‘What the hell did I just read: A novel of cosmic horror’” by David Wong

(book review)

9/10 You want to hear a story? Well, buckle the f#@k up. ‘What the hell did I just read: A novel of cosmic horror’” by David Wong is published in 2017 by Titan Books. It is the third part of the “John Dies at the End” series, following the supernatural and dirty adventures of three main characters: Dave, John, and Amy. The genre of the book is something perfectly balanced between horror and comedy.

The book is set in a modern-day town named [Undisclosed], which is known as a really cryptic one: full of mysterious objects and events. Dave and John are the ones dealing with all problems caused by the paranormal, but they’re not even close to being someone the type of ghost busters or mystical FBI. They’re just two dudes in their late twenties — jobless, sometimes irresponsible, drinking excessively in some moments, making really dirty jokes with others. Amy, who is David’s girlfriend, is a tech genius. She works at a call-center to provide for their living and also gets pulled into uncanny shenanigans a lot.

The plot starts with a case of a missing girl, whom the characters agree to pursue, and quickly, through some obstacles and false leads, it turns out to be something completely different and much more complex. To be honest, it’s almost impossible to sum up the plot in a sentence or even two, because it shifts throughout different storytellers and points of view and rolls off from the main topic a lot. Among the avalanche of head-spinning adventures and absurd humor, the book takes up on some deeper issues, such as the problems of the middle class, human relationships and dreary depression.

That is why this book, neither serious in its title nor storyline, reads not just as shallow entertainment. It is not suitable for a wide audience. “What the hell did I just read” is filled with dark humor and over-the-top action accidents, situational gory scenes and vicious violence, forthright frenzy facts and crazy theories, and a ton of pop-culture references. It is a good book to read not when you feel like flying far away from our sinful reality…up in smoke…down in psychedelic hallucinations… —on the contrary, to immerse in it up to ears and rack your brains about the other ways to perceive the world differently. So, you wanted to hear a story? I guess you buckled the f#@k up.

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