. This is a tale that keeps you wandering and wondering, so be prepared and pay full attention. My respect goes out to Mr. Wong: John Dies at the End is a well written story that left me looking forward to the (already released) sequel. To those of you who have taken the time to read this review, I suggest you take some time to read this book… it’s a piece of work well worth the time.
Editor’s note: Keep your eyes open, Don Coscarelli’s screen adaptation of this one is headed to VOD on December 27, 2012 with a limited theatrical run scheduled to launch on January 25, 2013.