Friday, January 23, 2015

This Book is Full of Spiders: Seriously, Dude, Don’t Touch It, by David Wong/Jason Pargin

I have to credit This Book is Full of Spiders: Seriously, Dude, Don’t Touch It (2012), by Jason Pargin (under the name of David Wong), for inventiveness.  It’s a follow-up to John Dies at the End (2001), which features the same two main characters: stoner dudes who take a drug at a party that gives them access to alternative dimensions and brings them in contact with all sorts of disturbing creatures and beings.  With this premise the author has free license—he can have anything happen in the book, and it does.  In this second book, we begin with a scene in which one of the characters wakes up in his bedroom to a spider-like creature that is crawling up his leg.  In short order, his house is on fire, a policeman has been taken over by the creature, and all sorts of apocalyptic carnage occurs.  The characters move back and forth in their town through portals that take them instantaneously to different locations.  I don’t usually enjoy books like this one, but because of the two main characters, the fantastic situations they get themselves into, the unlikely ways they get out of trouble, and the author’s skill at building suspense and contriving bizarre and horrific situations, I was hooked.  This book features a detective who drives a Porsche and is focused on being cool. He starts out as the nemesis of our two heroes, but ends up as their ally.  It also features a literal deus ex machina, though in cardboard form. We have an interesting Labrador named Molly, and all examples of monsters, inter-dimensional beings, and secret government agencies.  By the time it’s all over, I was exhausted and looking forward to the next book.

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