John Dies At The End [Book Review]

A/N; I think I’m going to try to write this review slightly different, it being shorter than my usual efforts, but please let me know if you prefer the other way. There will be a post explaining why.

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 too late. You touched the book. You’re in the game. You’re under the eye.

The only defense is knowledge. You need to read this book, to the end. Even the part with the bratwurst. Why? You just have to trust me.

2/5 – some funny parts, but overall boring.

I was recommended this book by a university friend, she raved about how good it was, so I was expecting great things. I think that was where one of the problems lay, it just wasn’t as good as I thought it was going to be.

Starting with the things that I liked about this book, the humour at times was refreshing and it was genuinely funny. There were moments where the guys, John and Dave, interacted and it was hilarious and I really did laugh, sharing passages with my partner. I thought that the way that Dave told the story and his style of storytelling was what made the funny moments really pop and make the pace move.

Talking about the characters, I thought that Dave had a really weird personality, which had its good points and also its bad points. The good points being that it gave the narration an interesting twist especially with his reaction to things and John’s stories. Out of the two of them he was definitely the sensible, the one who questioned what they were doing, held down a job and still put up with John’s craziness. I felt that as a character I was really connected to him and the way that he saw things, probably because he was narrating the story. I will talk about the bad points as a collective below.

John on the other hand, I couldn’t connect to, and therefore had very few good points as a character. I thought that there was so much potential with this character that he was undersold and irritated me more than anything. I think that the only good point about John was the opportunities he gave Dave for a shoot down, and showed Dave as the better character which was appreciated.

Onto the story, I was looking forward to delving into the weirdness that was this book, and I thought that in some places it really delivered and in others not so much. In terms of the good things? In some places I was actually scared, like didn’t want to go to sleep scared, which is a massive thing. I’m not going to pretend that I don’t scare easily, but I haven’t been scared by a book since I was a child. Some of the imagery was fantastically well written and I was really impressed by these parts.

Now onto the not so good.

The humour although funny in places soon became repetitive and juvenile. I soon tired of John’s attitude towards everything and the way that he saw everything. It was almost as though Dave was babysitting a child all the way through, and considering what they were dealing with it seemed completely inappropriate.

Getting onto the characters, one thing that became increasingly apparent throughout the book was that I had no clue who was who and what their part was to play in the grand scheme of the storyline. It made the overall reading confusing and weighty.

The main characters, and I have touched on this at the top, but getting into more detail, Dave, he started out so well, and then he lost it all with the ‘bratwurst incident’. I couldn’t believe that a sane person would go along this journey without even a question, it was ridiculous. I thought that despite everything that happened there was an odd kind of acceptance that just didn’t sit well with me.

John, he was my least favourite character in a book for a long while. I thought that his character development was minimal and awfully written. He was childish and ridiculous and apart from providing Dave some brilliant one liners he really just irritated me.

Onto the bad parts of the story, it was awful. I had no idea what the hell was going on. I had to keep rereading parts, and it still didn’t make any sense. I reached the end (finally) and I felt as though nothing had happened and nothing had progressed very far. There were a lot of singular events but I didn’t feel as though they were a coherent story and that is the biggest reason for the low rating.

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4 thoughts on “John Dies At The End [Book Review]

  1. I couldn’t agree more. The book is hilarious at times, but certainly juvenile. Thanks so much for the great review! If you’re ever interested in some other great book reviews, be sure to follow! Thanks!!!

  2. A very interesting and well written review. I actually read the book and its sequel last year and I generally did enjoy it, but I agree that it doesn’t really go anywhere. I think the main reason I liked it so much is because of how refreshing it was (especially with the humour as very rarely does a book make me laugh out loud) and David Wong’s writing is really good, in my opinion. Even still, you make very good points, thanks for the great review. 🙂

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