WARNING: Do NOT read John Dies at the End.  In it contains the truth about shadow people, soy sauce and Korrok. If you read it, they may take notice. You will never have another restful night’s sleep for as long as you live. Maybe even after that.

It’s probably too late. They may be watching you just for looking at this article. Sorry about that. My warning isn’t working too well. The best course of action is to defend yourself by reading the book, since knowledge is the best thing to protect you from the horrors to come. That or a baseball bat wrapped in Bible pages. Investing in a flamethrower wouldn’t hurt either.

John Dies at the End by David Wong (Senior Editor at is the story of David, John and a drug called “soy sauce”. This drug promises the user an out of body experience. Or an out of time experience. Or an out of dimension experience. Maybe even an out of reality experience. “Soy sauce” can heighten the user’s senses beyond human understanding. “Soy sauce” has its drawbacks, though—a 99 percent death rate being one of them. It should be noted the circumstances of those deaths aren’t from taking the drug itself, and typically involve the bodies not being entirely in one piece.

David and John are part of the one percent.  The “soy sauce” opens their perception of reality. Ghosts, demons and other supernatural entities and phenomenon are easily seen and won’t leave them alone. They unravel the mysteries of Korrok and the shadow people and struggle to stop their evil plans and save the world, which is really just a side-effect of attempting to save their own skin.

John Dies at the End is a horror-comedy, but that isn’t an adequate description, making it sound like “The Hangover” with ghosts. An engrossing plot wrapped in humor and horror sounds better, but doesn’t roll off the tongue as well. It has been described as Douglas Adams meets H.P. Lovecraft, an apt comparison. The horror is the kind that lingers, hitting you psychologically. You’ll question your place in the world and what could be moving in the shadows. The jokes are delivered so well, keeping you laughing through the fear. You’ll laugh page to page, taking breaks to hide under your covers.

However, the book isn’t just all scares and jokes.  The story is rich, and characters endearing. You get invested in the world and worry what will happen to, say, John at the end…whatever that might be. It has been years since I’ve read a story with such imaginative worlds and developed characters. The only fault in John Dies at the End is that it ends.

You may have asked yourself why do a review of a book from 2007? The answer is that a movie adaptation has recently been released. Directed by Don Coscarelli of Bubba Ho-Tep fame, the John Dies at the End movie promises to be a fun ride. It is available on popular digital on-demand services such as iTunes, Direct TV and Xbox Live and is currently in theaters at select locations. I will be waiting to see John Dies at the End when it comes to the Midtown Art Cinemas 8 in Atlanta on March 8th.  Will you?



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