John Dies @ the End is an entertaining, if somewhat twisted, take on the science fiction and paranormal genre. The story of two young men who are by all appearance “losers”, and who are called on to save the world, is packed with humorous passages worth hearty laughs. The action moves the reader along through a story that is wildly unique and therefore unpredictable. David and his friend, John, are lovably clueless and spontaneous, and the characters they cross paths with range from similarly clueless to evil mastermind. The story is narrated from David’s point of view, and the author excels at making him loveable and relatable even in a situation that no normal person can related to and while taking actions that no sane person would ever consider. Seen through David’s eyes, those unspeakably bad decisions just seem to make sense. This mad romp of a book is a good pick for anyone who likes science fiction, paranormal occurrences, and zany laughs–preferably all at the same time.
Profanity/Language: 10 religious exclamations; 80 mild obscenities; 6 religious profanities; 34 derogatory names; 240 scatological words; 108 anatomical terms; 148 4-ford derivatives.
Violence/Gore Rating: A few verbal threat; characters threaten each other with guns a few times; a few mentions of rape; a few reports of fights; a few reports of an animal deaths, including some pets; a few reports of dismemberments; a few reports of murders; a few reports of suicide; mention of abortion; mention of assassination; a few reports of a gory injuries, dismemberments, and deaths; report of cannibalism; report of a drowning; a few reports of accidents, some of them fatal or graphically described; report of teens beating another teen; a graphic report of animal cruelty; report of a character burned by acid; report of a fight between teens with graphic injury; report of a school shooting; report of children beaten as punishment; a character is tazed; a character has a violent seizure; a few fights with minor injury or character shot; a few fights in which a monsters are killed; a graphic report of bullying; a character kicks a helpless animal; a helpless character is beaten by monsters; minor property damage; a few scenes featuring grotesque monsters; a few creepy paranormal scenes; a few fights with guns and monsters in which monsters are shot and exploded; a murder and beheading; a character is killed in an explosion; a few characters are shot to death; people are attacked and killed by monsters; several fights in which characters are killed in gory fashion including dismemberment, beheading, explosion, stabbing, and gunshots; a character coughs blood when injured; a characters find severed body parts or corpses a few times; a character’s limbs are severed while she is alive; a car wreck with bloody injury; a character sets another on fire; characters treat gory wounds; a character has scary, often gory, visions a few time; an animal explodes; a few characters are grotesquely transformed into monsters; characters discuss grotesque human and animal experimentation a few times.
Sex/Nudity: Adults hug, kiss, or snuggle several times; a man urinates in public view a few times; mention of a character having lots of instances of accidental nudity; a character is naked in the shower (not sexual); report of high school students drawing nude self-portraits; an animal’s genitals are exaggerated in a piece of art; a character wears pants that reveal his butt; a female wears a shirt and panties (not sexual); characters are naked in public in a non-sexual context a few times; a fewmentions of rape; a character finds a used condom; report of a ritual done while naked (not sexual); a man looks lustfully at a woman; a monster makes sexual gestures with an inanimate object; mention of a dildo; a man has a dream about a naked woman (with no explicit details); man notices a woman’s breasts a few times; mention of a pimp and prostitute; a few jokes about topics such as masturbation, molestation, and sodomy; a feature of a house is in the shape of male genitals; character describes a dream that involves male genitalia; a man considers whether he will have sex or not; a character harasses women with sexual conversations online; mention of a statue of a naked woman; male characters talk about the size of their genitals a few times; report of a gory accidental injury to a man’s genitals; report of a sadomasochistic sex practice; a man’s evident sexual excitement is noticeable; mention of animals breeding; a pun about bestiality; mention of prostitution; report of girls having naked pillow fights; report of a child drawing lewd art at school;a few reports of a man and woman sleeping together; report of a man masturbating; it’s implied that characters have engaged in sadomasochism; a man remembers sex with a woman (no details given); characters undress, and it is implied that sex follows; a few mentions of pornographic movies; mention of erotic literature; a man looks at a pornographic magazine; an illustration contains naked breasts (the illustration is shown in the book, not just described);a woman strips a man naked; a man is naked while making a rude gesture using his genitals; mention of incest; mention of bestiality.
Mature Subject Matter:
Rape (mention); suicide (reported, considered); abortion (mention); capital punishment (mention); drug addiction and drug dealing; slavery (mention); the word “retarded” is used to say something is foolish or stupid a few times; incest (mention); mental illness; bullying; gambling; racism (mention); school shooting (mentioned); child molestation (mention); prostitution (mention); war (mention); death (parents); physical disability; discussion of social consequences of violent video games; lesbianism (mention); antisemitism (brief joke); animal cruelty (reported).
Alcohol / Drug Use:
Characters joke about and take illegal drugs; adults and teens smoke cigarettes; adults and teens drink alcohol; the use of hallucinogenic drugs is a major theme of this book; characters spend several scenes in a beer truck; character hides illegal drugs from his parents.