mordicai caeli (mordicai) wrote,
mordicai caeli
mordicai

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Korrok was here. (94)

John Dies at the End by David Wong.

First Person Shooters
are Murder Simulators.
Praise Korrok, & DOOM.

I can't quite figure out what I want to say about this book. I liked it, I liked it enough to anticipate a sequel. It isn't what kingtycoon thought it was: he said he imagined Buffy: the Vampire Slayer was like this, having never seen that show. No, definitely not. First off: this is definitely a Wastelands book. I think it is even set in the novel in Ohio, but that is tough to remember since they mostly call the town "Undisclosed." Horror & comedy has been the peanut butter & chocolate for a little while not, & this is a fine member of that family. Set in the apocalypse that is the post-industrial midwest, the stage moves from small video stores to abandoned shopping malls, to rickety old semi-Victorian houses. The weather in the book ranges from a blizzard that knocks out all the power in the town, to a heatwave so bad the protagonists spend a few hours in a hell dimension just to get a break from the oppressive heat. Yep, that pretty accurately sums up the couple of decades I spent there. I mean, without exaggeration, that is what it is like. Yes. So I was a little wistfully nostalgic! Then of course the monsters & surreal events start happening. Which also reminds me a lot of the Wastelands, actually. There are supernatural drugs, monsters with clip on wigs, flesh-computers, shadow people, the whole thing.

Probably the most compelling part of the book is the post-modern stuff it takes for granted. David Wong is trying to be clever but not trying to "explode the novel as we know it" or anything. He's just internalized PoMo to the point where he can, for instance, skip a character through time, & have his actions ripple throughout the book. Or create inconsistencies in the text (how many people got in the van?) that seem like bad editing that he then reveals later are in fact intentional & germane to the story. Or deconstruct a character inbetween chapters. On top of everything, it made me laugh out loud a few times. Like when the protagonist takes a perception enhancing drug, the first thing he thinks is: Pro wrestling was real. But not real in the sense that we perceive reality. It was more real than reality. As a non sequitur, it worked for me. So yeah. I was definitely entertained.
Tags: books, haiku, wong
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