Jason Pargin, under the pseudonym name David wong, is a major success stories that inspire all of us hopeful writers. Pargin, a low on the totem poll data entry administrator, is the brains behind the insanely clever, notoriously witty, and devilishly deranged novel “John Dies at the End.” Without even an English degree to his name, Pargin wrote short stories that turned into a full fledged novel solely by word of mouth from total strangers. Eventually Pargin was contacted by Phantasm director Don Coscarelli and as soon as Pargin blinked, a movie was adapted from his story and the rest is hisory.
“John Dies at the End” revolves around David Wong, a video store clerk whose life isn’t exactly that excited, but when he discovers the “soy sauce” from a homeless Rastafarian Wong and his friend John are sucked into the massive plans of an alternative reality species that has their sights on enslaving humanity in the name of their leader “Korrok.” Only Wong and John can see the truth because of the “soy sauce” and while others live their daily lives, Wong and John prepare for battle the only way they know how – with boom boxes, flame thrower water guns, and Molly the bomb eating dog.
Pargin’s novel will be a treat that you’ll never ever in your life read something similar like it again. Somehow able to paint a perfect picture with his colorful use of dictionary, Pargin certainly knows how to make silly scary and fun. The pages just kept turning as if I was hooked on the “soy sauce” and was warped, like a “Star Trek” hyper drive, into an other world universe. The randomness of scenes with Wong’s first person version of events can only be described as batshit nuts with a hint of nihilism. Once you add his friend John into the mix, it’s a whole different story as John is a colorful character with classically hilarious one liners and a mind like a 13 year old boy ready to take on the world.
I’m one those people who watched the Don Coscarelli movie first before reading the book and I did this before with Stephen King’s novel The Mist and so far, I’m not disappointed with my ass-backwards way of doing things. Of course, the novel will always have more than a movie adaptation, but damn did Coscarelli bring Wong’s world to life and light and I do believe that the writings of Pargin are so vivid and clear that this made Coscarelli’s job easy.
“John Dies at the End” is a must read. It isn’t the latest best seller as the book’s been out since 2007, but this horror comedy will make you laugh and thrill you into thinking about the possibilities of our universe.