Violence, soy sauce and zombie survivalists abound in this clever and funny sequel to John Dies at the End (2009).
One of the great things about discovering new writers, especially in the narrow range of hybrid-genre comedic novels, is realizing that they’re having just as much fun making this stuff up as you are reading it. Sitting squarely with the likes of S.G. Browne and Christopher Moore, the pseudonymous Wong (Cracked editor Jason Pargin) must be pissing himself laughing at his own writing, even as he’s giving fans an even funnier, tighter and justifiably insane entry in the series. A quick prologue catches us up on Wong and friend David, whose first adventure was chock full of psychotropic drugs and X-Files style paranormality. The great thing about these characters is how normal they are amid the madness. “We’re not special, it’s just the result of some drugs we took,” Wong explains. “Just for future reference, if you’re ever at a party and a Rastafarian offers you a syringe full of a shiny black substance that crawls around on its own like the Blob, don’t take it. And don’t call us, either. We get enough bullshit from strangers as it is.” This time around, the boys are trying to mitigate an influx of spidery invaders that soon blossoms into a full-fledged zombie massacre. The humor here is unforced and good-naturedly gory. Anyone who enjoyed the recent films The Cabin in the Woods or Tucker & Dale vs. Evil will find themselves right at home. An upcoming (cult?) film adaptation of John Dies at the End promises to lure new readers.
A joyful return to the paroxysms of laughter lurking in the American Midwest.