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John Dies at the End #2

This Book Is Full of Spiders

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Goodreads Choice Award
Nominee for Best Horror (2012)
Originally released as an online serial where itreceivedmore than 70,000 downloads,John Dies at the End has been described as a"Horrortacular", an epic of "spectacular" horror that combines the laugh out loud humor of the best R-rated comedy, with the darkest terror of H.P. Lovecraft. The book went on to sell an additional60,000 copies in all formats.

As thesequel opens, we find our heroes, David and John, again embroiled in a series of horrifying yet mind-bogglingly ridiculous events caused primarily by their own gross incompetence. The guys find that books and movies about zombies may have triggered a zombie apocalypse, despite a complete lack of zombies in the world. As they race against the clock to protect humanity from its own paranoia, they must ask themselves, who are the real monsters? Actually, that would be the shape-shifting horrors secretly taking over the world behind the scenes that, in the end, make John and Dave kind of wish it had been zombies after all.

Hilarious, terrifying, engaging and wrenching, This Book Is Full of Spiders, the next thrilling installment, takes us for a wild ride with two slackers from the midwest who really have better things to do with their time than prevent the apocalypse.

406 pages, Hardcover

First published October 2, 2012

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About the author

David Wong

13 books5,234 followers
David Wong is the pseudonym of Jason Pargin. He is the former Executive Editor of Cracked.com, author of the bestselling John Dies at the End series and the award-winning Zoey Ashe novels. Jason has a new Goodreads profile under his real name, you can follow it here:


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5 stars
13,680 (45%)
4 stars
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3 stars
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225 (<1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 2,508 reviews
Profile Image for Mario the lone bookwolf.
805 reviews3,846 followers
June 5, 2022
One of the most freaking, funny, disturbing books I´ve ever read, a genre hybrid clash fun of unknown dimensions.

Hellish cool implementation of high trope density
I am not able to realize how Wong produces such an intense, dense, and stylish tour de force of seemingly well known and de facto stereotypical plots, elements, and tropes to mix them up into something that can´t be put in a single genre, that´s a strange crossover mixup, not just not caring about genre and writing conventions, but also kind of permanently self satirizing his writing style.

New clothes for old jesters
Digging deeper regarding these open questions will be one of my main intentions when rereading this amazing piece of madness that is a prime example of the fact that each well known element can be used in a surprisingly new and fresh style. That´s especially mindboggling in the very empty desert of fun, because creating new laughs needs a deep understanding of the desperate foundations of any muahahaha.

One must like this kind of humor to not find it repulsive
Consider yourself warned too, because it might not be the humor for everyone, but dark tone fetishists might find their Elysium.

A fresh star in the dark humor genre
Wong is the first one in a long time I would name in a row with Sharpe, Robbins, Moore, and others, just more action focused than these, because he has a great sense of humor that satirizes many genre elements and shows that pain and fun, horror and comedy, lie inextricably together, that even the most sophisticated, not pervy, high brow humor lies in the mechanisms greatly explained in

Incidentally, there are many interesting books dissecting humor, making enjoying great entertainment even more satisfying when knowing how it´s created, just as tropes do. By the way,

Tropes show how literature is conceptualized and created and which mixture of elements makes works and genres unique:
Profile Image for Montzalee Wittmann.
4,598 reviews2,309 followers
September 20, 2017
This Book Is Full of Spiders: Seriously, Dude, Don't Touch It
Written by: David Wong
Narrated by: Nick Podehl
This Book Is Full of Spiders: Seriously, Dude, Don't Touch It (John Dies at the End #2) by David Wong is soooo good! I got the audible because I watched the movie for book one and thought listening to the book would be close to 'watching' book two. If you haven't read book one, read it first or watch the movie first. I watched it on Netflix. It is important to know certain details in that book for book two. They must of changed the end of the story a bit but it doesn't matter for this book. The key things are in the movie.
This book is so silly and fun. I laughed, giggled, and snorted my way through this. I didn't hurry my way through because I wanted it to last. These two books are a must read! So fun! A stress relief, a get away from reality, a total no-brainer. Give it a try! I will say, "You're Welcome" now.
The narrator is spot on! He makes the book even funnier! Too perfect!
Profile Image for Mort.
674 reviews1,345 followers
January 22, 2019
Hey, man, do you want the truth? Do you think you can handle it?

Zombies? Humpf, yeah right. That's just ridiculous. The dead coming back to life to feed on human brains - hah! Complete and utter bullshit. Anyway, not much nourishment in most of the brains these days - empty, like candyfloss, if you had to judge by most reality TV.

No, the truth is actually worse than you can imagine...
Brace yourself, you are not going to like this...
There is, most probably by the time you read this, a giant spider in your head. I shit you not! You can't see it, as most people, and it is probably controlling you already. Impossible, you say?
Well, have you seen a puppet on a string? The puppeteer uses both hands, each with two pieces of wood shaped like a cross, the strings tied to the ends. Do the math:
2 hands, 4 strings each = 8 strings to control the entire body.
How many legs does a spider have? That's right, EIGHT!
Coincidence? I think not!

There has been signs, people, but it was just ignored.
Have you ever seen a spider wrap its prey up when it catches it, making it impossible to move? Well, how popular have chicken wraps become in the last few years? It's exactly the same concept!
You want more?
Parkour...it's only been a few decades, but look how popular this "sport" has become. Running, jumping, climbing...how the hell is that not supposed to be the inner spider trying to go back to nature?
How many elections have been won by politicians who have weaved a great, big web of lies...especially in the last decade?
And the Spider-Man movies - how the fuck do you remake an original ten years later and they are both hits??
Think about it, man, this shit is not just some conspiracy theory!

Ask David and John. It started in [Undisclosed], in David's house, when that spider was biting him in the middle of the night. As far as I know, they are the only two people who can see them, but that's because they drank some of that 'Soy Sauce'.
And now they have to try to prevent the end of the world, while David tries to keep his girlfriend away and she tries to get to him. And, of course, the whole town has been quarantined and all communication has been cut off. And Falconer, the FBI guy with the Porche, wants to arrest them and help them at the same time.
And lets not forget Molly, the dog...

Man, there's so much happening right now, and it seems impossible to stop Them...

Hey, it doesn't matter whether you believe me or not, man. The spider knows...


Okay, people, I enjoyed the hell out of this book, probably even more than I enjoyed JOHN DIES AT THE END. It's funny and silly, yet somehow believable in an unbelievable sort of way. And every now and then an interesting fact pops up -
I learned about DUNBAR'S NUMBER - which is 150, but you can Google that yourself.
And then, the malaria...

Okay, I'm gonna be a little dick here and just make a correction on something that was written in the book:
Plasmodium falciparum...
The author said it is the parasite that causes malaria - which is true, but it is only one of the Plasmodium pathogens. Granted, it is the most common one, but you also get Plasmodium ovale, Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium malariae.

However, since the fact wasn't completely wrong, but just stated wrongly, it's not an issue.

FUN FACT: Under a microscope, P. falciparum has the shape of headphones or a diamond ring.

Anyway, it was a fun ride, and it was a little of everything - comedy, sci-fi, horror, etc. Recommended to those who enjoys that kind of thing.
Profile Image for Goosey.
220 reviews9 followers
November 14, 2014
Pre-Read Review: WANT. NOW.

Post-Read Review: I’ve read quite a few books this year - some good, some bad, but nothing that is as near to perfection as this one. Like most fans of “John Dies at the End,” I’ve been waiting for years for Spiders to finally make its way into my hands. And like most, I spent that time wondering if it could possibly be as good as the original. Or… good at all. (Yes, that thought crossed my mind more than once. How could it not?)

Now here I am, having finished Spiders last night and I am still blown away.

Is it as funny as JDATE? No. But given the story, I don’t think it needed it to be. In fact, I’m glad it wasn’t. Unlike John and Dave, this book has grown up quite a bit. It’s much heavier, much darker and much more mature. It lacks the insanity of the first, but instead it’s more emotional and thought provoking.

You would think I’d be sad that the tone is so vastly different from the first, but I’m not. At all. Instead of feeling like he’s trying to re-capture what made JDATE great, “Wong” moves the characters forward, leaving the original insanity behind and showing us who they’ve become after saving the word the first time around. And because of that I felt more for the characters this time around. I was genuinely worried about what would happen to John, Dave and Amy. And I was rooting for them from page one. Yes, I felt the same way during JDATE, but this time I felt in my gut in a way I didn’t during JDATE.

This is one I know I’ll be reading again and that I already consider a favorite. It’s hysterical, moving, touching and truly heartbreaking. I’m hoping we’ll hear more from Wong soon.
Profile Image for J.L.   Sutton.
666 reviews927 followers
September 22, 2018
The paranoia of the narrator in David Wong's This Book is Full of Spiders drives this book to its spidery apocalyptic ending. The narrator is in turns funny, insightful and painfully annoying. I enjoyed this book (for a while) but found I wasn't looking forward to finishing it. It was an entertaining story, but I had become a little tired of spending more time in the company of the dysfunctional main characters.
Profile Image for Bradley.
Author 5 books4,099 followers
February 9, 2017
I loved the first book in the series, John Dies at the End, for all it's absurd lovecraftian slacker humor and over-the-top dick jokes and splashy gore and time travel and rastafarian dudes asking you to drink black goo that opens your mind to all the sick and twisted things that crawl around on the surface of the world but you never quite see them.

It was a vision of perfection if you love funny horror. I kinda made a happy dance.

So why didn't I read the second book right away? IDK! I don't have any excuse!

So yeah, I'm reading this before I read Futuristic Violence and Fancy Suits, because, you know, David Wong, and here's a big spoiler:

While there *are* spiders in this book, they're practically metaphorical. The novel is *really* a rip-roaring zombie-outbreak tale, again full of great humor and wry observations and a fully-slackerish mentality. It has a more streamlined plot than the previous novel, which is both a boon and slightly disappointing, because I loved how freaky the first one was, but the sense of a *really* *huge* *mess* makes this one rather shine.

Maybe you'd have to enjoy streamlined bizarro fiction to really enjoy this. Maybe you'd just have to enjoy supremely fucked-up literature in general, but still, this is pretty damn accessible. Just as David wrote, Zombies are a part of the cultural zeitgeist. Half the books on the market nowadays are tapping into this, our greatest fear, and it's not just the rotting hand jutting from the grave we fear, but the fact that *we* are the zombies.

You could call this book a wake up call. You *might* not need to drink any of that black goo, either! :)

Total popcorn fiction. Fun as hell and funny as hell. :)
Profile Image for Evans Light.
Author 35 books409 followers
April 26, 2021
Going to keep this one short and sweet.

Bottom line: I liked it, and look forward to David Wong's next book.

Did I like it as much as JOHN DIES AT THE END?



Because even though the story itself was strong, the quality of the writing seemed rushed and the narrative scattered. The personalities of the main characters shifted quite a bit from what I remember in the original book, and the supporting characters in SPIDERS were paper thin, usually summed up with a description of a celebrity they looked like. "Then the guy who looked like Jermain Jackson said," etc.

The beginning was strong and funny, and offered hope that this book would be as thoroughly pleasing as the original. That hope evaporated as the narrative began hopping from character to character faster than lice through a playground. As though that wasn't confusing enough, the author decided to have the narrative jump forward and backward in time as well, catching the reader up on what every main character has been doing in the meantime. It wasn't terribly confusing, just not particularly pleasing to read in that manner.

I had a great time reading most of this book.

After the story switched narrators for an extended period of time about 100 or so pages in, I got so bored I almost (unthinkably) lost interest in the book completely. I soldiered on, and thankfully the plot got interesting again and kept me reading and engaged up to the end.

Overall, I think I would have enjoyed a shorter, more succinctly told tale with a higher wit-to-words ratio, focusing on the main character over the rambling, undisciplined book it ended up being. Also, quickly dated pop culture name dropping doesn't equal funny, it equals pandering fan service to the target audience. Fine in moderation but wears thin when done too often, like product placement in a movie.

Also, as other reviewers have mentioned, I thought the book seemed to be using the second half to work it's way up to making a STATEMENT, some sort of BIG IMPORTANT social commentary at the end; I'm glad to see that the author decided to let that aspect fall away rather softly and gracefully at the end. Not the right book for preaching, and for that I thank you.

That being said, it's still one of the best stories I've read all year, full of imagination and delightful.

I highly recommend reading it, warts and all.
Profile Image for Lyn.
1,882 reviews16.6k followers
May 2, 2020
Jay and Silent Bob stand on a corner, smoking, and talking about David Wong’s 2012 novel, This Book is full of Spiders, the sequel to John Dies at the End:

Jay: What the F*** Silent Bob? What’d you think of Wongalongadingdong’s new book?

Silent Bob: [considers while smoking]

Jay: I mean, here’s these two who get mixed up in all this s*** and can’t seem to get it right, and then there’s Lovecraft, and isn’t he the creepy old cat? Am I right Lunchbox?

Silent Bob: [looks thoughtfully at Jay]

Jay: And Zombies? What the f*** Silent Bob? Did not see that coming, or did we? Was Wongo setting us up for a fall? What about the paranoia and the neurosis and collective en-f***ing-ui, is it a zombie apocalypse? Really, what say you my man?

Silent Bob smokes

Jay: And then! And then! It may not be zombies, cause I don’t wanna be a douchebag spoil meister, right Silent Bob?

Silent Bob: David Wong is an insightful and creative writer who has his finger on the pulse of pop culture. His musings and observations about current life are topical and well thought out.

Jay: Right you are, Silent Bob, right you f***ing are!

Profile Image for Liam || Books 'n Beards.
542 reviews50 followers
November 2, 2013
David Wong is an incredible writer. He isn't an incredible writer because he writes amazingly well. He doesn't. He writes like a seventh grader typing up some stupid story with his friends in his school computer room during lunchtimes.

The incredible part comes in when you take into account that John Dies at the End and now Spiders are two of the most enthralling, unique, funny, touching and interesting novels written in the past ten years. Period.

There is no way that the writing style should work, but it does. There's no reason you should care about the characters, who are useless bumbling half-retards, but you do.

Seriously. Stop this shit, it's hurting my brain.
Profile Image for Gregor Xane.
Author 19 books327 followers
July 25, 2014
Compared to John Does at the End, the structural problems here are minor. This actually reads like a novel rather than the world's worst 'fix-up.' But, sadly, this wasn't as zany as the first and it didn't have nearly the number of crazy gags, mysterious world building elements, and good humor per page as the first book in this series. It had a promising start but resigned itself to be one extended zombie joke for much of its page count. Thankfully, the last 25% was a return to form and was satisfying enough for me to consider picking up the next in the series at some point after its release--but not on day one.

If you've read the first book and haven't picked this one up yet, think of this one as Dave and John getting dumped in the Resident Evil film universe. If that sounds great, pick it up. Or, if you like zombies and dick jokes, give it a go. You won't be disappointed.

Full Disclosure: I'm not big on zombies.

Profile Image for Lizz.
235 reviews56 followers
September 12, 2022
I don’t write reviews.

No joke. This book is chock full of spiders. Well, ok, they aren’t REALLY spiders at all, but there are a lot of them.

David and John’s characters seemed different in this one. They were more scared and less sarcastic. And John didn’t wisecrack much. The story made up for the shift. Yes, it’s a ton of deus ex machina and silly stuff, but it’s so earnest and charming, that it eats its way into your heart like one of the aforementioned “spiders.”
Profile Image for Ashley Daviau.
1,803 reviews795 followers
January 23, 2019
I didn’t think it was possible for a book to be weirder, more horrifying and more awesome than the first book in the series but it absolutely was! This book was even better than the first and I just didn’t want it to end. Wong’s writing is truly hilarious and I found myself laughing out loud multiple times which rarely happens when I read. And then the next sentence would have me shuddering in horror! Wong really knows how to mix humour and horror perfectly, this book is such a great balance of both! The grossness was amped up in this book and I couldn’t have enjoyed it more. This really is such a weird and wonderful and horrifying story that definitely isn’t for the faint of heart!
Profile Image for Ghazaleh.
160 reviews109 followers
January 30, 2019
از یه طرف حس میکنم باید ۴ستاره بدم،از یه طرف دلیل خاصی پیدا نمیکنم برای کم کردن یه ستاره!
عاشق تک تک شخصیت های کتابم،از دیوید و جان با تمام مسخره بازیاشون تا ایمی با اون قیافه جذابش که هرچند غیر قابل دیدن بود اما اینقد خوب توصیف شده بود که انگار همش جلوی چشمت بود و مولی سگ وفادار و مهربون و بقیه و بقیه!!!
به نظرم ایده داستان خیلی جذاب بود، از یه طرف هیجان داشتم که زودتر بدونم آخر این داستان لعنتی خوب تموم میشه یا بد و از یه طرف دلم‌نمیخواست اصلا تموم بشه چون بعد از مدت ها همچین کتابی با همچین مضمون و داستانی به دستم رسیده بود و حیفم میومد اگر تموم میشد.
به طور کلی اگر داستان های تخیلی مورد پسندتون هستن این کتاب رو اصلا از دست ندید ولی اگر با اینجور کتاب ها ارتباط برقرار نمیکنید لطفا دورش ر خط بکشید.
Profile Image for Cameron.
Author 22 books15 followers
December 8, 2012
Following up the extraordinary John Dies At The End must have been a daunting task. The first in what I'm calling David Wong's David Wong series (the author's name is a pseudonym and is also the main character's name, as the books are written - mostly - in the first person) was a remarkable achievement, blending wit, juvenile and irreverent humor, and a healthy dose of gory horror. The follow-up, with what is one of the greatest titles of any book to date, is the continued adventures of David and John, but it's a slightly more mature book in its telling. Does that make it any better or worse? Well, it's a little of both.

First off, there's a reason I'm giving this book five stars. It's just plain old great reading. The sheer number of jokes has been reduced from the manic pace of John Dies At The End, but that comes with some better plot structure and a more focused narrative. And while the jokes aren't as rapid-fire as the first, the individual moments of This Book are still terrific.

As a variaition on the zombie novel, this is pretty decent, though the focus is less on the monsters and more on the individual relationships of the characters, which is how a good book should be. David and Amy's continuing relationship is, surprisingly, the highlight of the book, as John ends up playing second fiddle compared to his amazing role in the first novel. John isn't played with quite the manic insanity of the first, either, which I suppose lends more credibility to the character and should end up lengthening his shelf life, though I can't help but miss his stunningly awful (and awesome) one-liners like, "Got your tickets to the con-CHAIR-to?" However, he is given a bit more humanity in this novel, especially in regards to his fear of the creatures and reluctance to help Amy. It's a trade-off, neither a bad nor good one.

There's only one real problem with the novel, and that's in its two deus ex machinas. While one is most certainly a jab (and a delightfully hilarious one at that) at the convention, the other isn't. However, both are so particularly well written that I'm willing to overlook them. Like I've said before, I'd forgive David Wong anything short of murder, and even that, I might let slide. He's that talented of a writer.

So then really, my only problem with This Book Is Full Of Spiders is that there isn't a third in the series already in my hands. When I finished the book, I launched immediately into what I'm calling post-writum depression, that feeling you get when you've read all of an author's books to date and don't have another one in your hands. This writer is fantastic, and I cannot tell you enough that you should go read his work immediately.
Profile Image for Aleksandar.
6 reviews
January 14, 2015
Sorry, I don't want to be "that guy" but I just didn't "bought" it. First book was narrated flawlessly and purposefully with a lot of stuff going on and with no short of interesting things getting explained and a bunch of holy-shit-but-funny moments.

In this book however, I find it very unpleasant to read and then BAM! - some David Wong Cracked related fact that seems so out of place in the context of the book that it just jolts me from enjoying the narrative itself. Also, it felt like a really detailed screenplay than a book at moments. I don't want to say I got bored but... yes, I got bored now and then.

It's hard to top creativity of the first book but that seems too, fell short as well for me on this one. It felt "Aw, I've already seen/read/played that.", nothing new vibe, but it had it's shining moments though. Also, that Marconi mumbo-jumbo speech in quarantine was at the moments very confusing and unclear. And that would be ok if it didn't stretch for 50 pages, or at least it felt like 50 pages and made it confusing even if it actually wasn't. I also didn't like the "XX hours/days before XYZ" format. It did served purpose to, I guess, lead reader onto something and then XYZ just happens but not in the way reader thought it would go. And then that repeats a lot.

That being said - I actually enjoyed this book overall. Wretched thing is that you just and must, have to compare it to the first book and in that light, This Book is Full of Spiders holds weak. But technically it was a good and welcomed change of pace comparing to the JDaTE. It has some grand ideas that just at the end fall flat and I dare to say - don't deliver as promised (or we at least thought we were actually promised something). And that is the biggest flaw here, too much hype, too much expectations. Also, it kinda felt that JDaTE didn't have any actual consequences even when the narrator tries to convince us otherwise.

Yet, it's a pageturner.

This book is good in its own right and I don't regret a dime paid for it. You shouldn't too. Especially if you liked the first book, then it's a must read. But if you're a novice here, I suggest you read John Dies at the End first, because you won't understand third of what's happening in this book.

No matter what, I'm still looking forward to the next David Wong book. If he plans to write it that is. And if you do, David Wong, just leave the book thematics out from Cracked (at least until the book comes out).
Profile Image for rebecca.
12 reviews2 followers
September 29, 2012
I received the advance edition in a Goodreads giveaway (yeah!!) having not read "John Dies at the End." I entered because who doesn't want free books? and it looked to be kinda funny.

I'm not great at reviews. I'm not great at articulating what made a book....great. (see?) So I'll just say the following:

- absolutely love the writing style. Love. I won't describe it with the "[Famous Humor Writer] meets [Famous Horror Writer]!" formula....this is, inelegantly stated, its own thing. Funny Parts Are Funny! Scary Parts Are Scary! And Funny! I laughed, I cried. No, literally. I did. Out loud.

- I was über-cranky at work all day today because I'd slept maybe an hour or 2, having stayed up waaaaaay past my bedtime trying to get through the last few chapters. I don't remember when I did that last.

- As soon as I finish this review I'm going to go seek out "John Dies at the End," cause I'm totes reading that next, even though i'm reading backwards. Ew. I said "totes." But seriously. Five stars, y'all.
Profile Image for YouKneeK.
658 reviews80 followers
December 22, 2016
First of all, look at that cover. On second thought, if you’re afraid of spiders, cover your eyes and scroll on by. I really like it, and I don’t normally take much notice of book covers. Pictures don’t usually do much for me; I’d rather have 1000 words. But apparently I like pictures of books with holes that have book-page-spiders crawling out of them. Who knew?

This book is the sequel to John Dies at the End. Each book tells a complete story that stands on its own, although there are some fun references to the first book that would go over somebody’s head if they hadn’t read it. This second book has the same crazy humor combined with goriness, crudeness, and silliness, but I did think it was toned down a little bit as compared to the first book. On the other hand, I’ve now read almost 900 pages of this author’s writing, so I may have just built up an immunity. Or brain damage.

I didn’t think this plot was as unique and strange as the first one, but it still had its own unique flare and it was told well. In fact, I may have been more absorbed by this story simply because it wasn’t quite so bizarre. It definitely wasn’t devoid of craziness and fun, though. With this book I don’t see much harm in a brief synopsis, as long as I leave out all the juicy details: The story is basically about the zombie apocalypse coming to a small town in the Midwestern U.S., but with the not-really-zombies caused by not-exactly-spiders. Normally I hear the word “zombie” and reflexively reply with the word “ugh”, but this isn’t one of those tedious types of zombie/monster stories. I get bored if a story primarily consists of characters running from scary monsters, finding a temporary refuge, getting found by scary monsters, and running from scary monsters again. This book has an actual story, and it never once felt tedious.

The first book had been told primarily from the first-person perspective of the narrator. In this book, our main characters aren’t together for large portions of the story so the reader gets to spend some time in the heads of the other main characters. I enjoyed that because I felt like I got to know those characters better, and I enjoyed not being confined to a single viewpoint and a single chain of events. On the other hand, I wished the characters were together more often because I think they’re more fun that way.

One semi-spoilerish comment:

In summary, there were some things I liked better about this book as compared to the first book, and some things I liked less. On average, though, I think I enjoyed them about equally. I may have to check out some of the author’s other work someday.
Profile Image for Debbie.
1,439 reviews
February 12, 2023
another crazy trip down the rabbit hole - This book had an actual ending so I wonder what book 3 is about - I will know soon as I requested it from my Library and will get it later this week. It appears that I can't get enough of John, Dave, and Amy. There was a death at the end of this book but seeing as how this is science fiction and the death is of a character who is a bit mystifying anyway -I am hoping for a return of this character in the next two books.

I have no words to say about the plot - it is crazy, time-bendy, other dimension-y, conspiracy -theory riddled hodge-podge of a story. Other reviewers can do better justice to the description of this story.
Profile Image for Elizabeth.
92 reviews12 followers
July 2, 2023
Re-Read Review, 4.0 Stars: This book is a sequel to John Dies at the End. Despite the first novel being a certified cult-classic, I thought this entry was a tighter, more focused story that worked better on almost every level.

John and Dave are two unmotivated twenty-somethings who tried a drug called "soy sauce" that gave them the ability to see interdimensional creatures among other things. Soy Sauce is the series' ultimate deus ex machina. Every trip they take on the drug yields different, but impossible results, such as stopping time or controlling what's on the other side of any given doorway. I don't normally like plot-devices like these but in the context of this book it didn't bother me all that much because while the sauce can be relied on to get them out of impossible situations, the way it goes about it is usually unexpected and enjoyable.

This time Dave and John are up against spider-like parasites that take over a human hosts brain. Once controlled, the host becomes violent. Think "The Last of Us" only it's spiders instead of fungus.

"All Moral Choices seem easy when you don't actually have to make them."
The government fears that the only way to stop the rapid spread of this violent, parasitic outbreak is to quarantine off the area and bomb it despite uninfected people still being within the quarantine area. Is it morally justifiable to kill some to save many? Why must we as a society "other" people? Why do we care more about our personal wants over the greater good? There's some serious ethical questions looming beneath the gross out horror and sophomoric comedy.

Reading this book again after an actual pandemic was interesting. Granted, the pandemic is much spookier, much more violent, and involves way, way more spiders. However, the sense of uncertainty, the rapid spread of rumors, conspiracy theories, and quarantines were not that far off from reality which made the book more relatable in a weird way.

The book's ending was it's weakest stretch for me. Some interesting ideas were explored but on the whole it felt more aimless then the rest of the book had up until that point.

Final Thoughts:
- Carlos suggested that Dave, John, or Amy might be infected with one of the parasites but it was never resolved - are one or more of them still infected?
- How on earth is arranging a crowd into the shape of a penis easier than arranging them into the letters to spell HELP?
Profile Image for Caroline.
606 reviews805 followers
August 2, 2015
THE thing I love most about this book is that despite the absolute absurdity of everything that happens, the narration makes it feel real. Or at least real enough that it is completely hilarious. I enjoy that sometimes even our narrator, David Wong, is unable to describe what is happening and you get this passage that is basically the most unbelievable bullshit anyone could come up with... but I love it!

The writing is really amazing. It manages to be casual without being overly simple. The relationships between the characters didn't feel forced in any way and I liked that they were flawed characters. As with the first book, the main group aren't your typical hero. They aren't fearless or anything; they are just always in the wrong place, trying to not die. The other amazing thing about the writing in this book is that there is a chapter written as the perspective of a dog (which had I known about it prior to reading, I would have expected to be as awful as it sounds) but it was so well done and actually contributed to the story in a really interesting way.

I kind of wish that I had reread John Dies at the End before picking this up, just to recap, but I enjoyed it a lot nonetheless. The reason I am giving this four stars instead of the five I gave the first book is that the surrealism didn't surprise me as much and although this book is funny, it didn't have be cackling to myself in the same way the first one did. It's funny but not as funny ya know?

I understand that this book is not for everyone, but people who enjoyed John Dies at the End will appreciate it. It has the same humour and the non-linear story-line is really fun. The story is entirely bizarre and there is a large portion of people who would find it too ridiculous to enjoy. There is action and suspense and jokes and friendship. I find it hilarious and enjoyable because the story pushes my imagination to the limits but has just enough realism to make you think maybe this could happen.
Profile Image for Lena.
1,151 reviews253 followers
November 30, 2018

"How did we screw this all up so badly, John?"
He shook his head.
"We always find a way."

This Review is Full of Spoilers

Warning: Opinions are of a childless hardcore dog lover.

For 394 pages this book was the crazed, hilarious, thought provoking, action packed tale I expected.

Then that blackguard Wong killed off Molly. Molly was my favorite fictional animal after Rowl from The Aeronaut's Windless.

I understand why they did it.
I understand that in a way it was a compliment both to the character and the value of dogs in society.
I understand how well it wrapped up the story.

I don't care. I did not read a drunken meta spider crawling zombie apocalypse novel by David Wong in order to ugly cry.
Ugly. Cry.

So how do I rate 394 pages at 4.5 stars when it goes on to 404 and fuck you? I guess I'll take off one star and round down to three.

This book was included in the August 2017 Infested/Infected Nocturnal Readers Box. My first subscription book box!
Profile Image for Jerilynn.
5 reviews
October 6, 2012
I finished reading John Dies just before I went to work on Thursday, found This Book is Full of Spiders and started reading it after work Thursday night/Friday morning. It's now Saturday afternoon. I almost literally could not put this book down. You read it and think 'oh my god there is no way they can get out of this mess this time' and so you have to keep reading because you're only 50 pages in and if they all die right then, what is the rest of the book about. Again, there are some great one-liners (and entire conversations with John) that are completely ridiculous and hysterical. You also get to see more of Amy and Molly which was pretty cool. There's also some zombie philosophy and psychology that made me stop and freak out for several minutes. My only warning is that if you have any sort of pet or younger siblings that have a habit of munching on toes (or any body parts), make sure they are no where near while you read this book. I think I jumped 5 feet when I felt little teeth & a wet nose on my feet while I was reading a particularly tense scene.
Profile Image for Travis.
437 reviews
October 28, 2014
What the fuck did I just read? I don't even know except it was pure entertainment and awesome.
Profile Image for Kristin.
119 reviews42 followers
October 11, 2012
"How did we screw this all up so badly, John?" He shook his head. "We always find a way."

John and Dave are fucking things up. Again. This time, they try to rescue the world from spiders that turn people into zombies. Or do they? You never really know in David Wong's stories. You think you do and then... BAM, this is what you get:

John said, "Don't you get it? You're wasting your time, we're just a couple of inconsequential dipshits in this whole thing. The people behind this will take out all three of us. We're all pawns. Well, you're a pawn, we're a couple of Gummi bears your retarded little brother stuck on the chessboard."

I just love how Wong sometimes sneakily breaks down the fourth wall. You'll see what I mean by this when you read the last two chapters of this book. Because that's what you should do. Read the book. Now.

Why, you ask? Because it had everything that was great about the first book (John Dies at the End) - and more. While the first one had a lot going on and dealt with too many ideas at once (though Wong still managed to totally pull it off), Spiders is based on just one single idea that's executed beautifully with just the right amount of comedy and horror/tragedy. I was laughing out loud constantly, and I was even more terrified than with the last book. In between chapters, I caught myself rolling my eyes at the behaviour of certain characters or at absurd plot points. And let me be frank: I seldom do such things while reading. I usually blast through a book with blank emotions and think about it afterwards. Not possible with Spiders. I was feeling the book from page one until the very end. And that has to mean something, right?

I can't stress this enough: This Book is Full of Awesome: Seriously, Dude, Touch It!
Profile Image for Kate.
350 reviews4 followers
October 16, 2012
One of the blurbs for this book mentions that the author manages to keep up the horror while also being funny, which is both true and an incredibly good thing, because when you're reading a book that's designed to keep your shoulders tight from the suspense--and this book is designed to keep you in suspense--you really need to be able to laugh once in a while, or a lot, or you're probably going to strain something.

The jerkiness of the storyline got a little frustrating around midway through--the skips back in time to go to other characters' POVs, &c.--and after a while all the near-misses between the characters who were trying to find each other started to get exhausting. But I forgave all that for the humor, because this book is really, really funny. You can get away with a lot when you're hilarious.

There's also a lot of insightful bits scattered throughout as well: conversations on humanity, civility, villainy; gems within the brocade of humor. This is a very enjoyable book.

And even if you're an arachnophobe, it probably won't scare you too much.
Profile Image for Alan.
417 reviews3 followers
November 4, 2014
What ever I am reading on October 2 will be put aside for the day and a half it will take me to read this.

A more mature (well, relatively), and therefore less original, book than his first. Still, a lot of fun. The book seemed always on the verge of making some profound social commentary or of presenting some meta observation on genre convention, but then just thought better of it. Anyway, it should be easier than JDatE must have been to adapt into a movie.
297 reviews
October 9, 2012
I wish I could warp back to the time when I first read John Dies at the End. It was two or three in the morning, I had just discovered that I could browse the internet via my Wii, and I somehow stumbled upon it. The hours that followed (and several months later, after he updated it with the ending) were some of my favorite times reading a book. The raw, unfiltered originality is something that still sticks with me today. I don't think it was a literary work of art, nor do I think the story was necessarily all connected neatly... but it was hilarious, terrifying, and inspiring. It's still my favorite story, and I doubt I will ever come across anything like it ever again. It would be foolish to expect something close to that experience again in a sequel, so I tried not to go into it with any pre-conceived notions.

I feel like a couple of things happened in the sequel:

• His writing improved. A lot. I really enjoyed the alternating viewpoints, and he did well with them to create and maintain suspense. There was a surprising emotional depth to some of the characters this time around. I was not expecting that, but he pulled it off nicely. It was at least as funny, if not more so than the first one. You'll also never be able to guess what the fuck is going on or where it's headed.

• This felt more like a traditional book. That's good for several reasons, but I still felt a bit of a sad nostalgia, (sort of like when you smell a perfume that reminds you of the first girl you fell in love with) for the batshit insane, wildly creative, dimension sprawling adventure of JDATE.

So, ultimately, it was never going to live up to the first, which I have apparently already placed up on some unreachable pedestal. Time will tell if I feel the need to reread like I do for the first, but it was absolutely hilarious, creepy, and totally enjoyable.

Profile Image for Ric.
1,047 reviews115 followers
October 26, 2019
In its own odd way, this book was a masterpiece. It was so entertaining, and had some absolutely hysterical parts that had me laughing out loud. But it also had the supernatural elements and slight horror (way more than slight if you’re arachnophobic like I am) that you’d expect after reading John Dies at the End.

Dave and John are truly amazing characters and polar opposites, which helps them play off each other in the best possible way. Amy is a gem and she’s really strong in a way that Dave and John aren’t, which might make her the best of the bunch. It’s got everything, from a parasitic spider infestation (yes, this is my worst nightmare) that has the entire country thinking it’s a zombie apocalypse, to Dave and John using a magic door at a burrito stand to escape danger, to an actual phrase in the book that was “turkey Voltron”. That’s the best part of the series to me, the way that it balances serious and clearly not serious in such a way that it can have you on the edge of your seat one moment, and laughing hysterically the next. It’s a book that is so incredibly fun but also so messed up, and that mixture makes it an amazing series.
Profile Image for Hank.
820 reviews79 followers
April 15, 2020
John Dies at the End was silly and ridiculous and what I thought was going to be a one shot deal with any follow up a feeble attempt at recreating the magic. Well consider me pleasantly surprised that I have not yet grown up yet and neither have Dave and John. The dick jokes are still numerous, the banter barely past voting age and the story just coherent enough to support the idiocy. Those who liked book one will also enjoy this one, those who have logically decided that this is not their cup of tea, should leave it at that.

Already own and will read the third book.
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