WHAT THE HELL DID I JUST READ by David Wong

WHAT THE HELL DID I JUST READ

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Dave, John, and Amy are back to kick supernatural ass and chew bubble gum. And they’re all out of bubble gum.

Wong (Futuristic Violence and Fancy Suits, 2015, etc.)—in reality, Cracked.com executive editor Jason Pargin—burst onto the horror-comedy scene with his phantasmagorical novel John Dies at the End (2009) and has been steadily ratcheting up the madness ever since. You really can’t say he didn’t warn you when his new book’s first words are: “You want to hear a story? Well, buckle the fuck up.” Here Wong revisits his weird Midwestern town (name undisclosed) that’s much like the splatterpunk cousin of Welcome to Night Vale (2015). What starts as a kidnapping case—a little girl is taken by a paranormal entity calling itself “Nymph”—quickly spins out of control to include biker gangs, a secretive government agency, implanted memories, a flying bat creature, and a boss-level leviathan affectionately known as “Millibutt.” “Let me give you a tip: if you’re ever the victim of a terrible crime—like, say, your kid goes missing—and you see the cops consulting with a couple of white trash–looking dipshits in their late twenties, it’s time to worry,” Dave warns us. As crazy as things get, the book remains grounded via an apocalyptic rain storm (giving Nymph a nice Blade Runner–inspired monologue), Dave’s stubborn reluctance to treat his depression, Amy’s sensible charm, and John’s ineffable, if meth-fueled, confidence. But before you think this is evolving into a domestic drama, bear in mind that it also features a porn star made of shape-shifting bug monsters, a DIY gun that shoots hellfire-laced dildos, and a T-shirt cannon packed with the Shroud of Turin. There’s even the return of old favorites like Dr. Albert Marconi and the psychedelic drug Soy Sauce. Oh, and John dies. Again.

A frenetic, welcome return to Dave and John’s grotesque but funny grindhouse nightmare.

Pub Date: Oct. 3rd, 2017
ISBN: 978-1-250-04020-6
Page count: 384pp
Publisher: St. Martin's
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15th, 2017




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